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.”
Former CIA operative explains why there’s ‘probably’ a recording of Trump’s call to Ukraine
Former CIA operative Robert Baer warned during a CNN interview that President Donald Trump is going to do whatever he can to hide the transcript of his call with Ukraine from ever being released. He even went so far as to speculate that there's likely a recording of the call.
In a panel discussion Sunday, MSNBC host Ayman Mohyeldin asked if there was a tape of the call.
"I think there probably is one," said Baer. "The whistleblower wouldn’t come forward without good evidence. When you bring a charge against the president of the United States, you better be well-equipped to back that up. Now, I don’t know whether this was an intercepted phone call of the president of Ukraine or it’s a White House transcript itself. But I would imagine this has got so much attention, there’s got to be a transcript out there."
Entire CNN panel beats down Santorum for Ukraine misinformation: ‘You don’t get to decide what the facts are’
Conservative CNN contributor Rick Santorum was called out on Sunday after he seemed to be uneducated about President Donald Trump's attempt to have Ukraine investigate Joe Biden and his son.
During a panel discussion on CNN, Republican contributor Mia Love said that Trump's communication with Ukraine was not "appropriate" if he was looking for campaign help.
"There is no equivalence between Joe Biden and Hunter Biden and what this president has allegedly done," Democratic consultant Karen Finney noted. "The things that were investigated against the Bidens [were] shelved, totally debunked."
Tapper smacks Mnuchin with Trump kids’ international business deals after attack on Biden son
In a fairly contentious interview with Steve Mnuchin, CNN host Jake Tapper pointed out how Donald Trump's children -- Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric -- have been using their father's name to swing international deals after the Treasury secretary accused former Vice President Joe Biden's son of doing the same.
Mnuchin first dismissed reporting by the Washington Post and the conservative Wall Street Journal that Donald Trump was withholding Ukraine funding in an effort to get dirt on Biden and his son -- saying neither newspaper could be trusted -- he then complained to the CNN host about having to spend seven and a half minutes talking about Trump's Ukraine scandal.