On Monday, former CIA officer Bob Baer told CNN’s Erin Burnett that he had never heard of a situation before like the new reports that intelligence officials concealed information from President Donald Trump about efforts to plant malware in the Russian power grid.
“It is pretty stunning, the reporting here that they didn’t tell him everything that they were doing because they were worried that he would tell the Russians themselves or make them stop doing it,” said Burnett. “Could you imagine a scenario like this?”
“Never,” said Baer. “In all my years in intelligence and around it and studying it and the rest, I have never heard of an operation intentionally kept away from the president. It just doesn’t happen, ever. I know of no circumstances, and I’m talking 50, 60 years, that this has ever occurred.”
“When I was in the CIA, we had a channel when we thought something was particularly sensitive that involved the security of the United States we could send it right to the White House,” Baer added. “It went to the Situation Room and landed on the president’s desk by law. So for the Pentagon or Cyber Command or whoever kept this away from the president is stunning. Truly, it is.”
“What does it tell you that they would make such a move?” Burnett pressed him. “That they would keep President Trump intentionally in the dark about details of what they were doing, aggressively, against Russia?”
“Erin, they don’t trust him,” said Baer. “He goes to Mar-a-Lago, talks about operations. He invites the Russian ambassador into the Oval Office, talks about compartmented operations. And on and on and on. If you if have anything to do with Russia in the government whether the FBI or Pentagon, it’s self-defensive to keep it out of the president’s hands.”
“I’m remembering back to remember the sensitive operation in Syria and he shared information with the Russian foreign minister, which apparently Israel was worried could have put commando lives at risk,” said Burnett. “If he knew the details and overruled the intelligence community or shared these details in any way with a foreign official, how bad would that be?”
“It’s terrible,” said Baer. “These things are top secret. The hacking codes are supposed to be clandestine. Now that the Russians know that there’s malware in their power grids, they can find it. It’s going to set back the national security agency, the Pentagon and everybody else. These steps are well tightly held, only to be shared in the White House with the president, and national security adviser. And now we know. But what really disturbs me is not trusting the president. I have never seen that before. I wonder what is going on inside the government.”
‘Martyrdom for snowflakes’: CNN analyst knocks Republicans who desperately wanted to be arrested at protest
CNN host Don Lemon reported Wednesday evening that many Republicans wanted to be arrested for storming the secure room where the House Intelligence Committee depositions were taking place.
Fox News reporter Chad Pergram tweeted that he was told "there was never any chance [members] who barged into SCIF would be arrested by [capital police], but some members asked to be arrested. They wanted the optic of being frog-marched out of the SCIF in front of TV cameras. That would help w/GOP narrative of Dem process abuse."
Commentator Wajahat Ali called it the perfect example of "martyrdom for snowflakes."
WATCH: CNN’s Don Lemon bursts out laughing over Trump’s new wall in Colorado
CNN's Don Lemon typically deals with difficult and intense topics at the top of his weekly show. Wednesday night, however, after a serious opener about Syria and ISIS, Lemon broke into hysterics over President Donald Trump's flub saying he would build a border wall on Colorado's border.
"You know why we're going to win New Mexico? Because they want safety on our border. And they didn't have it," said Trump. "And we're building a wall on the border of New Mexico. And we're building a wall in Colorado. We're building a beautiful wall, a big one that really works — you can't get over, you can't get under. And we're building a wall in Texas. And we're not building a wall in Kansas, but they get the benefit of the walls that we just mentioned. And Louisiana's incredible."
CNN’s Cuomo obliterates GOP congressman who raided SCIF in impeachment hearing
On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," Chris Cuomo brought on Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH), one of the Republicans who participated in the raid on the secure room where the Intelligence Committee was conducting impeachment hearings. And Johnson's attempt to defend his behavior did not go well.
"Congressman, did you bring a phone in there?" asked Cuomo.
"We headed down that hallway to demand to be able to do our job. That's what we were there for," said Johnson. "There is no classified information being discussed in that room. It is a classified facility, if classified is being discussed, but there was no classified information being discussed there ... You know, a Republican speaker gave that due process and fairness to President Clinton. A Democrat speaker gave that fairness and due process to Richard Nixon. So what do they have to hide, Chris?"