On Wednesday’s edition of CNN’s “OutFront,” former CIA operative Bob Baer destroyed President Donald Trump’s claims that ISIS fighters in Syria have mostly been recaptured.
“Okay. So you heard him, right? They’ve been largely recaptured and there were only a few who got out,” said anchor Erin Burnett. “Unfortunately, it’s not true. His own special envoy for Syria and the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS an hour before the president said that, said the exact opposite thing about the escaped ISIS fighters.”
“We would say that the number is now over a hundred,” said Ambassador James Jeffrey in the clip. “We do not know where they are.”
“So who do you believe? The president, relatively few and they’ve been largely recaptured, or the guy in charge, it’s been largely 100 and we don’t know where they are?” said Burnett. “I’m pretty stunned, Bob, to hear this. This is just ridiculous. It’s completely the opposite thing. Does the president not know the truth? Did he just lie?”
“Oh, Erin, I think he’s long ago left the fact-based world,” said Baer. “I mean, I don’t know what happens to somebody his age, by the way, I know Jim Jeffrey and the man’s brilliant and he doesn’t make things up, and if he says a hundred are gone of probably high-value ISIS members, he’s right, and that’s not to mention pulling our troops out. We don’t know where the rest are.”
“The Kurds at this point are so dispirited, we’ve been fighting with them for four or five years. Lost tens of thousands of people and you just picked up and left, you know,” added Baer. “Anything can happen. This situation is so fluid it’s impossible to predict where it’s going to go.”
Republicans have ‘very little ground to stand on’ to attack Taylor and Kent: Ex-FBI deputy director
On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe broke down why it was all but impossible for Republicans to attack the credibility of diplomats William Taylor and George Kent during their impeachment testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.
"They have very little ground to stand on to attack these gentlemen," said McCabe. "Particularly in the case of Taylor, he is backed up assiduously by a contemporaneous record. He's got his handwritten notes and he's got the texts messages that he sent the time. So when he tells you, I was shocked by what I heard on the phone call, you know that's true because at the time, he sent a contemporaneous text."
White House is happy GOP lawmakers said Trump is too incompetent to do a quid pro quo: CNN’s Jim Acosta
On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta reported that the White House is happy with how Republicans defended President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill — even though their central talking point was that the president tried to engage in a quid pro quo with Ukraine but failed.
"The White House officials that responded back to the president said that they thought he had a great day when it comes to this hearing up on Capitol Hill," said Acosta. "They don't see any damage done to the president after this first day of testimony."
"I will tell you, though, Anderson, the talking points are shifting," added Acosta. "White House officials I spoke to this evening said that they were pleasantly surprised by the performance turned in by some of these GOP lawmakers who were essentially saying, well, this was an attempted quid pro quo, it wasn't a quid pro quo, so, therefore, it's not impeachable. So, Anderson, their talking points have shifted once again. They've gone from saying there was no quid pro quo to, well, an attempted quid pro quo isn't that bad after all."
Southern District prosecutors watched impeachment hearing to decide whether to charge Giuliani: CNN reporter
The first publicly televised impeachment hearing was aired to millions of people on Tuesday. But it wasn't just citizens who were watching, suggested justice correspondent Evan Perez on CNN's "The Situation Room" — it was federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, who are currently investigating President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
"Both of [the witnesses], Kent and Taylor, they weighed in on the role of Rudy Giuliani in all this diplomacy," said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "What do you think?"
"Look, I think that's the key part of his testimony," said Perez. "I think we want to hear more from some of the other witnesses, including Ambassador Yovanovitch, and certainly Gordon Sondland, this is part of the story, the story Democrats are laying out for the impeachment inquiry. There is also another part of this, Wolf. I think the prosecutors in the Southern District of New York ... are watching this testimony today, no doubt, and trying to see whether it fits into the criminal investigation still ongoing in which Giuliani is the center of."