CNN host Jim Sciutto revealed on Tuesday that “dozens” of Republican lawmakers had refused requests to discuss President Donald Trump’s highly criticized meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
At the start of an interview with Republican Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA), Sciutto set the scene by noting that almost all Republican lawmakers contacted by the network had turned down the opportunity for an interview.
“So our viewers know, we reached out to dozens of Republican lawmakers today to speak, to react to the president’s comments. I want to thank you for being the only one who said yes,” the CNN host said before asking Costello for his reaction to the summit.
“Well, I was embarrassed,” Costello lamented. “I think that I was outraged because I think that in all my years of having a tremendous respect for the institution of the presidency and its role around our globe, I’d never seen a more pathetic and weak display of American leadership as a president.”
“And it’s not explainable,” the Republican congressman added. “It’s not defensible. And it’s something we should view, I think, with outrage and ask serious questions as to why our president would somehow cast doubt or create some equivalency between Vladimir Putin’s denial and the very substantive investigative powers of our law enforcement and intelligence communities, which made a determination and issued an indictment that Russia did interfere in the 2016 election.”
Watch the video below from CNN.
CNN’s Don Lemon demands ‘urgency’ of justice for George Floyd: ‘How much more video do they need?’
On CNN Thursday, host Don Lemon made a furious call for justice in the George Floyd case.
"How much more video do they need? I kept saying, is this some sort of a joke?" said Lemon. "Great, get more evidence. But from the evidence they have, there appears to be no area on tape anywhere, from any witness, that Mr. Floyd was resisting arrest in any way. So people want to know, these officers, one of them with 18 complaints against them, I think 16 still open, another one that had 6. I know people complain and it's false sometimes, but 18 complaints. Are they going to be arrested or are they not? Is the justice system going to work with these officers the way it works with the general public?"
‘Resisting suffocation is not resisting arrest’: Ex-prosecutor explains why police defense in George Floyd killing won’t fly
On CNN Thursday, former federal prosecutor Laura Coates explained why police cannot use the defense the George Floyd was "resisting arrest" to excuse his death.
"If these officers can prove there was some kind of resistance at some point, might that complicate the task of the Hennepin County attorney, were he to bring charges?" asked anchor Jake Tapper.
"It's a consideration, but it would not be a full explanation or defense of behavior," said Coates. "Resisting suffocation is not resisting arrest. Let me be clear with that. The code and the policy of the police officers is that they have to use only the amount of force necessary to repel a force against them. This is a man on his stomach, handcuffed behind his back, gasping for air, calling out for help and saying he cannot breathe."
Saint Paul police chief condemns tactics used on George Floyd: ‘We’re here to serve — not choke people!’
Saint Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell told CNN's Jim Sciutto and Poppy Harlow on Thursday that he's showing his officers footage from George Floyd's death as an example of how not to handle a suspect.
In particular, Axtell told the CNN hosts that all of the officers in his department said that the actions of the officers in Minneapolis to Floyd were completely unacceptable.
"Every police officer that I know that I interacted with yesterday in the city of Saint Paul, there was not one who felt that what they observed on that video in Minneapolis was in any way, shape, or form acceptable police behavior," he said. "It is disgusting, it is dehumanizing, it is something that absolutely has to stop."