Republican members of Congress have had different responses to President Donald Trump’s overtly racist attack on four Democratic women in Congress: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York City, Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts — all of whom he told to go back to the countries they came from (three were born in the U.S., and all four are U.S. citizens). Many Republicans in Congress have avoided speaking out, while a minority of them have condemned Trump’s comments and some have passionately defended them. One of the defenders, Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, was grilled by CNN’s Jim Sciutto on Tuesday and insisted that there was nothing racist about Trump’s comments.
Appearing on CNN, the Kentucky Republican acknowledged to Sciutto that Trump’s comments against the congresswomen “probably are divisive” as well as “politically incorrect” but stressed, “I do not take the comments as racist.” And Sciutto grilled Comer aggressively, asking him if he wants to live in a country where those who criticize a sitting president are asked to leave.
“This is a country founded on political disagreement and the right to express it,” Sciutto told Comer. And Comer responded that that Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, Omar and Pressley “are the new face of the Democrat Party. They are trying to take the Democrat Party in a socialist direction.”
Sciutto shot back that the congresswomen are only four women among “more than 220” Democrats in Congress, where one finds a “diversity of opinion” among Democrats. Comer replied, “What I think the president was trying to imply was that if you’re not proud of America, if you do not want to stand when the National Anthem is being played — if you’re ashamed of the way that our country is operated — you’re more than welcome to leave the country.”
Sciutto quickly called out Comer’s hypocrisy, noting that when Trump appeared on Bill O’Reilly’s former show on Fox News, “The O’Reilly Factor,” in 2017, O’Reilly questioned him about his support for Russian President Vladimir Putin — and Trump said, “Well, you think our country is so innocent?”
“That’s the sitting president of the United States comparing America to an authoritarian country, Russia,” Sciutto asserted. “That’s criticism. Does he hate America for making that comment?”
Comer gave an evasive response, saying, “I don’t think anyone in America would agree with 100% of what President Trump says. I don’t think anyone in America would agree with 100% of what any of the Democrats say.”
Asked if he would vote in favor of a Democratic House resolution denouncing Trump’s comments as racist, Comer told Sciutto that he was absolutely opposed to the resolution.
Watch the video here:
Trump slammed for lawless obstruction of Congress: ‘He’s taken a sledgehammer to the Constitution’
On CNN Saturday, former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman (D-NY), who voted for the articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon, discussed the path forward for impeaching President Donald Trump.
"We know moderate Democrats are a bit frustrated with leadership over potentially expanding the scope of their consideration, maybe the Mueller report findings and drawing up these articles of impeachment," said anchor Victor Blackwell. "Do you think it's a mistake not to include anything beyond the Ukraine matter?"
"Yes," said Holtzman. "I think it would be a mistake, although, you know, I'm still at a distance, and the members of the committee really have to, who have been digging into this deeply have the best feel, but my sense is that the, what the president did is so egregious, not just with regard to Ukraine, but what part of what's bad about his activities in Ukraine, is that he's taken a sledgehammer to the Constitution by saying that Congress has no right to get information, and he's cut off his committee, his administration from, and ordered and directed them not to cooperate with the committee in any way."
Giuliani pummeled by ex-press secretary for ‘returning to the scene of the crime’ to create Ukraine chaos
On CNN Saturday, Rudy Giuliani's former mayoral press secretary Ken Frydman harshly criticized his former boss for his ongoing efforts in the Ukraine scheme.
"As you've watched the former mayor over the last several years, have you identified a point at which things shifted for the man who I guess still is for some known at America's Mayor?" asked anchor Victor Blackwell."
"Well, yeah. I think when he went into business with Donald Trump," said Frydman. "You saw a — a severe change in his personality. He had a zealous need to make money, to be relevant. To be part of the political process. And you know right now he's making, I think, ill-advised decisions, like returning to the scene of the crime, Ukraine, to make a propagandist documentary. Almost as if he's playing, he and the president, are playing, 'catch me if you can.' The president will not participate in the impeachment hearings, and Rudy is off in the Ukraine doubling down."
‘I haven’t had a personal cell phone for years’: Trump demands retraction from CNN — in tweet sent from his iPhone
On Thursday, The Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump had spoken to Rudy Giuliani over unsecured phone lines.
If he was using an unsecured phone to talk to Giuliani about Ukraine, Trump would effectively be allowing the Russians to listen in.
CNN confirmed the unsecured phone use, reporting "President Donald Trump has continued to use his personal cell phone to make calls, despite repeated warnings from his staff that the practice could leave him vulnerable to foreign surveillance, multiple officials told CNN."