On Thursday, House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) spoke with CNN’s Chris Cuomo about the escalating tensions with Iran — and specifically fingered the Trump White House’s mixed signals and missteps as a major cause of the crisis.
“Look, we don’t want war here. I don’t think Iran wants war here,” said Schiff. “So it’s very important that our response, the international response, be a cohesive one, and that we take whatever steps have the least risk of escalating the situation. So I hope that’s the approach that the White House takes.”
However, Schiff continued, “There have been indications that the White House has been at odds with itself, that the president, for example, is reported to have tried to do a diplomatic approach through the Japanese prime minister to reenter negotiations, but at precisely that moment it appears that [National Security Adviser John] Bolton was announcing new sanctions on Iran. Now, that’s a conflicting message, I think, that would leave anyone confused. What are you really trying here, are you making diplomatic overture, or are you really just trying to turn the screws to us?”
“And of course, pulling out the Iran deal blows up the coalition you did have,” adds Cuomo.
“That’s exactly right,” said Schiff. “We can’t ignore the fact the situation we’re in now was eminently predictable. If we caused other nations to once again impose sanctions on Iran, we shouldn’t be surprised Iran is going to leave the deal and go back to enriching, or that we’re going to get these increased tensions or likelihood of conflict. That step, plus the designation of the RGC as a terrorist group, I think was predictable that Iran would lash out on that decision as well.”
CNN’s Cuomo demolishes Rudy Giuliani’s conspiracy theory about Biden and Ukraine
Last week, CNN's Chris Cuomo played host to President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, who went off on a half-intelligible rant about former Vice President Joe Biden and tried to paint him as corrupt for fighting to remove a Ukrainian prosecutor.
"For us it's about whether or not people in power are telling you the truth, and Rudy Giuliani was not telling you the truth on things that matter," said Cuomo. "So we wanted to check the holes in the president's theory several times on this show. It's not just about the Biden family, it about other things that Rudy Giuliani's calling out and we went to the source."
Trump’s Ukraine stunt was just the beginning — he will do whatever it takes to poison the 2020 election
On Monday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," New York Times political editor Patrick Healy dropped an ominous warning about President Donald Trump's push for Ukraine to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden: Trump is going to keep doing this, no matter the circumstance and no matter the Democratic nominee, in his desperation to win re-election.
"The reality is, President Trump has been spreading this what looks like pretty clear misinformation for a while now in terms of these unsubstantiated allegations about Joe Biden," said Healy. "And the reality is, this is how President Trump plans to run his re-election campaign, whether it's Joe Biden or frankly any other Democrat who comes out."
An ‘obvious quid pro quo’ the American people must punish: CNN’s Toobin goes off on Trump’s Ukraine plot
On Monday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin broke down the "obvious" quid pro quo demand in President Donald Trump's attempt to pressure Ukraine into hunting for dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.
"What do you think, Jeffrey?" asked host Wolf Blitzer. "Does it sound like the president tied that military aid to his request to investigate the Bidens?"
"Of course. Of course," said Toobin. "The only reason the Ukrainian president is interested in talking to the president is because he wants this aid. And the president says, as he's acknowledging, go and investigate Biden. This is an obvious quid pro quo, and it's a quid pro quo not for the benefit of the American people, not for the benefit of our national interests — it's a quid pro quo to help Donald Trump get reelected."