On Tuesday’s edition of CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time,” anchor Chris Cuomo pushed back on GOP lobbyist and American Conservative Union director Matt Schlapp for saying President Donald Trump has the right to fire Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson for transmitting the whistleblower complaint.
“Why would it be okay for the president to go after the inspector general for dealing with the whistleblower?” said Cuomo.
“Because he serves at the pleasure of the president. The president can get rid of them at any time,” said Schlapp. “At the State Department during Obama’s presidency, during the whole time Hillary was at the State Department, he didn’t bother to pick an IG.”
“Does the reason why you get rid of somebody, if it’s because he’s seen as disloyal for finding the whistleblower credible, does that color your determination?” said Cuomo.
“No, the president has the right to remove you for whatever reason you want,” insisted Schlapp. “It’s the reason the president may publish the transcript so every American can read what went down in that conversation. He’s going to release the first conversation he had with the president of Ukraine later this week.”
“But you don’t believe that Mr. Atkinson mishandled the whistleblower situation, do you?” Cuomo shot back.
“I think he did what Rod Rosenstein did,” replied Schlapp. “He took the easy path.”
“What would have been the hard path?” asked Cuomo.
“For those who have read the transcript with a fair mind, it is not as some people made it out to be, including the whistleblower,” said Schlapp.
“To be clear and fair to Mr. Atkinson, that’s not his job,” pointed out Cuomo. “His job is to assess the credible, see if he can corroborate it and if so give it to the DOJ. It is their job and they passed on this. Imagine this, my brother. Imagine if they hadn’t and they had investigated this claim, we may not be here right now.”
“The whistleblower, by all accounts of what we’ve been able to put together, has all been corroborated already,” added Cuomo. “That’s why I don’t understand this push about making the whistleblower a bogeyman and making the person who assessed his credibility a bogeyman. I don’t get the tactic.”
‘Out of touch’ Trump is ‘detached from the difficult reality the country is living’: ex-GOP lawmaker
According to a report from the New York Times' Peter Baker, Donald Trump has done nothing in the past week but fan the flames of discord at a time when the country is reeling from the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed the lives of over 100,000 in the U.S. and protests have broken out in the streets over police brutality.
According to one former GOP member of the House, the president is completely detached from what is going on in America.
Andrew Cuomo denounces police violence: ‘The names change, but the color doesn’t’
At Saturday's press conference, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) sharply condemned police brutality against Black men in an emotional speech.
"We tend to look at these situations as individual incidents. They're not individual incidents," said Cuomo. "When you have one episode, two episodes, maybe you can look at them as individual episodes. But when you have 10 episodes, 15 episodes, you are blind or in denial if you are still treating each one like a unique situation."
"We have an injustice in the criminal justice system that is abhorrent. That is the truth," said Cuomo. "It doesn't make me feel good to say that. I'm a former prosecutor ... and it's not just George Floyd. You look back even in modern history in my lifetime. This started with Rodney King. Rodney King was 30 years ago. We suffered in this city through Amadou Diallo and Sean Bell and Eric Garner. How many times have we seen the same situation? Yes, the names change, but the color doesn't. And that is the painful reality of this situation. And it's not just 30 years. It is this nation's history of discrimination and racism dating back hundreds of years."
‘We’re not stupid’: CNN’s Van Jones accuses prosecutors of putting ex-cop Chauvin on path to ‘exoneration’ for Floyd death
On CNN Saturday, commentator Van Jones warned that the prosecution of the Minneapolis police officer involved in the death of George Floyd sets him up to be let off easy.
"The idea that you could have a lynching, you know, an officer lynch a man," said Jones. "That was a lynching. Not one minute, not two minutes, not three minutes, six, seven, eight minutes, depriving someone of oxygen, a spectacle in front of a whole community, you have a lynching. You have not just an officer doing it, but you have three police officers there and do nothing to intervene, in fact defend him. You can then give — I've never heard of third degree murder. I'm an attorney. I'm in my 50s. I've never heard of third degree murder. Not to arrest the other officers and we're all going to say thank you very much and go back to what we're doing."