On CNN Saturday, former Lt. Gov. André Bauer (R-SC) tried to deflect from President Donald Trump’s Ukraine scandal by changing the subject to Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton — only for host Victor Blackwell to shut him down.
“Let’s start here with what we’re getting from the Washington Post. Senators now willing to acknowledge, yeah, it was a quid pro quo,” said Blackwell. “You think that’s — one, are you willing to acknowledge what acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney acknowledged, and do you think it’s right for Republicans to do so too?”
“I don’t think it’s a quid pro quo … Trump to me said it in a jovial manner, look, you all ought to investigate this guy, his son’s making $50,000 a month,” said Bauer.
“Jovial manner?” repeated Blackwell. “How did you get jovial out of a written partial transcript?”
“Again, he let the transcript out,” said Bauer. “You can argue them any way you want, but, again, the real quid pro quo should be somebody says you’re not getting money, we’re going to hold it, I told him, and he says it in a video interview and his son is making $50,000 from the company that’s being investigated.”
“Okay. We should also say that what you’re suggesting is that the Bidens did something wrong,” said Blackwell. “There’s no evidence to suggest that they did something wrong or that it’s illegal … André, if this was such a perfect call and you didn’t see anything wrong with it, Lt. Col. Vindman testified this week — and he’s the top Ukraine expert — he testified he was told by the White House lawyer John Eisenberg not to discuss the president’s call. Then Eisenberg and other National Security Council lawyers put it in this higher security server. If it was such a perfect call, why was there so much energy inside the White House exerted to limit access, to keep people from talking about it, potential criminal referrals? if everything was okay, why were there so many career diplomats concerned about what the president said?”
“I don’t know that they are,” said Bauer. “You can find anybody to take anything out of context you want … again, we’re investigating something that’s not nearly as quid pro quo that [Biden] on camera says, I withheld the money, and said—”
“Okay, can we please stop with this?” said fellow guest Tara Setmayer.
“I know you don’t want to talk about it,” said Bauer.
“Let’s talk specifically about it,” said Blackwell. “Most of the Western world wanted the Ukrainian general prosecutor Viktor Shokin removed because they felt he was not doing enough to investigate corruption, the European allies wanted him out. Christine Lagarde of the IMF was so disappointed with the work he did, that she was going to hold back billions of dollars. so you’re trying to change and shift what actually was happening in 2016.”
“It’s like investigating Donald Trump and not Hillary Clinton when you want to talk about Russian collusion,” said Bauer.
“Okay. We’re done with this conversation,” said Blackwell. “I thought this was going to be a talk about strategy from the Republicans who are now acknowledging quid pro quo. We hoped to get to the polling that shows that although we’ve seen three weeks of revelations, that 49 percent, just like they were three weeks ago, support the removal of the president after impeachment. Instead we had to go down this road of debunked conspiracies and fact-check for four and a half minutes.”
Trump will ‘put a bullet into the country’ before he lets a court say he lost the election: NYT columnist
On CNN Wednesday, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman tore into President Donald Trump's efforts to destabilize and devalue the presidential election in the case of his defeat.
"We're seeing the greatest voter suppression enterprise ever mounted in this country, led by the president of the United States," said Friedman. "He's basically telling us, every day now in every way, and in that debate that 73 million Americans watched, that one of two things are going to happen on November 3rd ... either I am going to be elected by a majority of votes cast that day, or I'm going to delegitimize this election. He's laying the basis for the delegitimization of any election that does not return him to the office. We have never seen this before out of any president. It is the greatest voter suppression effort every mounted in this country. And it's going to have huge — it's already having huge ramifications."
Susan Rice: Vladimir Putin is doing a ‘happy dance’ over Trump’s ‘unhinged raving and ranting’
On CNN Wednesday, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice tore into President Donald Trump for his implosion on the debate stage — and warned that it will further erode U.S. leadership around the world.
"Let's be clear how the rest of the world reacted," said Rice. "Our friends and allies, I believe, did a collective faceplant of just shame and embarrassment and despair. Vladimir Putin is doing the happy dance in the Kremlin tonight because, leaving aside the white supremacy comments or lack of comments about white supremacy, what Donald Trump did in his unhinged ranting and raving was to discredit civil discourse, disparage the American people, to whom he didn't even give the dignity of serious responses, and to get up and say before the American people yet again that he will not respect the results of this election unless he himself is the winner, which is the idea of democracy. Vladimir Putin is doing the happening the happy dance and, in Beijing, state media is crowing that the debate was chaotic, disorderly and shows democracy is a form of government that should be discredited and discarded and their form is in fact correct."
Ex-Homeland Security official describes how Trump suppressed efforts to fight white supremacist terrorism
On CNN Wednesday, former Trump administration national security staffer Miles Taylor outlined how the president's soft spot for white supremacy — put on full display at the previous night's presidential debate — carried over into federal policy.
"You previously told me President Trump didn't prioritize white supremacist violence or domestic threats in general," said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "How did that become clear in your meetings with him and your work deep inside the Trump administration?"