The White House and President Donald Trump’s allies have spent months laying the groundwork to fire deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein. Now, however, they’re holding him up as a brilliant genius for his memo that criticized former FBI director James Comey.
During an extensive interview Monday, CNN’s Chris Cuomo hammered Conway on everything from typical double-speak to “poisoning” people’s minds with “alternative facts.” The interview went so long that CNN’s “New Day” was forced to close their show directly after the interview without commentary. Tuesday, the hosts came back with their political panel, folding in a recent interview with Comey on National Public Radio.
“With respect to the deputy attorney general,” Comey began. “I think it’s very important that he stay because I do think he has conducted himself honorably with respect to his appointment of a special counsel and his assertion of that special counsel’s work to the rule of law, and so I really do think it would be an attack on the rule of law for him to be fired or for the special counsel to be fired.”
Trump and the White House tried to claim that the Rosenstein memo was the reason that Comey was fired, but the president revealed in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt that he was going to fire Comey anyway for the Russia investigation.
“How about this case, though, how about the president and his surrogates, namely senior counselor, Kellyanne Conway coming on and saying, ‘Hey, do you guys remember how great Rosenstein is and the memo he wrote about James Comey. Why don’t you put back up there what Rosenstein did and help the American people? That Rosenstein, he did the right thing,'” recalled Cuomo. ” When all this talk has been about getting rid of him.”
Cuomo recalled that he asked Conway if Rosenstein is their “big hammer” then his job must be safe.
“And she was like, ‘Christopher?'” Cuomo recalled, capturing Conway’s condescension.
He played a clip of Conway talking about how Comey’s book talks about Condoleezza Rice and Loretta Lynch and then asks why Comey has such a problem with powerful women. “I wonder,” she said.
“Ahh, you’ve got to love the projections,” Daily Beast editor John Avlon commented. “You know? The problems with powerful women. The, ‘he’s an instigator and loves being the center of attention.’ There is sort of an inculcation of a projection strategy on the part of this White House. It’s amazing.”
CNN’s Chris Cilizza noted that certainly Comey wants to be the center of attention for the book, however, “is what he is saying about those conversations accurate or inaccurate? He has contemporaneous notes about them. Those things are what’s important at the end of the day, not what he thinks of Donald Trump’s hair. We can’t get too distracted from that stuff.”
Watch the discussion below: