CNN Analyst Compares Intel Heads to Tobacco Execs

Monday morning, CNN Senior Political Analyst Ron Brownstein suggested that when it came to withholding information in an open Senate hearing, there is no difference between private tobacco executives and the heads of the country’s intelligence agencies:

I was struck that the Intelligence Committee set a rather remarkable precedent already by allowing Dan Coats and Admiral Rogers not to answer questions in open session because they didn’t quote, “feel it was appropriate.” I was trying to imagine say Henry Waxman in the 1990s allowing the tobacco executives brought before the House Commerce Committee to say, “well, we didn’t think it was appropriate to answer questions in open session that the committee was posing.” 

These intelligence heads were not even withholding information about private conversations they had with the Commander-in-Chief from the committee. They simply were refraining from revealing that information to the public. 

But tobacco executives are pretty much the worst insult when it comes to liberals. Except maybe calling someone Donald Trump.

The comments were made on CNN’s New Day. Below is the more complete transcript:

7:08 AM

ALISYN CAMEROTA: Ron, what are you interested in?

RON BROWNSTEIN: Well, I was struck that the Intelligence Committee set a rather remarkable precedent already by allowing Dan Coats and Admiral Rogers not to answer questions in open session because they didn’t quote, “feel it was appropriate.” I was trying to imagine say Henry Waxman in the 1990s allowing the tobacco executives brought before the House Commerce Committee to say, “well, we didn’t think it was appropriate to answer questions in open session that the committee was posing.” So they have already put themselves, I think, in a difficult position here to exert much leverage because they have established what Angus King and others acknowledged and demonstrated at the time was remarkable precedent. And to allow Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, in effect to go venue shopping here, and to move from an open hearing on the one side to a closed one on the other again would be an erosion, I think, of congressional oversight. 

JOHN BERMAN: Hey guys, I want to play a moment that I think some people may have missed this weekend, but I think it was an important marker. Jay Sekulow who is now a member of the president's private legal team...

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CyberAlerts Congress Government Agencies Political Scandals CNN New Day Video Journalistic Issues Jeff Sessions Ron Brownstein Dan Coats Donald Trump
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