Late Wednesday’s CNN Tonight served as another case of the liberal media worshipping fake news anchor Dan Rather as he was subjected to praise from host Don Lemon as “a legendary journalist” with insight pummeling President Trump over the Russia probe and Stormy Daniels.
“I want to bring in now a man who has seen plenty of White House turmoil, a legendary journalist, Dan Rather, host of AXS TV's The Big Interview, and the author of What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism,” Lemon proclaimed to Rather’s insistence that “[n]body in this business is legendary” to which Lemon hit back that “yes, you are.”
Lemon lamented how exhausting news cycles have become under Trump and wondered what that symbolized “about the state of the Trump presidency.”
Rather responded to the open-ended softball by conceding that “some people would call it chaos, I just call it Wednesday” because “it's important for younger people, and people who haven’t lived a long time to understand that this is unprecedented in our history.”
When Lemon asked Rather to speculate about the country’s future, the disgraced former CBS Evening News anchor hilariously replied that “I learned a long time ago, if you try to read the tea leaves before the cup is brewed, you could get burned and I try not to talk about what's going to happen ahead” before doing just that in predicting that Russia will “the defining hallmark of a Trump administration.”
As for speculation being a bad thing, Rather’s false story that was meant to would doom George W. Bush in 2004 certainly didn’t work out for Rather either.
“Well, you hit the nail on the head. I think — I think, listen and we don't know, collusion or no collusion? No one knows what Robert Mueller is doing, but this is a lesson in divesting oneself, if you're going to be the President of the United States from one’s business, because he may have had ties with Russia, but then if that interferes with the presidency, that's a problem,” Lemon later told him.
Rather spoke highly of the Russia probe (led by Mueller), but he had a different view of Clinton Special Counsel Ken Starr in the 1990s.
On August 8, 1994, Rather told CBS viewers that there was “growing controversy” as to “whether the newly named independent counsel in the Whitewater case is independent or a Republican partisan allied with a get-Clinton movement.”
Four days later, Rather impunged Starr as “an ambitious Republican partisan backed by ideologically-motivated, anti-Clinton activists and judges from the Reagan, Bush, and Nixon years.”
Later after a commercial break, Rather commented on CNN’s new Malaysian plane, which is the alleged Daniels-Trump affair. The liberal journalist opined that the President will stay silent on the porn star but he could end up having to comment on Daniels under oath.
“When you’re President, you can stay quiet forever unless the courts force you to do otherwise, which was of course was the case with President Clinton. So until and unless some court somewhere moves on it, the President by — if he remains silent, he can stay silent for a long, long time. My guess is that will not turn out to be the situation,” Rather surmised.
To see the relevant transcript from March 28's CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, click “expand.”
CNN Tonight with Don Lemon
March 28, 2018
10:42 p.m. Eastern
DON LEMON: President Trump firing yet another member of his cabinet late today as the Mueller investigation thickens, and Stormy Daniels clouds gather. I want to bring in now a man who has seen plenty of White House turmoil, a legendary journalist, Dan Rather, host of AXS TV's The Big Interview, and the author of What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism. You laughed when I said legendary, right?
DAN RATHER: Nobody in this business is legendary.
LEMON: Yes, you are.
RATHER: Possible except for you.
LEMON: Yes, thank you, sir. A mutual admiration club. Listen, we're covering — you know, as we are covering this White House, it feels like we're all just trying to keep up. What does this say about the state of the Trump presidency?
RATHER: Well, some people would call it chaos, I just call it Wednesday, another Wednesday in the Trump administration. I do think it's important for younger people, and people who haven’t lived a long time to understand that this is unprecedented in our history. We've never had anything like this in the White House. We're talking just about I recall in the chaos factor, but you stand aside, and try to put it into some context and you would say, Donald Trump and his administration could not organize to a two-car motorcade, but Trump and his people come around, and say listen, this is the way I have always done business, chaotic, I like tension one way or another, that may be a good way for him to run — how to run his business. The question now is, is this a good way to run a country.
LEMON: To run a country, yeah and they saying it's a well oiled machine. So if that's where we are right now, then where are we going? Because we've got court cases, for example, that we have been discussing, and we've got, listen the VA Secretary today replaced by his personal doctor — the doctor of the President. We have, you know, some of the spokesman's — his former lawyer talking pardons possibly and we've got the campaign aides speaking to someone with ties to Russian intelligence before the election.
LEMON: Where are we going?
RATHER: Well, I learned a long time ago, if you try to read the tea leaves before the cup is brewed, you could get burned and I try not to talk about what's going to happen ahead, but I do think, from a historical perspective, it's increasingly clear that the defining hallmark of a Trump administration, it's who really defining characteristic of his administration is going to be all of this stuff involving Russia. It may indeed be a defining characteristic of this whole era, but for Trump — and we're seeing all this stuff come through, you say, where is it going, what does it mean? I think, if you focus on folks, it's the Russian thing. Did he really collude, did anyone in his campaign conspire, some indications today — further indications that might be the case, that's the way to kind of put a flame around this. The second way is to look at the corruption. When you say alleged corruption, such things as the overlapping of his business dealings with the presidency, which is part of what one of those court cases is about today.
LEMON: Well, you hit the nail on the head. I think — I think, listen and we don't know, collusion or no collusion? No one knows what Robert Mueller is doing, but this is a lesson in divesting oneself, if you're going to be the President of the United States from one’s business, because he may have had ties with Russia, but then if that interferes with the presidency, that's a problem.
