During a segment on White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham extolling Donald Trump's "genius," former Bill Clinton administration official Joe Lockhart expressed disgust with the people still left in the White House defending the president, saying they are part of a cult of personality.
Speaking with hosts John Berman and Alisyn Camerota, Lockhart was asked both about Grisham's comment and former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly's assertion that Trump should not have surrounded himself with "yes men."
"I want to bounce this off of you, Joe, because you spoke for a former president," host Camerota began. "So here's the press secretary, she said, 'I worked with John Kelly and he was totally unequipped to handle the genius of our great president.'"
"How many times did you use phrasing like that when you spoke for the president, Joe?" the incredulous CNN host added.
"I'd say exactly zero," Lockhart shot back. "This is language that we expect out of North Korea and cults of personality authoritarian regimes and it shows that there's an audience of only one for all of these people."
"They only care about the president, they don't care about the truth or what anyone else thinks," Lockhart continued. "You know the really staggering thing about what John Kelly said was 'Mr. President, left to your own devices you'll do something criminal or impeachable.' "
"There is a context for that and it is his campaign," Lockhart pointed out. "His campaign chairman is in jail. You look at the Trump Organization, the lawyer for the Trump Organization is in jail and now you have the president's personal lawyer under criminal investigation. The thing that ties all this together is they're all working at the direction of Donald Trump. So, Kelly was right, he needed someone there to keep him from committing crimes."