It’s clear the morning testimony didn’t go as well as Republicans had wanted. The concern was evident on the face of House Minority Leader Devin Nunes (R-CA), who exchanged glances with the GOP counsel.
Republican Scott Jennings is quick to defend the White House and the GOP, but Wednesday even he was forced to concede his party wasn’t prepared for what EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland testified.
CNN host John King noted that the Republican counsel brought up Rudy Giuliani and his business relationships in Ukraine, outside of his work for President Donald Trump.
“Watch that for the beginning of an effort to say, ‘This was Rudy Giuliani not the president,'” King predicted.
Jennings agreed, saying, “there’s nowhere else to go” with the president’s defense.
“I mean, Sondland is dropping him in. The president clearly won’t want to take responsibility for it,” Jennings continued. “Rudy’s not coming to the committee as I understand so he’s not going to show up and refute it.”
After the huge panel began talking over themselves, Jennings cut in again, saying the Republicans need “something here.”
“Obviously Sondland has come in — Nunes, by the way, was caught, totally flat-footed by his opening statement,” Jennings said.
CNN host Jake Tapper said that it was clear Nunes thought Sondland was there to help the GOP. Clearly, that did not turn out to be the case.
“They were caught flat-footed this morning,” Jennings agreed. “They need to have something now. And the only possible way to do this — do what they should have done a month ago; and that’s to say, ‘Having Giuliani in the middle of this at the beginning was galactically bad judgment and a dumb idea. That’s not impeachable.'”
Former federal prosecutor and legal analyst Laura Coates explained that even with Giuliani as the fall-guy, there is no way to refute that the president abused the power of his office.
Watch the full clip below:
Susan Rice tears into Trump for ‘brushing off information’ critical to troops’ ‘life and death’ because he can’t hear bad news
On CNN Wednesday, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice ripped President Donald Trump for ignoring intelligence on Russian bounties against American troops.
"My job was to brief the president, to bring to the president all that he needs to hear, not what he wants to hear," said Rice. "When I served President Obama, he would sometimes joke that I and others who brought bad news were the 'doomsday people,' but he always listened to what we had to say and he never conveyed the impression that news was too bad to be worthy of him hearing. You don't intimidate the messengers ... this president is derelict in his duty, brushing off information that is critical to the life and death of our service members and does so because he doesn't want to hear bad news."
Trump slammed by ex-NAACP president for refusing to denounce ‘white power’: He has been ‘coy with white supremacists’
On CNN Wednesday, former NAACP President Ben Jealous tore into President Donald Trump for his refusal to disavow the "white power" video he retweeted earlier in the week.
"You know, this president has been coy with white supremacists again and again," said Jealous. "He did it around the Ku Klux Klan early on. He did it with Charlottesville, there is good people on both sides. And now you see him do it here."
"Again, it's part of his attempt to dog whistle, to play to his base," said Jealous. "He's running like George Wallace. He's running like Lester Maddox. You know, he has the RNC scheduled for him to speak on Ax Handle Saturday. It's a mess. And that just — these are his instincts. This is a guy — the Central Park Five, the world has known for 20 years they are innocent, he insists they are guilty. When it comes to race, he has a real problem."
Trump aides are trying to decide if it’s a better to close down again — or just let people die
President Donald Trump's inner circle is battling over the decision to return the country to closed and caution or to simply let people die from the coronavirus.
CNN.com reported Wednesday evening that a debate is afoot in the White House about whether they should push forward with the reopening, regardless of the death toll. If the president's Fox interview Wednesday afternoon is any indication, he's opted for the latter approach, continuing to reopen and urge Americans that everything is fine, even if it isn't.