On Thursday’s edition of CNN’s “The Situation Room,” chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta gave Wolf Blitzer a harsh assessment of President Donald Trump’s attempts to disown the chants of “Send Her Back!” directed at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) at his rally in North Carolina the previous day.
“President Trump is now gaslighting his way out of the mess he started with his racist tweets,” said Acosta. “Today, the president claimed he tried to put a stop to the ‘Send Her Back!’ chants coming from his crowd in North Carolina last night, but that’s not true. Unlike the president, the video doesn’t lie.”
“President Trump is finding out there’s no going back after ‘Send Her Back!'” Acosta continued in a voiceover. “The president tried to fudge his way around accusations that he didn’t do enough to stop chants of ‘Send Her Back!’ aimed at Congresswoman Omar at his rally in North Carolina.” He played a clip of Trump saying, “I felt a little bit badly about it, but I will say this, I did — and I started speaking very quickly.”
“But that’s not true. Watch the video. The president paused and allowed the chants to continue for a full 13 seconds as he attacked Omar.” He played a clip of Trump accusing her of “vicious, anti-Semitic screeds,” and pausing to let the crowd roar.
Even though Trump is now trying to pretend it was all the crowd’s idea, Acosta noted, “the crowd was essentially echoing the president’s racist tweet from earlier in the week, when he told four Democratic women of color to go back to where they came from. Asked a second time about the chant, the president praised his audience and then blasted the congresswomen once again.”
“These are people who love our country,” said Trump in the clip. “I want them to keep loving our country, and I think the congresswomen, by the way, should be more positive than they are. The congresswomen have a lot of problems.”
“But the president’s targets aren’t holding back, either,” said Acosta, playing clips of the Democratic congresswomen he attacked.
“I believe he is fascist,” said Omar. “This is not about me. This is about us fighting for what this country truly should be and what it deserves to be.”
“His rhetoric is endangering people,” said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). “It’s not just about threats to individual members of Congress, but it is about creating a volatile environment in this country.”
Trump’s lawyers slammed by CNN’s Toobin for ‘parade of lies’ about Biden’s involvement in Ukraine
On CNN Monday, chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin argued that the White House team's defense in the impeachment trial was disastrously bad.
"I thought Attorney General [Pam] Bondi did an effective job of showing how sleazy the hiring of Hunter Biden was," acknowledged Toobin. However, he added "her discussion, and Eric Herschmann's discussion, of the role of Joe Biden, vice president at the time, was a parade of lies. Just outrageously false in every fact, in every insinuation ... this idea that he engineered the fire firing of [Ukrainian prosecutor] Viktor Shokin to get his son in. Since Joe Biden is the one who is running for president, that seems to be enormously important."
White House lawyer says politicians must separate their business and political interests — even though Trump never has
On Monday, White House lawyer Eric Herschmann tried to change the subject of the impeachment trial to GOP conspiracy theories about Hunter Biden's work for Ukraine — and made an impassioned argument for overhauling ethics laws to prevent conflicts of interest for senior government officials.
"I actually think that this is something that is undisputed, that Ukraine had a particularly bad corruption problem," said Herschmann. "It was so corrupt that dealing with corruption and solving the corruption was a priority for our U.S. foreign policy. Here is how one knowledgeable observer of Ukraine put it in 2015. Quote, 'It is not enough to set up a new anti-corruption bureau and establish a prosecutor fight corruption, the office of prosecutor general needs to be reformed, and the judiciary needs to be overhauled, and the energy sector needs to be competitive and ruled by market principles and not sweetheart deals. It is not enough to push through the laws to increase transparency with regard to the official sources of income. Senior elected officials have to remove all conflicts between their business interests and their government responsibilities.'"
CNN’s Tapper astonished by Trump lawyers’ gaslighting: ‘They’re acting like senators don’t read the news!’
CNN's Jake Tapper on Monday expressed astonishment that President Donald Trump's attorneys went through their entire presentations without once mentioning the explosive reports about former national security adviser John Bolton's upcoming book.
Even though Bolton's book reportedly undermines the entire White House impeachment defense by claiming that Trump directly linked military aid to Ukraine with investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden, none of the lawyers arguing on the president's behalf before the Senate on Monday made a single mention of it.
Reacting to this, Tapper said that it defied credibility to believe that Senators watching the Trump lawyers' presentation did not have reports about Bolton's upcoming book in the backs of their minds.