Smackdown: Jim Jordan Destroys Chris Cuomo Over Claims There’s ‘Tons of Proof’ of ‘Potential Collusion’

Wednesday saw the latest edition of CNN’s New Day co-host Chris Cuomo throwing down with Ohio Republican Congressman Jim Jordan as the topics du jour featured calls for a second special counsel, Russian collusion, and a Thursday meeting of congressional Republicans having access to some of the most sensitive documents related to the Trump-Russia probe. 

Cuomo kept trying to shout down Jordan, telling him that some of his points were “demonstrably false” and there’s “tons of proof of potential collusion” between Russia and the Trump campaign but has been clouded by “partisans” (read: Republicans). Alas, Jordan reacted as most viewers would at this lunacy.

 

 

Cuomo stacked the deck prior to Jordan by mocking the assertions offered by the President and Jordan in that “there’s a nefarious group of officials that are out to spy on you and do you harm” and pled with him for “help” explaining why his position matters. 

Jordan asserted that, on the surveillance claim, “if you read The New York Times piece they talk about this individual, give all kinds of details about this individual” and Thursday’s meeting involving House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) will hopefully provide more information on that subject. He continued (click “expand” to read more):

But Chris, when you couple it with what we do know they did, five of the top people at the FBI have been fired, like James Comey or Andrew McCabe. Andrew McCabe actually faces a criminal referral. Three, like Jim Baker, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page has been demoted and reassigned and two of the three retired in just the last three weeks. So, when you have five of the top people who oh by the way, happen to be the same people who ran the Clinton investigation and then launched the Trump-Russia investigation, that should be pause for concern[.]

The first two of tense exchanges surfaced when Jordan included in his rationale for a second special counsel that the intelligence community used “a disproven, salacious dossier to a secret court to get a secret warrant to spy on a fellow American citizen and when they go to the court, they don't tell them two important facts, namely who paid for it.”

Cuomo smugly shot back that Jordan was simply “flooding the zone” (presumably to distract viewers) and implored him to tell the truth that Christopher Steele was trustworthy, it was disclosed where the dossier came from, and the dossier isn’t false.

When Jordan told Cuomo that, “a year and a half later,” there’s “not one bit of evidence” of “any type of collusion” or “any type of coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia,” Cuomo lost it (click “expand”):

CUOMO: Jim, that is demonstrably false. We have tons of proof.

JORDAN: What do you mean demonstrably false? Even Democrats are saying —

CUOMO: We have tons of proof.

JORDAN: — even The New York Times said that last week, Chris. You know that’s the case.

CUOMO: Listen, talking over me does not silence the points. They have to come out. We have to have this conversation, so people who think independently can make decisions. There is tons of proof of potential collusion.

So, to be clear, Cuomo is parroting claims from CNN buddy and Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff (CA) that there’s evidence of collusion. And thus we’re in a guilty until proven guilty scenario with the Trump campaign. There is or there isn’t collusion, so anything in between is hyperbole. That, of course, is not how any of this works.

Jordan responded that “potential collusion is not collusion” but Cuomo countered: “There are no conclusions of collusion. The investigation is not over, but there’s plenty of proof of it. I see proof as potential. I don't see dispositive crimes.”

Later, Cuomo flashed his partisan stripes when, first, he told Jordan point blank that he doesn’t trust him or his Republican colleagues to tell him the truth about documents related to the Russia investigation. Following that, he bemoaned the country’s partisanship while knocking Jordan’s colleague Trey Gowdy as “Captain Benghazi.” Again, Jordan was ready (click “expand”):

CUOMO: We can’t have more partisanship than we have right now. The chasm would swallow us both up, and we're capable guys. How do you go in there tomorrow with just Nunes, who is so compromised and Trey Gowdy who for, despite his recent rhetoric of being fair and disgusted with everything, is known as Captain Benghazi to the Democrats and they don't have anyone from the other side. How can this help what happens tomorrow? How can it help.

JORDAN: The question, Chris, is real simple. We want to know if, in fact — and it sure looks like this was the case — if, in fact, there were informants around the edges of the Trump campaign talking to people loosely affiliated with the Trump campaign, if it was some kind of spy, some kind of informant, some kind of plant, we want to know. 

CUOMO: But we know it wasn't an implant. You know already. They told you it wasn't.

JORDAN: They told — the same Department of Justice who — when they gave us documents, had redacted — between Page and Strzok text messages had redacted the fact that Peter Strzok was friends with one of the FISA court judges who also happened to be the same judge who heard Michael Flynn's case. We're supposed to start trusting that Department of Justice who was trying to hide that — trying to hide that information from us?

Click “expand” to see the full transcript of the Cuomo vs. Jordan debate from CNN’s New Day on May 23.

