Washington Post journalist David Fahrenthold explained his latest reporting on President Donald Trump’s business ties to Saudi Arabia, and other panelists on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” wondered how that affected his foreign policy.
Republican senators have broken against the Trump administration, which disagrees with the CIA assessment about Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s involvement in the grisly murder of Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi — and the newspaper’s most famous reporter linked that to the president’s business.
“The Saudis are always throwing around money,” said journalist Bob Woodward. “Let’s face it — Donald Trump is a walking conflict of interest on something like this. Billions of dollars the Saudis will throw around to make sure they have a good relationship with Trump and the administration, but this is a little piece of it, and you have to ask the question, why doesn’t somebody say no, let’s not do this?”
Woodward said voters should have been able to see Trump’s tax returns — which presidential candidates have revealed before the election — to see where his business conflicts with U.S. foreign policy.
“If we had his tax returns, it would be the road map to not everything, but I know from talking to people in the IRS and in the Trump Organization, that is the key,” Woodward said.
The veteran reporter said he regretted being unable to reveal Trump’s tax returns before the election so voters could make an informed decision.
“Even though he refused in 2016 to release them, it would be great if somebody were to get them,” he said. “I tried in 2016 and failed and regret that piece is not there. I mean it would be like somebody, a senator, running for president, and you say, ‘Well, you can’t have his voting record, it’s secret.’ It would be absurd.”
The Republicans’ impeachment lawyer made 2 huge mistakes in questioning Gordon Sondland
Ambassador Gordon Sondland delivered complex and convoluted impeachment testimony on Wednesday about his involvement in President Donald Trump’s Ukraine scandal. He gave detailed evidence recounting the president and the rest of the administration’s involvement in his effort to get Ukraine to launch investigations of Trump’s political opponents — including by leveraging a potential White House meeting and a hold on military aid.
But he also, to the Republicans’ delight, left some ambiguity about how much Trump had been involved in the effort to leverage the aid, saying that he had “presumed” Ukraine’s announcement of the investigations would release the hold. And he noted that, in one phone call the president — as the scheme was slowly being uncovered — Trump angrily denied there was a quid pro quo.
Rick Santorum smacked down for claiming Sondland testimony helped Trump
On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) tried to argue that the testimony of E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland actually helped President Donald Trump — and was promptly challenged.
"I think the Democrats had a good morning. I don't think they had a good afternoon," said Santorum. "I think what when the Republicans actually started questioning Sondland about the details, I think it fell apart a little bit."
"How so?" asked Chris Cuomo.
"He said the president never said any of these things to him," said Santorum. "In fact, what the president said, he quoted what the president said is, no, there's no quid pro quo. What he says is, well, I'm surmising, this is what I'm just sort of gathering. Did anything come from the president? No, it came from Rudy Giuliani."
‘The cost of acquitting Donald Trump just went up’ for the Republicans: MSNBC’s Joy Ann Reid
MSNBC host Joy Ann Reid explained during the post-hearing wrap-up that things aren't looking good for Republican senators up for reelection in 2020.
In the wake of EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland's testimony, things are getting more difficult for Republicans faced with a vote on impeachment.
"Even if [the numbers] don't move, the problem is going to be a lot of these people have to run for re-election, letting the president off the hook when it's pretty clear what happened," Reid said. "This is pretty simple, and if I'm Cory Gardener (R-CO), I'm not feeling great."
Brian Williams noted that Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) is one of the many Republicans "who's leaving town on a fast horse." If anyone could be pealed off by Democrats, Williams thinks it is Hurd.