Following a column he wrote trashing Attorney General William Barr as “un-American,” former Deputy Attorney General Donald Ayer — who served in the Justice Department before Barr was appointed for the first time under President George W. H. Bush — told CNN in greater detail his impression of Barr’s worldview.
“One of the ultimate reasons that Bill Barr needs to go is, he’s made clear his views for a very long time,” said Ayer. “The clearest statement was in the memo he wrote. He wrote a memo back in the middle of 2018 … some people thought it was an audition memo to be attorney general. It talks about how the powers of the president are such even having this investigation was improper. He said the president is the executive branch, and that he necessarily has complete and unlimited discretion to oversee criminal cases. He said the thing that the president said not long ago.”
“You’ve known Bill Barr for about 40 years,” said anchor Wolf Blitzer. “Now you’re calling him, in this article, ‘un-American’ … strong words. Has he changed over those 40 years or what?”
“I don’t know that he’s changed, because he’s always had a really strong view that the executive ought to have a great deal of power,” said Ayer. “I’ve never known how far it would go, and there was never any reason to test it because when he was attorney general under George H. W. Bush, George H. W. Bush had no interest in being an autocrat. Now he’s won the job of an attorney general under a president that wants to be an autocrat.”
“I think it’s fair to say, and I think most people would agree with me, that the central tenet of our legal system and our justice system is that no person is above the law,” continued Ayer. “Bill Barr’s vision is different. There’s one man, one person who needs to be above the law, and that’s the president. He’s carried that out. This is the really important thing. He said that before he became attorney general, but he’s now carried it out in many steps as he became the attorney general.”
CNN’s Cuomo destroys Trump for cutting off aid to governors he doesn’t like: ‘This is not about you’
On Friday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," Chris Cuomo tore into President Donald Trump for attacking Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) at a time when her state is in dire need of federal help amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"Governors all over the country are echoing the cries of the sick, the scared, the desperate on the front line, and the president's response to their calls for help? Ask nicely," said Cuomo, playing a clip of Trump at the day's press conference.
"All I want them to do, very simple. I want them to be appreciative," said Trump in the clip. "I say, Mike [Pence], don't call the governor of Washington. You're wasting your time with him. Don't call the woman in Michigan. It doesn't make any difference what happens. If they don't treat you right, I don't call."
Trump refuses to invite Speaker Pelosi to coronavirus bill signing after she delivers the votes for him
On Friday, CNN reported that President Donald Trump is not inviting any Democrats to the signing ceremony for the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package — even though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and the rank and file Democrats in Congress played a huge role in its negotiation and passage.
"On the signing ceremony, it appears no Democrats have been invited to President Trump's signing ceremony, despite the fact that every now and then he says that the country needs to come together, how great it is that the bill passed the Senate 96-0," said anchor Jake Tapper to reporter Kaitlan Collins. "Is there a strategy behind this? Is he trying to make it seem as though only Republicans are bringing this well-needed aid to the American people? Or is this just petulance and pettiness?"
Sanjay Gupta does the math on how many could be killed by COVID-19 in the next 2 weeks — and it’s frightening
During a panel discussion on health authorities and governors across the country begging for desperately needed ventilators to combat the effects of COVID-19, CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta sketched out the numbers for how many will be needed and said he was stunned that President Donald Trump is still dragging his feet.
Speaking with "New Day" host John Berman, the doctor noted that U.S. is still behind the curve when it comes to getting a handle on the pandemic.
"We heard from the president last night questioning whether he really believed that New York City needed the 30,000 ventilators that Governor [Andrew] Cuomo says he needs. What is the need?" host Berman asked. "Doesn't the federal government tell us how many ventilators we need and how many we have, and isn't there a discrepancy there?"