On Friday, Ukraine special envoy Kurt Volker, a respected career diplomat, resigned from the State Department as questions swirled about his involvement with President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani in the Ukraine affair.
On CNN Saturday, former CIA Russian operations chief Steve Hall walked through the situation Volker now finds himself in — and what he must do.
“We know Volker will be questioned next week by the House Foreign Affairs Committee,” said anchor Christi Paul. “Do you believe that he’ll incriminate Giuliani, and is this a big loss?”
“This is a really complicated story, I think, for a lot of viewers,” said Hall. “It happens in a very far-flung part of the world. Ukraine, which is in an existential position with Russia, which of course really wants to absorb the entirety of Ukraine, they already cut off a chunk of the country when they took [Crimea]. So the United States is really the primary force that allows Ukraine to remain as a country in Europe. We are the ones who are supporting them against Russia, or at least that’s what should be doing and that’s what we had been doing for a number of years. Guys like Volker and other professionals like the former Ambassador Ivanovich was fired by the president, are, I think, a positive influence in terms of the expertise and understanding of how complicated that region is.”
“But clearly, with Giuliani’s involvement and president saying what he did to the newly elected, very inexperienced president of Ukraine, it seems to me — and hopefully we will hear from him to discuss further what his thinking process was — it seems to me he just said ‘Look, this is kind of a mess and I don’t know that I want to be a part of it.’ We’ll find out whether there’s any more of that or what he’s willing to say about the work he was doing either with Giuliani, or perhaps around or despite Giuliani. We need to hear more from him about that. It will be very interesting to see what he says.”
Republicans are terrified of having to think for themselves once Trump is gone: S.E. Cupp
On CNN Monday, conservative commentator S.E. Cupp argued that GOP lawmakers are not just scared of retribution for not standing with outgoing President Donald Trump; they are also scared of having to define what they stand for as a party without him telling them what to believe.
"For the past four years, we, especially in the media, have heard Republicans in private are XYZ — disgusted, disturbed, troubled — but publicly, very silent, except in these moments where it really doesn't count, where everyone is doing it," said Cupp. "I think, in fact, if I write another book, I will call it 'In private: the great cowardice of Trump's GOP.'"
‘No hands to play’: Harvard Law professor says even competent lawyers wouldn’t have saved Trump’s case
On Monday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe argued that President Donald Trump's legal case to overturn the presidential election results was doomed to fail — even if he had had more knowledgeable and skilled legal counsel.
"Let me ask you about the breaking news from the GSA," said anchor Erin Burnett. "Emily Murphy, Trump appointee, said she was not pressured to do anything. Trump obviously seems to be clearly taking credit, I recommended she do this, I am the one calling the shots. You have been very clear that this withholding of a transition from the GSA and Emily Murphy, as the chief, could have been in violation of federal law. Do you believe any laws were broken in this delay?"
Trump becomes ‘hermit-in-chief’ as he hides from reporters amid election court losses: CNN’s Acosta
On CNN Monday, chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta broke down how President Donald Trump's loss is starting to sink in for the president, his advisers, and his party.
"Becoming something of a hermit-in-chief, President Trump steered clear of the cameras yet again and was even unusually silent on social media much of the day, as more top Republicans slam President Trump's legal team for serving up nothingburgers in his quest to upend the 2020 election," said Acosta. "Even though some of the president's advisers urged him to dump attorney Sidney Powell from his legal team, it's unclear whether that will satisfy close allies like former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who are losing patience with Mr. Trump's efforts to cling to power."