CNN’s New Day
May 23, 2018
7:19 a.m. Eastern

CHRIS CUOMO: Alright, got to keep checking Twitter. So far, no new tweet in the last seven minutes. But we do know this — the context of why we’re seeing the president kind of gin up into high gear this notion that there’s a nefarious group of officials that are out to spy on you and do you harm. The context is we have more than a dozen house Republicans calling for the appointment of a second special counsel. Why? To take a closer look at alleged abuses carried out by the FBI into the Trump campaign and Hillary Clinton's e-mail server, one of the people making the case is House Republican Jim Jordan of Ohio. Jim, always good to see you and I need your help this morning.

OHIO REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN JIM JORDAN: Alright. I’ll try to provide some help here this morning.

CUOMO: Always a plus. So, let’s use the President’s tweets as a spine for the discussion —

JORDAN: Alright.

CUOMO: — and you answer in context any way you want.

JORDAN: Alright.

CUOMO: The President is now calling the use of this confidential source who apparently contacted people in the campaign or related to, as satellites of the campaign Spygate. Do you believe that we have any factual basis for saying there was a spy in the Trump campaign? 

JORDAN: Well, if you read The New York Times piece they talk about this individual, give all kinds of details about this individual. That he —

CUOMO: Not as a spy. 

JORDAN: — that, well, and he met with all kinds of folks on the kind of periphery of the trump campaign. But I think — so it sure looks like that was the case. But we're going to wait and see. That's why Chairman Nunes has been requesting information to actually show this took place and the Department of Justice has been reluctant to give it to him. So, let's hope that actually happens. But Chris, when you couple it with what we do know they did, five of the top people at the FBI have been fired, like James Comey or Andrew McCabe. Andrew McCabe actually faces a criminal referral. Three, like Jim Baker, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page has been demoted and reassigned and two of the three retired in just the last three weeks. So, when you have five of the top people who oh by the way, happen to be the same people who ran the Clinton investigation and then launched the Trump-Russia investigation, that should be pause for concern and, again, when you couple it with what we know about the dossier and how that was used, I think all of this points to why we need information and why, months ago, we called for a second special counsel to get to the bottom of all of this and why now we have 25 individuals in the House of Representatives who supported Mr. Zeldin's resolution. 

CUOMO: Alright. Now, I wanted you to be able to get out your full case there. Thank you for doing so. One, 25, not an impressive number, especially with how many people you have who are trying to support the President's theories, no matter how wild they are. It seems to me — Jim, if you were right about this —

JORDAN: Chris, the chairman of the Judiciary has called for it, the chair of the Oversight Committee. 

CUOMO: — right but you only have 25 people. 

JORDAN: We just introduced it yesterday. Majority Whip has called for it. The Majority Leader has called for it. So, this is — this is a number of people who have real influence in the House of Representatives are calling for a second special counsel to get into this.

CUOMO: But the rank and file is slow on it because they know it seems to be something that would take us down the road of more of the same in terms of politicized nonsense. But this is why I say that, Jim. Let me give you a chance to respond to this. If what you said was not true, that these people hadn't been removed, people who were identified as being in this way negative influences on the administration of justice, if they hadn’t been dealed with — if they were still there, then you would have something, my friend. You’d be able to say how is McCabe still there? How are Strzok and Page and Brennan and these other ones — how are they still in office? How can you say they're there and this is fair? But none is there. They’ve all been moved away and you have an inspector general who’s got way more staff —

JORDAN: Chris —

CUOMO: — than you will ever be able to put together for a special counsel —

JORDAN: But he didn’t have the —

CUOMO: who outed McCabe —

JORDAN: — I understand.

CUOMO: — who has done a review with what happened with the Clinton e-mail schedule which you guys keep saying is damning —

JORDAN: And he’s the guy who gave us the Strzok/Page text messages. You’re right. The Inspector General has done good work.

CUOMO: So they can do the job. Why —

JORDAN: But they can’t prosecute

CUOMO: — try to create another politicized mess? Why?

JORDAN: Because — cause, according to the attorney general, when you have extraordinary circumstances, that's when you name special counsel. If this is extraordinary circumstance where five people of the top people at the FBI, have been, as I said, fired or demoted and many of them have retired. And when you have all of that going on and you have those people, the FBI take a disproven, salacious dossier to a secret court to get a secret warrant to spy on a fellow American citizen and when they go to the court, they don't tell them two important facts, namely who paid for it? The Democratic National Committee. And the author of the dossier, Christopher Steele, had been fired by the FBI because he was out leaking information. They didn’t tell the court those two important pieces of information.

CUOMO: Alright.

JORDAN: Chris, you go to the court, I go to court —

CUOMO: You’re flooding the zone.

JORDAN: — we got to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth and the FBI should have to do the same darn thing. 

