President Donald Trump’s reported desire to pardon military service members who have been either convicted or accused of war crimes has drawn a lot of controversy — and the reporter who broke the story about the president’s planned pardons told CNN on Monday that no one should underestimate how serious this is.
While appearing with CNN’s Kate Bolduan, New York Times reporter Dave Philipps said that the military believes Trump will try to pardon a Blackwater contractor who was killing multiple people in a traffic circle in Iraq, a Special Forces officer who confessed to killing a detainee in Afghanistan, and multiple snipers who desecrated the corpses of dead Taliban fighters.
Philipps then explained how mass pardons of war criminals on this scale are “unprecedented” in the United States.
“To pardon people who are accused of very serious crimes — premeditated murder, attempted murder — these are the most serious crimes in the military,” he said. “There isn’t anything like that since President Lincoln was alive.”
Watch the video below.
We’ve been living in ‘Game of Thrones’: Ex-CIA official blasts Trump for trying to crush whistleblower
On Thursday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," former CIA Counterterrorism Center Deputy Director Philip Mudd laid into President Donald Trump over his administration's efforts to quash a whistleblower with sensitive information on a promise Trump allegedly made to a foreign leader.
"You watch Game of Thrones on TV ... In the past 24 hours I feel look we've lived it," said Mudd. "Let me give you a take — I'm not sure of any side except the White House is wrong here. The inspector general says, I have something so egregious that I need to act on it, even if it includes activities of the White House. You have the acting DNI saying, that might be egregious activity but if it's White House personnel they don't work for me. I'm supposed to report on people who work for me and activities that might be inappropriate among my employees. Why am I responsible to reporting to Congress on somebody at the White House who is not my employee? I'm not sure anybody is wrong here. Both may be right. The person in the middle, I think, is the president and I think it's going to come out."
White House limiting staff access to Trump’s phone calls to prevent future whistleblowers: CNN
On Thursday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta reported that President Donald Trump has grown furious about the state of White House leaks, and his officials are working to keep as many people in the administration as possible shut out from his phone calls with foreign leaders — precisely to avoid situations like the exploding DNI whistleblower scandal.
"As for the whistleblower complaint that's being kept from Congress, a senior administration official tells CNN as these leaks from these calls have angered Trump, top officials in the West Wing began to limit who could listen in on these conversations so as to tighten the circle of people in the know and what the president has been discussing in some of these phone calls with foreign leaders," said Acosta.
Even CNN’s Republican commentator agrees foreign leaders in his call list ‘is not great’ for Trump
President Donald Trump has found himself embroiled in yet another scandal as his Justice Department is muzzling a whistleblower who raised important concerns about a call between the president and a foreign leader. According to the complaint, the conversation between Trump and the leader was so concerning that it prompted a rare complaint to the inspector general by an intelligence officer.
During a CNN panel discussion, even the Republican commentator agreed that it doesn't look good for Trump. The list of leaders that Trump contacted during the time of this complaint were, Vladimir Putin (Russia), Kim Jong Un (North Korea), Imran Khan (Pakistan), Mark Rutte (Netherlands) and Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (Qatar).