On Tuesday, President Donald Trump visited a natural gas plant in Pennsylvania. After disembarking from a helicopter, the president spoke with reporters, spewing out at least four utterly bizarre statements in just ten minutes.
1. Epstein conspiracy tweet
First, the president doubled down on his retweet of a conspiracy theory that the Clintons killed Jeffrey Epstein.
“Yeah, he’s a highly respected conservative pundit. He’s a big Trump fan,” the president said. “He’s a man who has half a million followers and he’s respected,” the president said.
Although the Bureau of Prisons is conducting an investigation into Epstein’s death in the Manhattan Correctional Center, there’s no evidence the Clintons had him killed. Trump was roundly criticized for promoting a conspiracy theory.
2. Defends Ken Cuccinelli for re-writing The New Colossus poem.
In an interview published Tuesday, US Citizenship and Immigration Services director Ken Cuccinelli revised the iconic poem adorning the State of Liberty. The poem, written by Emma Lazarus, welcomes the world’s “tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
Cuccinelli added a caveat.
“Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge,'” he told Morning Edition. “That plaque was put on the Statue of Liberty at almost the same time as the first public charge was passed — very interesting timing.”
Asked about Cuccinelli’s revision to the poem, the president railed against non-wealthy immigrants.
“I don’t think it’s fair to have the American tax payer … you know, it’s about America first,” the president said. “I don’t think it’s fair to have the American taxpayer pay for people to come into the United States,” he added. “I am tired of seeing our taxpayer pay for people to come into the country that immediately go onto welfare and various other things.”
3. Calls Chris Cuomo an animal.
He then turned to CNN anchor Chris Cuomo. In an incident filmed in a bar, Cuomo goes off on a man who called him ‘Fredo.’ “Punk-ass bitches from the right call me Fredo,” Cuomo told the man. “My name is Chris Cuomo. I’m an anchor on CNN. Fredo is from The Godfather.”
Trump criticized the CNN anchor.
“I think that what Chris Cuomo did was horrible. His language was horrible. He looked like a total, out-of-control animal.”
“And frankly, nobody should defend him, because he spews lies every night.”
“Anyone that’s seen Chris Cuomo would say that was a disgrace. You’d never see me do that,” he said.
4. Wants to know if Bill Clinton went to Jeffrey Epstein’s island
Asked by reporters if he thought the Clintons were responsible for Epstein’s death, Trump declined to refute the conspiracy theory. “I have no idea,” he replied. “I know he was on his plane 27 times — he said he was on the plane four times,” Trump said. “And then the question you have to ask is, did Bill Clinton go to the Island? Because Epstein had an Island and it was not a good place as I understand. And I was never there. So you have to ask. Did Bill Clinton go to the Island? That’s the question. If you find that out, you’re going to know a lot.”
Ex-Defense Secretary lays into Trump’s Syria pullout: He ‘plays into’ authoritarians’ hands to ‘weaken the United States’
On Monday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Leon Panetta blasted President Donald Trump over his foreign policy — particularly his withdrawal from Syria.
"Secretary Panetta, just generally what do you make of how this whole withdrawal, non-withdrawal is being handled by the White House?" asked Cooper. "We're seeing the administration trying to walk back a broad policy announcement from the president."
"I think from the very beginning this has been a — probably the most disastrous foreign policy blunder in recent history," said Panetta. "And there is no way when you commit a blunder like this that involves the consequences we're now seeing, there's no way to paint this picture as if somehow everything's going well."
CNN’s Toobin says all evidence points to Trump running an extortion scheme for political dirt
On Monday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin laid out how all the evidence points to President Donald Trump attempting to extort Ukraine for political dirt — even the evidence Trump himself has put forward to the public voluntarily.
"May 14th, Trump tells Vice President Pence not to attend Zelensky, the Ukrainian president's inauguration," said Cooper. "July 18th, Trump decides to withhold nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine that's already been passed by Congress. July 25th is that Trump and Zelensky phone call. I mean, I don't know if it's, you know, if it begins with the call from Putin, but there certainly is a lot of activity, a lot of dominos falling."
Trump’s attack on congressional legitimacy ‘boggles the mind’: Ex-Whitewater counsel
On Monday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," former Whitewater senior counsel Paul Rosenzweig and anchor Erin Burnett discussed how Alexander Hamilton warned about leaders like Trump in his writings — and the president's stunning declaration of the impeachment probe as "crap" and "illegitimate."
"Historian Ron Chernow, whose biography on Hamilton is the biography, the one used for the Broadway musical, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post," said Burnett. "He says Hamilton, who was a defender of executive power, would have supported impeaching Donald Trump. He cites one of his Federalist Papers, where Hamilton writes, in part, 'When a man unprincipled in his private life, desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper ... when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity to take every opportunity of embarrassing the general government and bringing it under suspicion, it may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.' Hamilton warning such a leader will become a demagogue and a tyrant ... Does it sound like Hamilton, even so long ago, could have been warning about a person like President Trump, Paul?"