During a heated panel discussion on CNN, a Moscow-born conservative commentator accused a Russian studies scholar of being an “apologist” for Vladimir Putin.
Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies at NYU and Princeton, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he doesn’t find anything “unusual” about President Donald Trump and Putin’s private meeting in Helsinki earlier in the month. He went on to claim that he believes Putin’s assertion that he and his American counterpart discussed a resolution to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
“You have to take Putin’s word this is what they talked about,” Cohen said. “I don’t want to shock you, but I believe Vladimir Putin on several things.”
Max Boot, a Russian-American conservative commentator and fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, noted that “a lot of intelligence officials think that there is something highly suspect in the relationship between Putin and Trump” based on the president’s apparent unwillingness to criticize the Russian leader the way he does others.
“I have no idea what Mr. Boot is talking about,” Cohen argued. “He wants Trump to threaten Russia? Why would we threaten Russia?”
The Russian studies scholar attempted to continue his line of reasoning, but Boot cut him off.
“Because they’re attacking us, Professor Cohen. Russia is attacking us right now according to Trump’s own director of national intelligence,” he said.
“I‘ve been studying Russia for 45 years,” the professor retorted. “I‘ve lived in Russia, and I’ve lived here.”
Boot cut him off once again, saying Cohen has been “consistently an apologist for Russia those 45 years.”
At the word “apologist,” the professor paused before asking Boot what he called him. The conservative commentator repeated himself — and Cohen launched into a diatribe.
“I don’t do defamation of people, I do serious analysis of serious national security problems,” the professor said. “When people like you call people like me, and not only me, but people more eminent than me, apologists for Russia because we don’t agree with your analysis, you are criminalizing diplomacy and detente and you are the threat to American national security, end of story.”
“Why do you have to defame somebody you don’t agree with?” Cohen continued. “They used to do that in the old Soviet Union.”
Boot merely laughed as Cooper moved on to the next topic.
Watch below, via CNN:
Heather Heyer’s mom says things have gotten worse since Charlottesville — but she has a solution
CNN's Ana Cabrera on Saturday interviewed Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer. Her daughter was murdered by a white nationalist terrorist during the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.
"When you watch what’s happening in Portland, thankfully everything right now is peaceful, but does it sort of give you that knee-jerk reaction where your hackles kind of go up, just given everything your family has been through?" Cabrera asked.
"My hackles don’t really go down anymore," Bro replied. "I am constantly tracking these things around the country as they happen. Yeah, I think after two years ago, mine will never completely go down again."
Trump-loving “hate group” leader struggles to defend chauvinism during CNN interview on Portland chaos
Portland, Oregon on Saturday was the scene of another far-right mobilization by groups such as the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer.
Tarrio had traveled from Miami to take part in the far-right rally in Portland and appeared to be wearing body armor.
Trump’s ‘clown car’ economic team is totally unprepared to handle a financial crash: CNN’s Catherine Rampell
Washington Post economics columnist Catherine Rampell on Friday warned that President Donald Trump's team of economic advisers is woefully unprepared to handle a recession should one strike within the next year.
During a panel discussion of this week's economic news, which included a massive drop in the stock market after the U.S. Treasury yield curve inverted, Rampell explained why Americans should be deeply worried about the prospects of a recession under this president.
"They don't have a plan for what to do if things go wrong, and they could go wrong," she said. "We have this clown car of economic advisers... you have a guy who plays an economist on TV, you have a former Hollywood producer. This is not the dream team who will be handling a crisis if we face one."