CNN Meltdowns: Comey Firing Is ‘Terribly Dangerous,’ Akin to a ‘Third World Dictatorship’

Appearing on CNN Wednesday afternoon to participate in the network-wide meltdown over James Comey’s ouster as FBI Director, longtime liberal journalist and CNN political analyst Carl Bernstein invoked Watergate but went further, fretting that “this is terribly dangerous moment in American history.”

“The President of the United States has repeatedly made clear he does not want a legitimate investigation into the possible collusion of his aides and campaign with a hostile power. This is unprecedented in our history,” opined the Watergate journalist.

Bernstein reiterated that this is a massive “cover-up from the White House,” accusing Republicans of “show[ing] no interest in the best obtainable of truth here” regarding alleged Trump and Russia collusion.

Earlier in the day, the meltdowns were flowing on New Day as the pompous co-host Chris Cuomo warned that the current political scene was worse than what the country when through “during the Nixon era.” Earth to Chris, if what happened to Comey is akin to the Saturday Night Massacre, why are your colleagues engaging in such comparisons?

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Cuomo later implored viewers to put aside their politics and accept that the notion that what transpired was “wrong” with “so real questions that have nothing do with partisan politics.”

After CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin stated that “there is no way” that Trump’s letter firing Comey was “in any way accurate, which is a chilling thought,” Cuomo interjected: “Scary. That is scary if that is true.”

During that same show, the ridiculously partisan Toobin assured us that he’s “not a cable news shouter” so he’s perfectly neutral when he concludes that “[t]his was an outrage” and “complete departure can from the American political and legal traditions and the only comparable act October 20th, 1973, the Saturday Night Massacre.”

Former Washington Post writer and current CNN editor-at-large Chris Cillizza stated during New Day’s 7:00 a.m. Eastern hour that “[t]here is a chilling aspect to it as it relates to the federal bureaucracy” and the apolitical FBI.

“Was Rod Rosenstein tasked with doing some sort of review? Kellyanne Conway's discussion of this last night with Anderson doesn't make all that much sense. They have to understand that the timing of this makes it look extremely likely that it's tied to Russia even if it's not. So, you know, this is a presidency that has been unpredictable and a-historic in a lot of ways and this feels like a ramping up of those two things,” he added.

Perhaps most unglued was former FBI official and CNN law enforcement analyst Philip Mudd, who determined that “this is a painful day for America” with a “simple” message that this story isn’t “about confidence in the FBI” but “politics over the rule of law.”

Mudd laid out the Comey investigations into the Clinton e-mails and Russia before losing his mind:

The reason the letter was sent is the President doesn't like the direction of the investigations by the FBI. That’s third world dictatorship. That’s not the United States. This might be politics in the Beltway, Chris. As a practitioner, this is incredibly painful to see politics interfering with a law enforcement investigation. You can’t have that happen.

Here’s the relevant portion of the transcript from May 10's CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin:

CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin
May 10, 2017
3:13 p.m. Eastern

CARL BERNSTEIN: Let's — let’s get the basics, and that is that this is terribly dangerous moment in American history. The President of the United States has repeatedly made clear he does not want a legitimate investigation into the possible collusion of his aides and campaign with a hostile power. This is unprecedented in our history. A President who himself has attempted to impede the legitimate investigation of essentially looking into whether or not people around him and perhaps himself have colluded in some way with the enemy and we need to be clear about what that means. There has been a cover up, as you heard me say on your show and others for a while. There has been a cover-up from the White House. It doesn’t mean that we know there’s been an obstruction of justice, but I think there have are a good number of people in the FBI that will tell you, yes, there has been a cover-up, the White House has kept us from trying to learn what we need to learn and this is the ultimate execution of that strategy and unlike Watergate where Republicans were the heroes and Republicans said about Richard Nixon, regardless of party, we need to know the truth of what happened. A great Senator from Tennessee — a Republican — said what did the president know and when did he know it? We now have Republicans like Mitch McConnell who have showed no interest in the best obtainable of truth here. And as Dana says, there are Republicans who are very restive who understand that the White House is trying to cover this up and there is going to be a lot of dispute in the coming weeks about what the president of the United States has done within his own party. 

Here’s the relevant portion of the transcript from CNN’s New Day on May 10:

CNN’s New Day
May 10, 2017
6:04 a.m. Eastern

CHRIS CUOMO: And it is interesting historical perspective not even during the Nixon era did we deal with what we're dealing with today.

(....)

JEFFREY TOOBIN: But whether a — whether this should have been done is of course a very different question and, Chris, you've known me a long time. I'm not a cable news shouter. This was an outrage. This was a complete departure can from the American political and legal traditions and the only comparable act October 20th, 1973, the Saturday Night Massacre when Richard Nixon didn't fire the FBI director, he fired Archibald Cox who was the Watergate special prosecutor, appointed him.

(....)

CHRIS CILLIZZA: There is a chilling aspect to it as it relates to the federal bureaucracy. I think there’s real questions about why this happened given everything that Trump said. The reasoning feels flimsy to me. He could have done this far earlier? Was there a review under way? Was Rod Rosenstein tasked with doing some sort of review? Kellyanne Conway's discussion of this last night with Anderson doesn't make all that much sense. They have to understand that the timing of this makes it look extremely likely that it's tied to Russia even if it's not. So, you know, this is a presidency that has been unpredictable and a-historic in a lot of ways and this feels like a ramping up of those two things.

(....)

PHILIP MUDD:  Look, this is a painful day for America. This story is simple. It's not about confidence in the FBI. It's about politics over the rule of law. There are two investigations here. One, obviously, the e-mail investigation into the rival of the President of the United States. The other the Russia investigation and in both of those cases, let's presume the Department of Justice brought charges against somebody in the Clinton team or the former secretary of state herself. Let's presume the FBI Director was less prominence in his comments in his investigation of the FBI story. I don’t believe the President of the United States would have sent this letter. The reason the letter was sent is the President doesn't like the direction of the investigations by the FBI. That’s third world dictatorship. That’s not the United States. This might be politics in the Beltway, Chris. As a practitioner, this is incredibly painful to see politics interfering with a law enforcement investigation. You can’t have that happen.

(....)

TOOBIN: So I think there is no way is that letter is in any way accurate which is a chilling thought. 

CUOMO: Scary. That is scary if that is true. 

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is the Managing Editor of NewsBusters for the Media Research Center