At the impeachment hearings on Tuesday, National Security Council aide Tim Morrison stressed that he didn’t believe there was anything inappropriate about the call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. But when Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) asked him why he reported the call to government lawyers, he had no answer.
“You responded to a series of questions about the call and saw nothing wrong with it, yet you skipped your chain of command to go to legal counsel to find out — I guess to find out what to do, because you were concerned about the political fallout, not about anything being appropriate or wrong with the call, is that correct?” asked Demings.
“Ma’am, I don’t agree with the question,” said Morrison.
“You saw basically nothing wrong with the call, yet you skipped your chain of command to go to counsel because of what?” Demings pressed him. “What was the reason for that?”
“Again, I don’t know the premise,” said Morrison. “If I had seen something wrong—”
“Who’s your direct report?” Demings asked.
“The deputy National Security Advisor … Dr. Charles Kupperman,” replied Morrison.
“Did you speak to him before the legal counsel?” asked Demings.
“No,” replied Morrison.
“You don’t feel you skipped your chain of command by going to counsel?” Demings continued.
“I viewed my job based on matters,” said Morrison. “If that’s an administrative matter, I was sure they needed to be aware of the call.”
“Why were you so concerned about the legal adviser being aware of this call that you saw nothing basically wrong with the substance or content of the call?” asked Demings.
“Because I did not see anybody from the legal adviser’s office in the listening room, and I wanted to make sure somebody from the legal adviser’s office was aware, and I wanted it to be a senior person.”
“What did you want them to be aware of, specifically?” asked Demings.
“I wanted them to be aware of the call and know what had transpired,” said Morrison.
“What concerned you to the point where you wanted to know, that you went directly to legal counsel to inform them of?” asked Demings.
“My equivalent was and is John Eisenberg,” said Morrison. “I wouldn’t go to somebody subordinate to him.”
“Didn’t you testify you were concerned about the political fallout based on the political climate in D.C.?” asked Demings.
“Yes, ma’am,” said Morrison.
Trump is living in a ‘COVIDless la-la land’ — and can’t understand why he isn’t being taken seriously: CNN’s Cuomo
On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," Chris Cuomo slammed President Donald Trump for demanding people take him seriously as he ignores his own health experts and tries to override recommendations on school closures.
"Another day gone without the president deciding to lead us with a plan of action to fight the pandemic," said Cuomo. "Instead, we now know what he meant by pressuring states to reopen schools, ready or not, without ever offering them a plan to help. If they don't reopen, he will punish the poorest students. He said he's going to pull federal aid, and the kids that get most of that aid are the neediest. Many of them are white, by the way, and from families that may be Trumpers."
‘He doesn’t care about those kids at all’: Anderson Cooper tears into Trump for pressuring schools to reopen
On CNN Wednesday, Anderson Cooper blasted President Donald Trump's attempts to push schools to reopen without a plan to keep students safe.
"Today the president of the United States did something rare: he expressed a notion that we can all agree on, that kids belong in the classroom," said Cooper. "But then made it quite clear beyond what it means to himself and his re-election, he doesn't actually care about those kids at all. He doesn't care about their health and safety, nor the health of their teachers and parents, and federal guidelines for keeping them safe."
"The president bragged today about getting the CDC to change their guidelines to weaken them, and lo and behold, the CDC, which used to be a world-respected organization, they are going to come up with new guidelines, less difficult ones," said Cooper. "Just think about that. The CDC puts together guidelines based on science to protect kids and teachers, staying six feet apart and masks and having air flow in rooms and washing hands, and because the president thinks it's too difficult, the CDC is going to weaken them."
Texas doctor blasts Trump’s COVID-19 ‘misinformation campaign’: ‘You can’t hide hospitalizations’
A doctor in Texas has delivered a scathing rebuke of the Trump White House's attempts to ignore the surge in novel coronavirus infections throughout the United States.
Dr. Peter Hotez, the co-director of the Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, told CNN on Wednesday that President Donald Trump is simply lying when he says that America is "in a good place" with COVID-19.