Appearing on a Monday night CNN panel, GOP pundit and former congressman Jack Kingston made a number of demonstrably false and conflicting claims — and host Anderson Cooper was quick to shoot them all down.
First, he said the FBI has had “an opportunity to review” and provide input on the headline-dominating Republican memo, a claim Cooper immediately rebutted.
“They say they haven’t,” the host said. “The Department of Justice wrote a letter and said it’s ‘extremely reckless’ [to release the classified memo], that was their term.”
Indeed, the only reported FBI official to have viewed the memo is Director Christopher Wray, who was finally granted access to it on Sunday after news broke that the House Intelligence Committee was keeping it from them.
“I can’t react to that letter because I just heard about it tonight,” Kingston said of the DOJ’s response to the memo, which was issued five days ago. “But I do know talking to members that it’s been available to members of Congress, 200 members of Congress have read this, and it’s interesting that if there’s anybody who has let it become a partisan issue, it’s the Democrats because they should have been there reading the memo and saying, look, this is not right.”
“Well, they did,” Cooper rebutted. “They wrote their own memo pointing out what is inaccurate in that memo.”
“They did not read it,” Kingston insisted, but the host and his co-panelists Gloria Borger and Bakari Sellers cut him off as Cooper explained that Democrats had written their own memo in response.
“I’m talking about rank and file members could have done that,” the Republican insisted. “I think the Democrats on the committee felt like there was a line in the sand.”
After more dissent from the panel, Kingston doubled down and said “rank and file members have had the opportunity to read the memo and come back and push back on it and they haven’t done that.”
“Wait a minute, you’re doing double talk,” Cooper said. “What you’re saying makes no actual, logical sense.”
“We won’t know what the Democrats say,” the host argued, appearing to begin to make a point about how the Republican majority in the House voted to not publish the Democrats’ counter-memo when deciding to release the Nunes document. From there, the panel dissolved and the topic was dropped.
Watch below, via CNN:
Trump whistleblower needs to go directly to FBI because Bill Barr can’t be trusted: Ex-FBI director
Appearing on MSNBC with host Alex Witt, former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi blew up Donald Trump's claim that he is the victim of a "Ukraine Witchhunt."
He then added that the whistleblower who went to the inspector general with a serious charge against the president should take what he has and go to the FBI within a week if nothing happens.
"We've got to get to the bottom of this, and we can't rely on leaks and certain reporters getting certain tidbits of information," the ex-FBI man explained. "This needs to be explored and it's likely this could end up in a criminal investigation."
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On Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa, former Vice President Joe Biden furiously laid into President Donald Trump amid reports he tried to strong-arm the Ukrainian government into digging up dirt on him and his son.
"Here's what I know, I know Trump deserves to be investigated," said Biden. "He is violating every basic norm of a president. You should be asking him the question, why is he on the phone with a foreign leader trying to intimidate a foreign leader, if that's what happened? That appears to have happened. You should be looking at Trump. Trump's doing this because he knows I'll beat him like a drum and he's using the abuse of power and every element of the presidency to try to do something to smear me."
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On MSNBC's "AM Joy" Saturday, in the wake of the Ukraine scandal, presidential biographer Bloomberg Opinion executive editor Tim O'Brien laid out how President Donald Trump's presidency has become a pure exercise in criminality — and how House Democrats need to treat this as the threat that it is.
"The Democrats are looking at this as a chess board," said O'Brien. "Republicans see it as a knife fight. They're not even trying to play chess. They've been playing politics at the electoral level and in the Congress by simply trying to rip the spine out of anybody who opposes them. The Democrats are trying to figure out what's the right thing. I honor that, but as long as they sit back and are more concerned about appearances or not upsetting the table, Republicans are going to run circles around them, both electorally and when it comes to Donald Trump."