CNN's Joe Lockhart on Thursday said he was appalled by the sheer number of lowlifes that make up President Donald Trump's top allies.
Reacting to the explosive story about the National Enquirer's parent company trying to blackmail Amazon CEO and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos, Lockhart pointed out that AMI CEO David Pecker is a longtime Trump ally who for years ran a "catch-and-kill" operation to shut down damaging stories about the president.
Lockhart then found himself marveling at all the other longtime Trump allies who are now either convicted felons or who find themselves under criminal investigation.
"Roger Stone, you know, David Pecker, Michael Cohen -- these are grifters, these are conmen!" he said. "These are people that the president considers his inner circle! That's a scary thing."
CNN's John Avlon said Trump himself seems to relish having these kinds of people around him, and that he encourages their worst behavior.
"The tone comes from the top," he said. "The president of the United States, who constantly attacks real journalism calling it fake news, is most in bed with an organization that could be most accurately called fake news. But not only that, behind the scenes they are engaged in extortion and blackmail and acting more like organized crime than a journalistic enterprise."
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