‘This guy has to read a book!’: CNN panel erupts over Trump’s attacks on the media, intel community
A CNN panel on Wednesday slammed the Trump administration over mounting conflict surrounding the resignation of former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn.
On “The Situation Room” Wednesday, Wolf Blitzer asked CNN political correspondent Dana Bash about Trump’s claim that the “fake media” and intelligence agencies are responsible for Flynn’s resignation.
“That’s just not true, It’s just absolutely not true,” Bash replied noting White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer insisted at a press conference Tuesday that Trump “lost trust” in Flynn.
“The fact of the matter is … defense intelligence agency has suspended Flynn’s security clearance while they’re investigating,” Bash reported. “That doesn’t happen because of the ‘fake media,’ that happens because there’s concern about something he did.”
Noting the president tweeted on Wednesday that negative reports about him are “conspiracy theories,” almost immediately after tweeting that “intelligence is [being] illegally given out” by intelligence officials, Wolf asked if Trump undermined himself with those two tweets.
“He’s got no real strategy here,” CNN correspondent Nia-Malika Henderson replied. “He has these talking points about leaks, which are similar to talking points that are being picked up by other Republicans and conservative outlets.”
“In terms of the severity of what is coming out about this administration and possible ties to Russians during the campaign … this is like DefCon, right? DefCon 10,” Henderson continued. “And to see that their main response is tweets from Donald Trump, I think it speaks to their inability to get a story out.”
Wolf then asked former CIA officer Phillip Mudd if Trump can be certain about where the leaks are coming from.
“I mean are you kidding me? This guy has to read a book,” Mudd said, insisting the first thing presidents learn is that “people in Washington D.C. leak.”
“We’ve got a smoke screen,” Mudd added. “We have a national security advisor who had inappropriate conversations with the Russians then lied to his boss. And the blame goes on the National Security Agency? Are you kidding me?”
Wolf then asked Mudd about Trump’s suggestions that the leaks to the New York Times and Washington Post are “just like Russia,” positing it’s a “real smear” on the intelligence community.
“People like me who are inside the [intelligence] business are transitioning … from paying attention and being offended by this stuff to realizing that this is the way life works and ignoring what the president says,” Mudd explained.
“If you’re at the CIA, you’re at the FBI, you’re listening to Mike Pompeo and Jim Comey and saying we have a president of the United States who can’t resist kicking us in the ass everyday, so you stop paying attention,” Mudd added. “You’ve got real business, I think people are going to start to say, ‘we’re going to ignore this guy.’”
Watch the video below, via CNN: