The Watergate newsman said that there was “nothing credible” in what the president has said for the last two days. One thing, however, that Trump pointed out twice, was that he’s a “very stable genius.”
“What happened today that’s so extraordinary is that, finally, leaders of the Republican Party on Capitol Hill who have marched lock step with this president finally said today that the president of the United States, leader of their party, that he cannot be entrusted with the national security of the United States,” Bernstein recalled.
He described it as a unique moment in American history where the American president’s loyalties are in question by “serious people of both parties.” He went on to note that the written statement Trump read said that he accepts the idea that Russia meddled in the 2016 election. But then he appeared to ad-lib his signature “no collusion” remarks.
“Everybody doesn’t agree there’s no collusion,” refuted Bernstein. “That’s what [special counsel Robert] Mueller is trying to find out, and one of the things that we know very well is that there was a meeting in Trump Tower attended by his son in which an attempt at collusion occurred.”
He said that in the last few days Trump has thrown the last 75 years of mutual security in the west out the window so that he can have his own relationship with Putin. That relationship was on full display yesterday, Bernstein noted.
“So, we now have a real national security emergency in this country in which it is clear to members of both parties and, indeed, the Republican Party leadership is terrified of Trump’s base and going after them, but they are also terrified as [CNN’s] Dana [Bash] and others have spoken with them, as have I, they are terrified of this president and his conduct of national security business.”
Host Brooke Baldwin asked what the GOP intends to do about it, but Bernstein said he didn’t know and that Trump’s presidency and behavior might define the Republican Party in the United States for generations. That is “if they cannot figure out what to do about a rogue president who has no regard for the rule of law, who has no comprehension, it would seem, of our history.”
He remarked that Trump has “such spectacular ignorance of our history in this country and of the west and what happened after World War II.” Recalling Putin’s actions over the past few years with his armies on the borders in Europe, Bernstein explained that Trump refused to call the Russian president on it.
“So, we are in an extraordinary moment in which we will see how the wounds in the past couple of days that Trump has inflicted on himself, whether they may be somewhat mortal, be hard to imagine given what he’s survived and thrived on so far, but he is bleeding badly in front of all of us,” Bernstein said. “And we are watching a horrible spectacle play out in which we don’t know exactly whether we can trust the loyalty of the president of the United States whether through incompetence, whether through incoherence or whether through nefarious relationships. We just don’t know the answer.”
He noted that it’s impossible to know what occured in the body language and the winks between the two men.
“Can you imagine that here we are talking about whether or not the president of the United States can be trusted with a despot, a tyrannical murder rogue thug and the president of the United States we’re unsure of perhaps whose side he’s on or whether he’s ambiguous whose side he’s on,” he closed.
Watch the full conversation below:
CNN’s Elie Honig praises DOJ lawyers for revolt against Barr: ‘Like students rising up against the oppressive headmaster’
CNN legal analyst Elie Honig on Thursday heaped praise upon Department of Justice prosecutors who disregarded many of the changes to sentencing guidelines for convicted Trump ally Roger Stone that were made by Attorney General Bill Barr.
When asked by CNN's Kate Bolduan for his reaction to the prosecutors' actions, Honig responded enthusiastically.
"I applaud what this prosecutor is doing," he said. "And as a DOJ alumni on the front lines trying cases, I'm so impressed by this. This is like the scene [in a movie] where the students rise up and push back against the oppressive headmaster."
‘Barr is a toady’: Jeffrey Toobin says talk of attorney general resigning is ‘just a big show’
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin says he doesn't believe Attorney General William Barr when he claims he considered resigning from the Trump administration.
Sources close to Barr told ABC News that the attorney general had contemplated quitting because President Donald Trump's tweets make it difficult for him to do his job.
"Barr is a toady," Toobin explained during an appearance on CNN. "Barr is doing what he's told. He had this one statement, 'Oh, whoa is me, it's hard for me to do my job when the president tweets.'"
‘That’s how authoritarian countries work’: CNN’s Toobin warns Trump is acting like a dictator
On CNN Wednesday, legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin broke down the significance of President Donald Trump's decision to pardon several high-powered friends accused of political corruption and tax crimes.
"There is no doubt, under the Constitution, the president has the power to do this," said Toobin. "This is not legally a — an open question. And there is a history of controversial pardons, whether it's President Clinton pardoning Marc Rich, a fugitive financier, or George Herbert Walker Bush pardoning the Iran-Contra people on his way out of the office."
"So what makes this so troubling is in the middle of his term, here he is assigning friends, basically friends and friends of friends, to get pardons and clemency, which is how authoritarians behave, which is playing favorites with your personal friends at a time when you are playing with the opposite of favorites with prosecutorial decisions," said Toobin. "I want these people prosecuted, these people freed — that's how authoritarian countries work. Countries where there is the rule of law, there are systems in place for who gets prosecuted, who gets clemency. This is a very individually-focused way to run a presidency."