On Tuesday, CNN’s John Avlon broke down how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is every bit the obstacle to secure and safe elections as President Donald Trump is.
“There should be things that transcend petty politics, and towards the top of that list is stopping foreign powers from interfering in our elections,” said Avlon, playing a clip of former special counsel Robert Mueller warning about the dangers. “Robert Mueller’s warning is again, falling on willfully deaf ears. We know that foreign powers continue to try to meddle in our elections. Trump’s FBI director and Director of National Intelligence have made this crystal clear.”
“Surely Congress will step up and act responsibly to secure our elections, right? Just kidding, a key group of Senate Republicans is doing everything they can to block, the ringmaster of this circus of denial? Sen. Mitch McConnell. Now, he’s been careful to say that these threats and challenges are real, our responsibility to strengthen America is serious. He’s just not going to actually allow the Senate to do anything about it.”
“Remember, it was McConnell who stopped any bipartisan statement condemning Russian interference in 2016, according to former DNI James Clapper,” said Avlon. “And now the man who calls himself the ‘grim reaper’ has killed common-sense legislation from every side of the aisle on election security, including mandatory sanctions on anyone who attacks an American election, a billion dollars to state and local authorities to strengthen election security, the Honest Ads Act, which would require big tech platforms like Facebook to disclose who’s buying political ads, bills that would require backup paper ballots, and duty-to-report legislation that would require campaigns to report foreign interference.”
“The last effort was blocked singlehandedly by Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn, who said no one wants foreign interference of any kind, but that bill was overbroad and should be done in a bipartisan way,” said Avlon. “The unanimous consent effort she killed was bipartisan, and her Heisman was immediately hailed by president Trump. Now she’s being joined by Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski.”
“Make no mistake, this Senate inaction is a derelict of duty, empowering our enemies at a time when FBI Director Chris Wray says more countries like China are getting into the game, and what we have experienced in the past is a dress rehearsal for what’s coming next,” warned Avlon. “Any senator blocking election security efforts is short-term politics. They’re betting you won’t notice or remember until after the next election. At that point, it may be too late. Bottom line, there can be no political excuse for failing to defend our democracy period, and that’s your reality check.”
Trump balked at full pardon for Roger Stone over fears of Justice Department ‘backlash’: CNN legal analyst
President Donald Trump's former political strategist Roger Stone claims that he asked for a commutation of his prison sentence, rather than a full pardon, because a pardon would have implied an acknowledgement of guilt whereas a commutation would still allow him to seek for the original conviction to be thrown out.
But on CNN Saturday, criminal defense attorney Page Pate suggested it may have played out differently: Stone may have actually wanted a full pardon, but Trump was spooked out of offering one.
"Page, this situation, I guess, is not entirely surprising. It's been signaled for some time," said correspondent Abby Phillip. "But what is different about this, I think a lot of people were expecting a pardon here. Roger Stone said he wanted his sentence commuted because he didn't want to admit guilt. What is the significance of that?"
WATCH: Doctor laughs at Trump’s bizarre boast about passing a cognitive test
Arthur Caplan of New York University School of Medicine, who holds seven honorary degrees from colleges and medical schools, couldn't help but chuckle when discussing President Donald Trump's recent comments about passing a cognitive test.
"I actually took one very recently when, you know, the radical left was saying, 'Is he all there? Is he all there?' I proved I was all there, because I aced it,” Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday night. “I aced the test... I took it at Walter Reed Medical Center in front of doctors and they were very surprised. They said, ‘That’s an unbelievable thing. Rarely does anyone do what you just did.'"
Trump’s New Hampshire rally is an act of ‘biological warfare’: Portsmouth police commissioner
President Donald Trump's planned rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire has been postponed -- and one public official in the city says that holding it would have been an act of "biological warfare."
Appearing on CNN with host Kate Bolduan, Portsmouth Police Commissioner Stefany Shaheen outlined her concerns about having a large crowd of rowdy Trump supporters gathered into a tight space this weekend.
"I definitely took notice when you called the rally that is set for tomorrow as 'biological warfare,'" Bolduan said. "What is your biggest concern with the president holding a rally in your city tomorrow?"