CUOMO: Well, you’re flooding the zone and if you want to tell the whole truth —

JORDAN: I’m telling the truth.

CUOMO: — then don't shade everything. They did trust Steele. They didn’t like that he went out. That severed the relationship, but it wasn't that they didn't trust his sourcing or his work. They did disclose where the dossier came from. It is not all false allegations in that dossier. You know this to be the case even though you have never seen a FISA application yourself. 

JORDAN: Chris, here we are, a year and a half later —

CUOMO: Hold on.

JORDAN: — not one bit of evidence —

CUOMO: FISA —

JORDAN: — any type of collusion —

CUOMO: Hold on.

JORDAN: — any type of coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, but we know that the Democratic National Committee —

CUOMO: Jim, that is demonstrably false. We have tons of proof.

JORDAN: What do you mean demonstrably false? Even Democrats are saying —

CUOMO: We have tons of proof.

JORDAN: — even The New York Times said that last week, Chris. You know that’s the case.

CUOMO: Listen, talking over me does not silence the points. They have to come out. We have to have this conversation, so people who think independently can make decisions. There is tons of proof of potential collusion. We don’t know —

JORDAN: Oh, I lost Chris. Oh, I lost you for a second. I got you back.

CUOMO: Sure you did. No. 

JORDAN: Yeah, I did. I did. Say it again?

CUOMO: No. I believe you, brother. I believe you. There’s tons of proof of potential collusion. The things that were said, the things that were done were in bad discretion, bad choices and then you have to look at what the motivations are. We don't know the conclusions on those by this special counsel to get ahead of the conclusions is misleading. 

JORDAN: Chris —

CUOMO: — but FISA, as a tool, was created by Congress to make sure you don't have secret, that it must be vetted by a judge. So that process in and of itself is a safeguard and what I don't get about special counsel is what he said in the memo, Rosenstein. I read it five times last night to try to understand where you guys were coming from. The extraordinary circumstance was that the DOJ couldn't properly investigate this President because of what was clear in the dynamic. He got rid of Comey. He was asking questions about the investigation. Sessions had to recuse himself. That is what triggered Rosenstein to bring in the Special Counsel. You don't have that here because you have all your own people in charge, Jim. 

JORDAN: Here’s — here’s — here’s —

CUOMO: The attorney general, the head of the FBI, all the people there are your people. 

JORDAN: — a couple things. Now you're filibustering. A couple things. 

CUOMO: Just respond. Go ahead. 

JORDAN: When you use the word collusion, you use potential in front of it. That — Potential collusion is not collusion. That’s proving my point. There is no collusion. There’s been no evidence of that.

CUOMO: There are no conclusions of collusion 

JORDAN: Second —

CUOMO: — because the investigation is not over, but there’s plenty of proof of it. I see proof as potential. I don't see dispositive crimes. 

JORDAN: Chris, how about this fact. Here’s the reason you need a second special counsel. I don’t like ‘em. I wish we didn’t have to have them, but I see no other remedy here. Here's the reason. Can Rod Rosenstein oversee an investigation of potential obstruction of justice in the firing of James Comey when he’s the one who wrote the memo for firing James Comey? I mean, that's where we're at. 

CUOMO: So you're bothered by the fact that he's on your side of an argument —

JORDAN: No.

CUOMO: — so you don't want him to do the investigation? 

JORDAN: I'm bothered by what I just stated. Can he really do that? So, that’s just one of many reasons why you — I believe you need this remedy, a second special counsel. It’s why we called for it ten months ago. Chris, I’ve been on your show —

CUOMO: But you're not asking for anybody to look into why Trump fired Comey, are you? 

JORDAN: I’m looking into — I’m asking — no, no, no. But that's what the special — Mueller has said he's looking into potential obstruction of justice in the firing of James Comey. 

CUOMO: So that’s why you have Mueller.

JORDAN: Rosenstein oversees that investigation and he's the one who wrote the memo 

CUOMO: But Mueller is the one who draw —

JORDAN — saying why it’s appropriate to fire James Comey. 

CUOMO: — Mueller is the one who draws the conclusions about it. That's why Rosenstein is insulated. He oversees. He does not conduct and Mueller will do the investigating, the man who was celebrated by so many in your party. 

JORDAN: Chris, think about this. Chris, think about this. If he’s so insulated, why did he write a second memo on August 2nd changing the parameters, modifying the parameters of the investigation and why won't he show that memo to the American people? May 17, one year ago, we had the memo outlining here’s the framework work for Bob Mueller's investigation into the President that the American people elected. That was the framework and it was modified on August 2nd and — and Rod Rosenstein won't show us that — that modification —

CUOMO: Modified how? 

JORDAN: — and a federal — we don't know. We haven't seen it. 

CUOMO: But what do you want to assume about the modification? 

