On Thursday’s edition of CNN’s “The Situation Room,” anchor Wolf Blitzer challenged Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short to justify the administration’s stonewalling of the impeachment inquiry.
“Wolf, the reality is that the last three years, they’ve been trying to overturn the will of the American people. They’re trying to take away the votes of the American people,” said Short. “This whole impeachment has been a sham. What they’ve tried to prove there is no proof of … I think it sets a dangerous precedent.”
“Here’s what I don’t understand,” said Blitzer. “If the president has nothing to hide, it was a perfect phone call with the president of Ukraine, why not cooperate, provide the documents, why not let individuals go before the committees and testify?”
“Wolf, this began with a whistleblower report based upon a phone call,” whined Short. The president gave the transcript for all—”
“The memorandum,” corrected Blitzer. “It’s not verbatim necessarily.”
“It was provided for all the American people to read.”
“But they say on page one, this is not a transcript,” said Blitzer. “If there’s nothing to see, why not cooperate? Why not let various officials testify and let the documents come forward? What’s the big deal?”
Blitzer then pressed Short about the testimony of E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland. “In the House Intelligence Committee report, the vice president is mentioned 60 times, your boss. You’ve refuted some of the suggestions of his involvement. You issued a statement saying the vice president never had a conversation with Sondland about investigating the Bidens, Burisma, or financial aid to Ukraine based upon potential investigations. Sondland, for his part, as all of us remember, he didn’t testify that he was actually a conversation. He said that Pence, that he told Pence the vice president, the aid was linked the to investigations, and Pence simply nodded.”
“I asked everybody else who was in that, and nobody remembers Sondland saying such a thing, which is why we believe his allegation is entirely false,” said Short.
“You think Sondland is lying?” said Blitzer. “Is Sondland lying to Congress?”
“I’m not going to suggest he’s lying. He’s mistaken,” said Short.
“What is Rudy Giuliani doing in Ukraine right now?” asked Blitzer.
“He’s the president’s personal lawyer,” said Short. “I don’t know what Rudy Giuliani does, Wolf.”
Trump biographer explains how president uses fear to scare Republicans away from witnesses
Michael D'Antonio, one of President Donald Trump's biographers, explained Sunday that the president knows very well how to use fear to intimidate people. That's what he's doing in the case of impeachment to help score an acquittal.
Citing Bob Woodward's book Fear, D'Antonio explained that Trump uses fear to his benefit.
"He called it fear because Donald Trump knows how to use fear, he knows how to intimidate people, and he'll go further than almost anyone else will go," said D'Antonio. "And he's proven that he can adjust the calculus for everyone in the united states senate. So, they're all thinking, 'Do I cross this man? Will I have a primary challenge? What is the real endpoint for me if I decide to vote my conscience instead of being loyal?' The president has surpassed all of our expectations."
Will the GOP ‘stand for gaslighting or reality?’: George Conway thumps senate Republicans who refuse to consider Trump’s crimes
Appearing on CNN's "State of the Union," conservative attorney George Conway launched a broadside against Republican senators for their conduct in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump, saying they are selling lies to the public.
Speaking with host Jake Tapper, Conway -- the husband of White House adviser Kellyanne Conway -- painted a withering portrait of the GOP that is hellbent on acquitting the president of obvious impeachable crimes.
"I'm deeply saddened," Conway began. "It is very upsetting and this is a moment of reckoning not just for the country and the rule of law and the constitution, but it is a specific day of reckoning for the Republican senators who took this oath, and the republican party generally, are they going to stand for lies instead of truth?"
Mitch McConnell is manipulating Trump to keep him from prolonging impeachment trial: NYT’s Haberman
Appearing on CNN on Sunday morning, the New York Times' Maggie Haberman said Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is stringing an anxious Donald Trump along and manipulating him to go along with his plan to wrap up the Senate impeachment trial.
Speaking with host John King, Haberman claimed that McConnell is speaking to Trump in such a way that the president may think that McConnell's ideas are his own.
"Do you think the president will -- could do this over two more days but does he give up a day of TV time?" King asked about the impeachment trial
"McConnell has convinced him, it's taking him some time, back and forth," Haberman explained. "The president had to be allowed to believe it's his idea or that he wasn't being led along but he's generally done what McConnell wanted. He [McConnell] wants this over quick."