RATHER: That's the problem, and I think what would be an increasing problem for him as his presidency goes on, for example, all of the New Republic magazine has an excellent article — let the record show I have no financial interest in this magazine, but they have a long article about what's been happening since Trump's been President with some of the business dealings with the family in India and it's a very revealing article in what it alleges, but the point here is, two things to keep your eye on. The whole context that everything has happened vis-a-vis Russia, and the other, the increasing indications that there are serious questions about corruption in the overlapping business with the business of the U.S. government.
LEMON: Is this why you recently tweeted. You said: “With Mueller looking at everything from his finances to obstruction of justice, a legal team in crisis, and multiple lawsuits revealing a sordid personal life, Donald Trump has no shortage of categories of legal ‘jeopardy’ - I'll take Russian mob real estate dealings for 400, Alex.” Is that why you — you tweeted?
RATHER: Yes, exactly.
LEMON: Maybe if he had divested, he might not be in some of this mess.
RATHER: Well, we'll never know because he didn't and it's important to know that, you know, there have been presidencies before, and what's his type have been tagged with corruption, the Harding administration, the Grant administration to some degree, but this is rare in American politics for a President to come in, and not divest himself —
RATHER: — of his business dealings and then stay active in trying to enlist business while he’s President.
LEMON: Yeah and I want you to stick around because I'm going to ask you. Do you think he's going to try to get rid of Mueller? Don't answer that right now. The President isn't usually very good at staying quiet when people attack him, but so far, he's been completely silent when it comes to Stormy Daniels. I want to know if Dan Rather thinks he's going to stay that way. We will be right back.
LEMON: Back again with Dan Rather. So, you know, Steve Bannon has been saying that the President is going to go to war with Mueller. Some people think he’s going to try to fire Mueller. What do you think? Is he going to try to get rid of Mueller?
RATHER: The answer is yes. I think he will. He may not do it directly. He may try to have someone else do it. For example, bring in a new attorney general who won't have to recuse himself and the attorney general will reach a decision, quote unquote, but it's pretty hard to imagine a scenario going forward where he doesn't at least try to get rid of Mueller. I don't know whether he succeeds or not. But, you know, that echoes the Nixon administration and Watergate, the famous Saturday Night Massacre when the President tried to fire the special — did fire the prosecutor and this is what I call, a fire storm that resulted in many ways in Nixon losing the presidency. So somebody has to be telling Trump that. I am saying I know what your instinct is, you want to get rid of this guy, but be careful because in the Nixon case, it led to his end.
LEMON: That's what Lindsey Graham is saying. Lindsey Graham has said this would be the beginning of the end of his presidency if he — if he did that.
RATHER: Lindsey Graham, note a Republican from a strongly Republican Southern state, South Carolina. That’ll be the message, but part of the answer to whether President Trump fires Mueller or not, will be his judgment of how many people in Congress would back it, or how many would take the Lindsey Graham position.
LEMON: And what about the public's response?
RATHER: Well —
LEMON: Is that a factor?
RATHER: — it's a factor and there has to be somebody telling President Trump that the longer you wait, the greater the public reaction against it might be.
LEMON: Yeah. Let's talk about Stormy Daniels. This is the fifth straight day that the President is keeping a low profile with no public events on the schedule. A source is telling CNN, the current plan is for him to continue avoiding the Stormy Daniels — that topic because the controversy is not hurting his poll numbers. Do you think he can continue to stay disciplined?
RATHER: Yes. Because if he stays disciplined, he can have a great effect on it. I, for one, my personal opinion is that this Stormy Daniels story — it has legs that is going to be around for quite a while. One, because her attorney is, let’s face it, doing a very good job for her, but the idea that President Trump one way or the other might — might have to go under oath on the Stormy Daniels case will keep that story alive. Also there is this, what if anything that Stormy Daniels and her attorney have that they have not yet revealed? If you remember in the Monica Lewinsky case with President Clinton, she had the famous dress. Do Stormy Daniels and her attorney have something comparable with that? A tape recording or picture?
LEMON: He has said that he doesn't have, you know, a blue dress, but who knows what else they have. It could be a bluff, but who knows. My question is the longer this goes on, though, just the — you know, the back and forth, the bombardment in the media, you have covered and studied a number of administrations. How long can someone keep quiet about this issue? Is it going to come to a point where he's going to have to talk?
RATHER: When you’re President, you can stay quiet forever unless the courts force you to do otherwise, which was of course was the case with President Clinton. So until and unless some court somewhere moves on it, the President by — if he remains silent, he can stay silent for a long, long time. My guess is that will not turn out to be the situation, and that I think down the road, you will hear more from this story, but we’ll see.
LEMON: You know, you said the attorney is doing a good job. He wants to depose the President. He wants to hear from President Trump himself. Do you think we will see that? And can you imagine a United States President being, you know, deposed about a case involving an adult film star?
RATHER: Hard to imagine but remember, President Clinton eventually had to answer questions and I can't imagine it. I'm not predicting it will happen, but it could happen, and if it does happen, that will fit very large into his story of the Trump presidency.
LEMON: Dan Rather, always a pleasure.
RATHER: Always a pleasure, thank you for having me.
LEMON: Say hello to your lovely wife.
RATHER: Thank you very much, Don.