President Donald Trump’s insistence that the United States has “a lot of killers” — and thus shouldn’t be too critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s murder of journalists — continues to create controversy.
While some conservatives have condemned the remark, Trump surrogate Jeffrey Lord tried to defend the president on CNN Monday by noting that the CIA had tried several times to assassinate Cuban President Fidel Castro.
“He said we have killers — have you read the Church Committee report on the CIA and the attempts to kill Fidel Castro?” asked Lord, who served as a White House associate political director under former President Ronald Reagan. “Have you?”
CNN’s Alisyn Camerota quickly shot back at Lord by noting that Trump’s attempt to draw equivalence between the United States and Russia was the kind of statement that conservatives repeatedly accused former President Barack Obama of making.
“Jeffrey, didn’t you call this kind of rhetoric the ‘Blame America First’ crowd for the past eight years?” she asked. “When there was criticism from the Obama administration of the United States, didn’t you say they were blaming America first?”
“Look, all I’m saying is, he is saying facts,” Lord replied. “America is still the city on a shining hill. Have we made mistakes? Yes. But are we morally equivalent? No, and he never said that.”
Check out the full clip below.