“The View” co-host Meghan McCain got repeatedly shut down for trying to blame Julian Assange on Democrats, after the WikiLeaks founder was arrested for allegedly conspiring to hack the U.S. Department of Defense.
Co-host Abby Huntsman pointed out that President Donald Trump had changed his tune on Assange, calling for the death penalty for publishing classified information in 2010, then repeatedly praising him as WikiLeaks went after Hillary Clinton, and then his administration prosecuted him.
“(Barack) Obama and (Eric) Holder could have done it the year before, and they punted it,” Huntsman said. “That’s where I get confused. You hear Trump praising the guy, and then they prosecute.”
McCain waded in to accuse both sides of hypocrisy.
“Eric Holder didn’t pursue prosecution of Assange (over) concerns that WikiLeaks was, quote, a journalistic organization that would raise First Amendment issues,” McCain said. “Chelsea Manning was granted clemency. Chelsea Manning in 2010 released 750,000 classified and sensitive documents that put national security documents. Under the Obama administration, she was given clemency.”
“This is something that people who put national security first,” she continued, “I put myself in that category, a lot of people have been warning about and warning about and warning about, and the only time the Democrats started caring is when it affected them politically and Hillary Clinton’s emails were released and John Podesta’s emails were released.”
Host Whoopi Goldberg interrupted and tried to steer her back on topic.
“What’s going to happen with him?” Goldberg said. “That’s my question.”
McCain said she hoped Assange rotted in hell, and co-host Sunny Hostin asked for a chance to discuss the law.
“I think if you have a problem with Julian Assange and what he released in terms of national security, then you need to have a problem with the Pentagon Papers, the Panama Papers, you need to have a problem with the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs being released,” Hostin said. “Those items being released protected our democracy. The reason the Obama administration and Eric Holder decided — not to punt, but decided the Constitution protected Julian Assange because our constitution does protect Julian Assange.”
McCain interrupted: “I have to push back hard.”
Hostin parried: “Excuse me. You can after I’m finished speaking.”
“The Constitution protects freedom of the press,” Hostin continued. “It’s our First Amendment to the Constitution, I believe it’s our most important amendment. So it’s very clear that the Constitution protects information, investigative journalism, even if that information is gotten illegally, even if that information is a matter of national security.”
McCain was livid: “What you said was straight propaganda just so we’re clear. I’m sorry.”
Hostin fired back: “The law is propaganda? I’m sorry.”
Republicans are treating voters like ‘children’ with their defense of Trump: Ex-presidential adviser
On Thursday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," former presidential adviser David Gergen laid into Republican lawmakers for claiming that the impeachment probe is only based on "hearsay."
"The Republicans are treating us like idiots," said Gergen. "They just — they say you're only bringing forth hearsay. You don't have any firsthand information. We know there are three people who know exactly what happened. One is named [Rudy] Giuliani. One is chief of staff [Mick] Mulvaney and the third is [John] Bolton. And what's happened here? They all three have been called. The president said no, you must not talk. So the Republicans then come up and say, well, you only have hearsay."
Roger Stone’s health in question as prosecutors have him ‘dead to rights’: NBC reporter
Jurors deciding the fate of longtime Donald Trump political advisor Roger Stone did not reach a verdict during their deliberations on Thursday and will reconvene on Friday morning.
But there were fascinating details from the courtroom revealed by NBC News correspondent Ken Dilanian.
"What about Roger Stone, does he look like he’s about to burn here?" MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews asked. "Does he look like he’s going down?"
"He does," Dilanian replied.
"And also, physically, he doesn't look well at this trial. He’s walking around the courthouse kind of unaccompanied, shambling around," he continued. "He doesn't look like a happy warrior, which is usually his persona."
GOP lawmaker smacked down after suggesting impeachment is only for capital crimes
On Thursday's edition of MSNBC's "All In," Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) tried to argue that impeachment is only intended for when presidents commit capital crimes — and was immediately corrected by anchor Chris Hayes.
"I saw an earlier interview you gave to Chuck Todd where you didn’t think this was, so far, from what you’ve heard of, the level of impeachable behavior," said Hayes. "I’m curious what you view the standard as the Constitution sets out for you as being high crimes and treason and misdemeanor."
"Crimes that are subject to the penalty of death is essentially what the Constitution is to me indicating with impeachment," said Reed. "And this whole claim of bribery, the American people aren’t stupid, Chris. This is not going to sustain the review of the American people, and they’re the ultimate ones who are going to judge this because I don’t see this becoming an impeachable subject to the removal of the president."