President Donald Trump spent Saturday evening ranting and railing against a vast array topics. One, however, was a vague attempt at an attack on Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), who Trump is blaming for the scandals surrounding Dr. Ronny Jackson.
“Tester started throwing out things that he’s heard. Well, I know things about Tester that I could say, too,” Trump threatened during the rally in Michigan. “And if I said them, he’d never be elected again.”
“What Jon Tester did to this man is a disgrace,” Trump added.
Trump, however, never said what exactly those things were.
Simply as a fact check, Tester's comments were the findings handed to Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), the chair of the Senate veterans’ affairs committee. Despite Isakson speaking out on these allegations as well, Tester remains the only target of Trump's wrath.
"So, let's just use [Mike] Pompeo's expression: eyes wide open," host Chris Cuomo began. "People will blame the media ask say they were false allegations, it was trumped up. Here's what we know, one, the FBI never finished their background check. Second, absence of evidence is not always evidence of absence. We don't know whether the record-keeping is right, which goes to your your point about process. You should have had these things more vetted. But if they're all untrue, if you had the ability to rebut them in a way -- I wouldn't use the word exonerate, but to show we don't have any proof of what you're suggesting, why didn't they stick by Jackson? It would have been a great opportunity to rub it in the face of their perceived enemies to say this is false, just like we say everything else is false."
Political analyst Alex Burns called it a "bogus narrative."
"You have, yes, a bunch of allegations, anonymously sourced allegations that Sen. Tester and the Democrats have pushed out there," he continued. And some of those are unproven. You also have a subset of those allegations that media, including CNN, that have independently verified. These questions of loosely dispensing pills, giving out pills without prescriptions in the White House medical office. That stuff is serious stuff. So, you have seen the White House hone in on that one allegation about the car incident and say 'We have no record of that.'"
Cuomo noted that Trump easily stands before a friendly audience making a series of convoluted arguments and attempting to play it to his advantage.
"He stands up on stage and says, 'I know things about Jon Tester that if I said them he would never get re-elected,'" Cuomo recalled. "Doesn't he have to say what those things are now? Don't you have to put up or shut up in that kind of situation?"
Daily Beast editor John Avlon explained that those rules don't apply to Trump, "because this is an obvious and outright threat that doesn't need to be based in anything because it's about innuendo."
Avlon went on to explain that Isakson had the same concerns and was just as interested in getting to the bottom of the allegations against Jackson.
"Look, Tester has won tough elections before," he continued. "He's won them before in presidential years when Mitt Romney won the state by 51 points, he was re-elected. So, let's have this fight."
"So, the man who is comfortable saying that they were dancing on the roofs after 9/11 and that Ted Cruz's father was involved in the Kennedy assassination -- he doesn't want to talk about Jon Tester's allegations though because they'd be too damaging," Cuomo mocked.
"Wait a minute!" host Alisyn Camerota cut in. "Haven't we just found the first contradiction in the Trump administration?"
Cuomo noted the tally is high.
Watch the full commentary below: