On Tuesday’s edition of CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time,” anchor Chris Cuomo pushed back on former Trump deputy assistant and Center for Security Policy analyst Fred Fleitz for suggesting the whistleblower against President Donald Trump’s Ukraine call coordinated his complaint with House Democrats.
“I’ve seen a number of whistleblower complaints with the CIA and House Intelligence Committee,” said Fleitz. “When I saw this one, I thought it was very unusual, not just that it was extremely well-written, but it had legal references and footnotes. That was a little unusual. I compared that with the fact that [Intelligence Committee Chairman] Adam Schiff was talking about the subject matter of this complaint throughout the month of August. He posted a tweet at the end of August almost identically reflected this complaint. I know whistle-blowers frequently come directly to the committee. They’re not supposed to, but it happens all the time.”
“I put this out on Twitter,” added Fleitz. “The day that I did, a senior staffers, a Republican, told me ‘We think you’re exactly right, this was a group project and my colleagues were involved,’ and a senior member of the House Intelligence Committee, also a Republican, said ‘We think you’re right on target, and we want to ask this whistleblower under oath, how did you put this together, who did you work on with it, and did you work on this with House Intelligence Committee Democrat [sic] lawyers?'”
“All right, but just to be clear, at this point, you don’t know any of that,” said Cuomo. “You’re raising it as questions, but as a guy who worked in the intelligence business you know that that is meaningless until you can put some meat on the bones. Of course the Republicans are agreeing with you. That’s the whole state of play right now — anything you say that’s negative about this guy, or this woman, they’re going to pick up on.”
“You can say that, Chris, but I’m an analyst,” said Fleitz. “Analysts draw conclusions. I looked at the evidence—”
“But what’s the proof?” cut in Cuomo. “Legalese in the writing?”
“I said it wasn’t just the legalese, it was my experience, it was what Schiff said in August, it was my discussions with members and staff of this committee,” said Fleitz. “I might be wrong but I gave my opinion based on my experience.”
“I hear you,” said Cuomo. “I’m just saying, they said they like what you’re saying. They didn’t give you any proof of the same, right?”
Fleitz sat in silence for several seconds, and then said, “As I said, I gave my analysis. I’m an analyst. I look at the facts and I draw conclusions based on my experience, based on my experience working on the House Intelligence Committee.”
“I hear you,” said Cuomo. “I’m just saying, I would want to hear more facts about it. The fact about the tweet with Adam Schiff, I don’t know if it echoes anything, and nor do you.”
CNN’s Cuomo smacks down GOP congressman for claiming Democrats have no impeachable offense on Trump
On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) tried to claim that Democrats had no impeachable offenses against Trump — and anchor Chris Cuomo promptly fact-checked him.
"I still ask that question, what was the impeachable offense?" said Mullin. "They started with quid pro quo, moved to bribery and when the articles of impeachment came out, they say it's high crimes and misdemeanors. From day one they have been in search of a crime. They've been trying to explain to the American people why they're impeaching a duly elected president. Underneath the past impeachments it was very clear. Clinton committed perjury. Andrew Johnson, he removed the Secretary of War illegally and Nixon broke into the DNC. Those are impeachable offenses. I ask the question—"
Trump and Barr’s attacks could chill the FBI from investigating future election crimes: Ex-FBI counsel
On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," former FBI general counsel James Baker warned that President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr's attempts to smear and discredit the FBI — even in the face of an inspector general report broadly exonerating their investigation of Russia — could lead to FBI agents steering away from investigations of future election interference.
"I think it sends a terrible message," said Baker. "The president's statements, I think in his tweet, whenever it was, about Director Wray — I mean, the FBI is not a 'broken' organization. It is not and has not been. It's a tremendous organization. It's out there every day defending America. So the American people should rest assured that the FBI is there, doing its job. It's protecting all of us."
Bill Barr is acting as ‘the president’s lawyer’ against the agency he is supposed to be leading: Ex-FBI deputy director
On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe excoriated Attorney General William Barr for trying to poison public perception of the FBI — even as his own department's inspector general debunked right-wing conspiracies of an FBI-centric "deep state" working to bring down President Donald Trump.
"The attorney general of the United States is saying others, but also you, acted in bad faith," said anchor Erin Burnett.
"That's absolutely false," said McCabe. "It didn't happen. I know that. I didn't need the IG to tell me that. But it's good the IG reported there is no situations of that what so far."