On Thursday’s edition of CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” Cooper slammed President Donald Trump with a list of occasions on which the president shared sensitive intelligence information with foreign officials, in light of the growing whistleblower scandal centering partly on a phone call he had with a foreign leader.
“As for the president, he tweeted this: ‘Virtually anytime I speak on the phone to a foreign leader, I understand that there may be many people listening from various U.S. agencies, not to mention those from the other country itself. No problem! Knowing all of this, is anybody dumb enough to believe that I would say something inappropriate with a foreign leader while on such a potentially ‘heavily populated’ call,'” said Cooper. “Whether the president is in his own words, ‘dumb enough,’ that’s unclear. But his larger denial would certainly be easier to swallow if it weren’t for some of what we know he has done when he’s not surrounded by witnesses.”
“We know that he did reveal classified information to Russia’s ambassador and foreign minister in a conversation we only learned about through Russian media,” said Cooper. “We know on other occasions the president had spoken to Vladimir Putin without note-takers in the room, something no modern president has done before. We also know, in a story broken by CNN’s Jim Sciutto, that the U.S. intelligence has extracted a top Kremlin asset, in part reportedly out of concern the president might blow his cover. So there is that.”
“There is also the broader question of whether you can take what the president says at face value. He tells so many obvious and checkable untruths, including this,” said Cooper, playing a clip of Trump boasting, “I was the most transparent and am transparent president in history.”
“Well, all that said, the Constitution gives any president, truthful or not, transparent or not, broad authority to conduct foreign policy,” added Cooper. “The law gives a president almost unlimited authority to declassify intelligence if he or she wants to.”
’Let ‘em go’: Ex-police commissioner lays into Buffalo cops who quit Emergency Response Team
On CNN Friday, former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey slammed the 57 Buffalo police officers who resigned from the city's Emergency Response Team in solidarity with a pair of officers investigated for shoving an elderly man to the ground and then lying about it.
"If they want to resign, they should resign from the department," said Ramsey. "They don't have a vote in what unit they're in or the running of that department. They would not be allowed to step down from those positions. If they want to resign from the police department, let 'em go, and I would not bring them back, it just means you have some slots you have to fill. That kind of stuff is ridiculous and can't be tolerated."
Trump accused by ex-Defense Secretary of putting US on ‘the trail toward a dictatorship’
During an appearance on CNN on Friday morning, former Defense Secretary William Cohen - who also served in the U.S. Senate as a Republican -- denounced Donald Trump in no uncertain terms, saying his use of military personnel against anti-police brutality protesters is a sign he has set the country on the path to a dictatorship.
To emphasize his point, he later called Trump the "dictator-in-chief."
Speaking with host Jim Sciutto, Cohen didn't mince words after the CNN host noted that the president and his former attorney called the protesters "terrorists."
"What does it mean for you to hear a sitting president dismissing a whole range of protesters, who in fact were largely peaceful around the White House, dismissing a whole range of them as terrorists? What does that mean to you?" the CNN host asked.
Richmond mayor schools white lawmaker complaining removal of Confederate statue strips her of her history
Appearing on CNN's "New Day" on Friday morning, the mayor of Richmond, Virginia set a white state lawmaker straight over her comments that the imminent removal of a statue commemorating Confederate General Robert E. Lee was erasing her history.
Speaking with host John Berman, Mayor Levar Stoney expressed pleasure at the upcoming removal of the massive statue, saying it was a long overdue -- before the interview turned to comments made by State Senator Amanda Chase (R) made in a Facebook post.
Noting that the white lawmaker complained, "Let's be honest here, there is an overt effort here to erase all-white history," Stoney had a few words for the lawmaker.