CNN global affairs analyst Aaron David Miller said on Thursday that his head was “exploding” over President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize the Golan Heights as Israeli territory. Trump, he said, was trying to “intercede” in Israeli elections on behalf of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which he said was motivated by domestic politics.
“I was part of the very small group of individuals that tried to facilitate at the request of Israeli prime ministers Rabin, Peres, and Barak an effort to negotiate with Bashar Assad’s father Hafez, and we came pretty close to actually concluding a deal which by Israel would have surrendered the Heights in exchange for normalized relation with Syria,” he said. “I’ve been around negotiations most of my professional life.”
“My head is exploding,” Miller said of the announcement. “The president of the United States in less than 280 characters presumably, I didn’t count them, basically overturns six decades of American policy.”
“And the reason? The logic? The rationale, the justification?” he continued. “To directly and willfully intercede in an Israeli election campaign, very close with the prime minister now under preliminary indictment, for the first time in his career facing a credible challenger.”
“This was an effort, and I would argue gratuitous to essentially do everything President Trump can to make sure that Benjamin Netanyahu becomes the next prime minister of Israel,” Miller went, on, admitting that the U.S. has “played favorites with respect to Israeli prime ministers” in the past.
“But re-electing Benjamin Netanyahu is not a compelling national interest of the United States,” he said. “I know why the president chose to do this. It’s pure and unadulterated domestic politics.”
Watch the video below.
‘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."
GOP’s portrayal of Trump as a corruption fighter torn to shreds as ‘complete nonsense’
Republicans who defended President Donald Trump during impeachment hearings insisted that he wasn't trying to shake down the Ukrainian government to investigate his political foes, but was instead sincerely concerned about fighting corruption abroad.
CNN's John Avlon, however, argued on Wednesday that Trump showed these claims were "complete nonsense" after he unleashed a slew of pardons and commutations for corrupt former public officials, including former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who both were sent to prison after being found guilty of abusing their offices for personal gain.