On Monday, CNN fact-checker John Avlon noted that former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s book has blown up the talking points Republicans in Congress were using to paint the arguments in the Senate trial as a victory for President Donald Trump.
“After the defense team’s arguments opened on Saturday, Republicans greeted cameras with talking points at the ready,” said Avlon, playing clips of Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) both saying that White House lawyers “shredded” the case made by impeachment managers, as well as displaying a tweet from Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) that also used the word “shredded.”
“Shredded, kind of like what happened to the defense team’s argument about no witnesses directly knowing why Trump withheld military aid, after The New York Times obtained a draft manuscript with John Bolton’s upcoming book, in which he clearly states that President Trump told him back in August he was linking the release of aid to the investigation into the Bidens. That should be the ballgame in terms of calling Bolton to testify, unless they are not really interested in finding out the facts.”
Avlon then displayed quotes from Republicans who were in office at the time on the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.
“The full powers of the White House were unleashed to stonewall the process and attack the credibility of those who investigated him,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) at the time. “Anyone who votes to acquit has got to say we’re going to hold this president to a lower standard of conduct and behavior that other people,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK). And now-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said the president “time after time chose the path of lies and lawlessness.” And for good measure, Avlon noted that even Democrats at the time were open to the idea of censuring Clinton.
“Of course a censure resolution would require Republicans to admit, contrary to the president’s insistence, the president did do something wrong,” concluded Avlon. “It would state what Republicans know but are afraid to say. We do not want presidents of either party to ask a foreign power to dig up information on a political reality.”
Trump is shelling out big time for a law firm that threatens to sue everyone
President Donald Trump's campaign is spending the greatest portion of its money not on advertising or even defense attorneys, but on a law firm that is threatening to sue the media.
A CNN report Friday explained that Charles Harder's Beverly Hills firm, Harder LLP, is the highest-paid legal bill on the publicly available Trump books. The firm, however, is known for "sending letters to newsrooms alleging defamation and for a lawsuit that gutted the website Gawker."
‘Prepare for the worst’: CNN’s Avlon skeptical Mike Pence up to coronavirus job
During his "Reality Check" segment on CNN's "New Day," contributor John Avlon cast a jaundiced eye the appointment of Vice President Mike Pence by Donald Trump to be the administration's point man combating the coronavirus pandemic -- pointing out the veep's history when it comes to health matters is highly suspect.
With the president reportedly admitting that he selected Pence to head the task force because he "doesn't have anything else to do," Avlon began with the age-old advice: "Hope for the best, prepare for the worst."
CDC employees ‘demoralized’ over Trump interference as they grapple with coronavirus crisis: CNN
Following a report from CNN Dr. Sanjay Guputa that the U.S. is woefully unprepared to handle a massive outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, "New Day" host John Berman relayed that staffers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have become "demoralized" by the White House response that won't allow them to do their jobs.
The concerned Gupta began by describing problems that will soon become apparent by pointing out, "One is that we may not have enough personal protective gear for our health care workers, and then if they're potentially exposed, they're out of the system. they really can't take care of patients for a while. Who's going to backstop that? Two is this idea of surge capacity. You know, look, we've got about a million hospital beds in the united states. We don't run a hospital system in the United States that is built on redundancy, we have a lot of extra redundancy built into it -- so what happens to these patients?"