‘Can’t we walk and chew gum?’: Navarro hits Trump fan’s claim US doesn’t ‘have time’ to care about Russian meddling
Ana Navarro on Thursday destroyed former Donald Trump campaign aide David Urban over the president’s refusal to condemn Russian president Vladimir Putin for meddling in the U.S. election.
During a joint press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda, Trump argued while he thinks “it was Russia,” he thinks “it was probably other people and/or countries, and I see nothing wrong with that statement.”
Trump argued “nobody really knows for sure.” The U.S. intelligence community has declared “with high confidence” that “Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the … election, the consistent goals of which were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary [Hillary] Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.”
Referring to a speech Trump gave earlier in the day where he urged the Russian president to cease “destabilizing activities” and embrace allies in the the fight against common enemies, Navarro called the press conference “the difference between scripted and unscripted Donald Trump.”
“It’s the difference between somebody putting a speech in front of him to read and him going off the cuff,” Navarro said. “It’s the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of U.S. diplomacy.”
“He goes and questions the validity and legitimacy of the finding of the 16 security agencies on the Russia stuff instead of being forceful,” Navarro said of the president press conference. “He was forceful in the morning, he couldn’t be forceful the entire day. It’s inconsistent, and it’s frankly very disappointing.”
Urban tried to argue the president didn’t cast doubt on Russian meddling or the validity of the intelligence community’s assessment.
“Did it sound like a formal condemnation?” Navarro asked.
“Ana, I’m right next to you I’m right next to you,” Urban sassed.
“Answer me then,” Navarro shot back.
The two spoke back and forth before Navarro declared, “Russia meddled in the election and should be forcefully condemned—that is not a forceful condemnation.”
Urban insisted he was “not minimizing the election,” but argued there are people dying right now in Syria and elsewhere because of Russian involvement, and those issues should take center stage.
Navarro countered that Urban represents the Trump voter, but other Republicans, and other Americans, “feel that a threat to our elections is a threat to our democracy.”
Urban said “given a choice” and with “limited amount of time,” the more pressing issue are the people dying right now at the hands of Russian foreign policy, but Navarro cut him off.
“Why does there have to be a choice?” she asked. “Why can’t we walk and chew gum at the same time? Why can’t we defend our democracy and defend the people of Syria?”
Guest host Pamela Brown tried to bring in Anita Dunn, who worked the White House, but David interjected—“if you had a limited amount of time, which you do tomorrow, it’s limited, which do you talk about, Ana?” he asked.
“You talk about everything,” Navarro said gamely.
Watch the tussle below, via CNN: