On Thursday’s edition of CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” a panel discussed how White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney’s press briefing was a disaster for President Donald Trump.
“Can I just point out why this matters?” said CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. “I mean, this is not just some gotcha thing because we all want to get something on the chief of staff. Here we have congressionally appropriated money. Congress says give this money to the Ukrainians. Taxpayer money. And what the White House has done and what they admitted today was, you only get the money if you help us win the election. Not because you help us [with] national security, international relations. The only thing we want from you is help to defeat Democrats. That is wrong. That’s why this matters.”
“What Mulvaney is claiming is that our interest in — our interest in finding out about the server about Ukraine and what was really behind the hacks of the DNC, not Russia, Mulvaney is claiming, Jeff, that’s all about corruption in Ukraine, when it’s not at all. It’s about a benefit for the president,” said Cooper.
“Well, that’s right,” said Toobin. “Out of all the things you could talk about — and Ukraine certainly has corruption problems — the only thing they’re talking about is this weird obsession with this fake story about the 2016 election. Now I do think in fairness, I should say, that Mulvaney lied about the Biden side of things.”
“Of course he did,” agreed Cooper.
“I think he clearly lied about that,” said Toobin. “Because we have that from the president’s own mouth in the partial transcript, that what they really wanted was dirt to use not about 2016. What they really wanted was dirt to use against Joe Biden today.”
“The reason he lied about that is because he knows that is incredibly damning,” said Cooper. “You can’t even spin ‘find me dirt on Joe Biden’ as anti-corruption in Ukraine. It’s just, you know — and the president by the way hasn’t done Mulvaney any favors on that by going out again calling for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and China too.”
Republicans are treating voters like ‘children’ with their defense of Trump: Ex-presidential adviser
On Thursday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," former presidential adviser David Gergen laid into Republican lawmakers for claiming that the impeachment probe is only based on "hearsay."
"The Republicans are treating us like idiots," said Gergen. "They just — they say you're only bringing forth hearsay. You don't have any firsthand information. We know there are three people who know exactly what happened. One is named [Rudy] Giuliani. One is chief of staff [Mick] Mulvaney and the third is [John] Bolton. And what's happened here? They all three have been called. The president said no, you must not talk. So the Republicans then come up and say, well, you only have hearsay."
Former GOP lawmaker criticizes his party’s impeachment stance: They ‘seem to be okay with not knowing all the facts’
On Thursday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," former FBI official and Nevada Republican state Sen. Greg Brower broke down one of his key frustrations with how his party is handling the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
"I'm a Republican who has never agreed with everything in the Republican Party platform. Most of it I did, and that's why I was a Republican elected official, and felt comfortable as one, but things have changed," said Brower. "I guess what I'm most surprised at is the number of Republicans, both in Congress and just out there in the country, who seem to be okay with not knowing all the facts, who seem to be okay with the president directing witnesses who clearly have information relevant to this inquiry, directing them to not cooperate and testify."
Here’s why Trump’s appeal to the Supreme Court to keep his tax returns secret could back him into a corner
On Thursday, President Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court to step in and block New York prosecutors from obtaining his tax returns, with his lawyers arguing the president is immune from all criminal investigation while in office.
But on CNN's "The Situation Room," Washington Post reporter David Swerdlick argued that this line of defense is counterproductive to Trump in the long term.
"I think immunity is actually the weaker argument," said Swerdlick. "I think if I were the president's legal team, I would be making the argument that this is a fishing expedition, that this is politically motivated. Because even if the court says, look, the state of New York can't get it, they still have to address the issue of the House Ways and Means Committee chair asking for the president's tax returns, and there is a federal statute there, 26 U.S.C. § 6103, that says the House Ways and Means chair, the Senate Finance chair can get those."