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.”
‘Barr is a toady’: Jeffrey Toobin says talk of attorney general resigning is ‘just a big show’
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin says he doesn't believe Attorney General William Barr when he claims he considered resigning from the Trump administration.
Sources close to Barr told ABC News that the attorney general had contemplated quitting because President Donald Trump's tweets make it difficult for him to do his job.
"Barr is a toady," Toobin explained during an appearance on CNN. "Barr is doing what he's told. He had this one statement, 'Oh, whoa is me, it's hard for me to do my job when the president tweets.'"
‘That’s how authoritarian countries work’: CNN’s Toobin warns Trump is acting like a dictator
On CNN Wednesday, legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin broke down the significance of President Donald Trump's decision to pardon several high-powered friends accused of political corruption and tax crimes.
"There is no doubt, under the Constitution, the president has the power to do this," said Toobin. "This is not legally a — an open question. And there is a history of controversial pardons, whether it's President Clinton pardoning Marc Rich, a fugitive financier, or George Herbert Walker Bush pardoning the Iran-Contra people on his way out of the office."
"So what makes this so troubling is in the middle of his term, here he is assigning friends, basically friends and friends of friends, to get pardons and clemency, which is how authoritarians behave, which is playing favorites with your personal friends at a time when you are playing with the opposite of favorites with prosecutorial decisions," said Toobin. "I want these people prosecuted, these people freed — that's how authoritarian countries work. Countries where there is the rule of law, there are systems in place for who gets prosecuted, who gets clemency. This is a very individually-focused way to run a presidency."
GOP’s portrayal of Trump as a corruption fighter torn to shreds as ‘complete nonsense’
Republicans who defended President Donald Trump during impeachment hearings insisted that he wasn't trying to shake down the Ukrainian government to investigate his political foes, but was instead sincerely concerned about fighting corruption abroad.
CNN's John Avlon, however, argued on Wednesday that Trump showed these claims were "complete nonsense" after he unleashed a slew of pardons and commutations for corrupt former public officials, including former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who both were sent to prison after being found guilty of abusing their offices for personal gain.