During a CNN panel discussion on a report that President Donald Trump asked White House lawyer Doug McGahn to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, Bush-era ethics czar Richard Painter furiously went after Trump supporter Jack Kingston for maligning the former FBI director and his investigative team, calling the attacks the work of “scumbags and liars.”
CNN host Martin Savidge pressed Kingston on the firing revelation, asking, “Jack, President Trump has claimed the report that he tried to fire Mueller was ‘fake news.’ He’s used that before on things that he has not liked that have been reported to the mainstream media. But even his favorite news channel, Fox News, has confirmed the report. So is fake news going to cut it as far as the defense for the president?”
“Well, I don’t think he really needs a defense,” Kingston parried. “I think at this time he had a very, very aggressive attorney in Marc Kasowitz who probably made the recommendation not only to be pushed back very, very hard but to consider firing Mueller because of his obvious conflict of falling out about the golf club with Trump and the fact that he was passed over for the FBI job just days before which he apparently really wanted.”
“So, I think there was question about Mueller’s conflicts, not to mention everything else we’ve learned about Peter Strzok and Lisa Page and the memos and misuse of FISA and everything else. so, i think –” Kingston attempted.
“Wait, his argument is that my attorney put me up to it here?” Savidge interrupted.
“I think so,” Kingston replied. “I think — this is what I understand as very possible is that he said you should consider it. McGahn said it is a horrible idea and if you do it, I would resign.”
Given a chance to respond, Painter lashed out at Kingston for attacking Mueller and the integrity of the FBI, while bashing Trump over rumors he might also fire Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein if he refused to dismiss Mueller.
“Well, he’s got to get thrown out of office,” Painter exclaimed. “Rod Rosenstein is his own appointee to that position, a Republican. These attacks on Robert Mueller are disgusting. Robert Mueller was at the FBI picking up the pieces after 9/11. He’s a loyal Republican appointed by President Bush, he’s is a good man.”
“People accusing him of bias are liars, flat out liars,” Painter continued, his voice rising. “I’ve been a Republican for 30 years, but I’m not going to put up with scumbags in my party attacking a good man like Robert Mueller who is a loyal American, a patriot. He was a Marine. He is the straight arrow that we need in charge of this investigation.”
“The FBI should also not be attacked,” Painter continued. “If anything, it was FBI director James Comey, who threw the election to Donald Trump with that letter right before the election.”
Watch the video below via CNN:
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