JORDAN:  Because the American people have the right to know. The parameters of any — 

CUOMO: — I agree. Look, I'm all about transparency. 

JORDAN: I am too.

CUOMO: The American people show know everything because, clearly, the partisans can't be trusted to tell them the full truth about this.

JORDAN: We want transparency.

CUOMO: You can't have any political oversight right now. That’s clear.

JORDAN: Tomorrow, Devin Nun — Chairman Nunes is to DOJ to get transparency. 

CUOMO: With no Democrats. 

JORDAN: I want to see — well, you know what? I — if they want to come, let them come. I’m all for transparency.

CUOMO: With Why weren't they invited? 

JORDAN: I don't know. You’d have to ask them.

CUOMO: You don't know, Jim? 

JORDAN: I don’t know if Adam Schiff goes. I’m not chairman of the Intelligence Committee. But I do know is that — that Rod Rosenstein wrote a memo August 2nd that a federal judge four weeks ago said he wanted to see and he got to see it.

CUOMO: But you don’t even know what it says. You're speculating on what it might mean, when it could just be a pro forma procedural indication of expanding the probe as the facts and issues arise. 

JORDAN: Why — come on, Chris. 

CUOMO: You don’t know what it means.

JORDAN: You just — you just — you just said you want transparency. I want transparency.

CUOMO: I want to see it. Don't get me wrong. 

JORDAN: More importantly —

CUOMO: I certainly don't want to hear from you guys what it says. I certainly don’t want to have two of your guys go into a meeting —

JORDAN: — I’m not — I’m not saying — Chris — I’m not saying what it says.

CUOMO: — with the feds and come out and tell me what it means. I certainly don't want that. 

JORDAN: I'm not saying what it says. All I want — all I’m saying is I want to see it. We’ve asked. I asked Rod Rosenstein in person to see it. We’ve sent him a letter and they sent us a letter back saying, sorry we're not going to show to you, but a federal judge wants to see it and he got to see it. 

CUOMO: Alright, Jim, I hear you on that. I believe there should be transparency. I’ve never argued differently to you. I’ve never even asked you a question against those kinds of intentions in encouraging transparency, assuming it doesn’t reveal sources and methods or anything that compromise anybody’s life or the integrity of the investigation. 

JORDAN: Of course, of course.

CUOMO: But this is the last point. I don't get what's going to happen tomorrow. We can’t have more partisanship than we have right now. The chasm would swallow us both up, and we're capable guys. How do you go in there tomorrow with just Nunes, who is so compromised and Trey Gowdy who for, despite his recent rhetoric of being fair and disgusted with everything, is known as Captain Benghazi to the Democrats and they don't have anyone from the other side. How can this help what happens tomorrow? How can it help.

JORDAN: The question, Chris, is real simple. We want to know if, in fact — and it sure looks like this was the case — if, in fact, there were informants around the edges of the Trump campaign talking to people loosely affiliated with the Trump campaign, if it was some kind of spy, some kind of informant, some kind of plant, we want to know. 

CUOMO: But we know it wasn't an implant. You know already. They told you it wasn't.

JORDAN: They told — the same Department of Justice who — when they gave us documents, had redacted — between Page and Strzok text messages had redacted the fact that Peter Strzok was friends with one of the FISA court judges who also happened to be the same judge who heard Michael Flynn's case. We're supposed to start trusting that Department of Justice who was trying to hide that — trying to hide that information from us?

CUOMO: It’s run by your guy, Christopher Wray. It's overseen by your guy, Jeff Sessions, and Rod Rosenstein. These are all your people.

JORDAN: All I’m — Chris — all I’m saying, Chris, is the Department of Justice — the credibility of the Department of Justice, in light of that fact, the fact that they’re dragged their feet to get us the information we’re entitled to as a separate and equal branch of government. They tried to hide the fact that Peter Strzok had a relationship with one of the FISA judges who was the same judge who heard Michael Flynn's case and recused himself, by the way after — after —

CUOMO: But you only know that because of what the I.G. has been figuring out. That's my point, Jim, is you have the inspector general. 

JORDAN: He figured it out —

CUOMO: You know that they can do this job. They have a big, capable staff.

JORDAN: — Chris, you're missing the point.

CUOMO: Why politicize it? That was what my question was.

JORDAN: Of course, the I.G. — the I.G. found the text messages but when the Department of Justice gave us those copies of the text messages, they redacted what I just described as —

CUOMO: That's not unusual and you know that.

JORDAN: Well —

CUOMO: It's not true proof of perfidy. 

JORDAN: But why would you redact that? It had nothing to do with an ongoing investigation, it wasn't classified information.

CUOMO: Because they have intelligence considerations.

JORDAN: No, because it was —

CUOMO: We've had this struggle with them my entire career.

JORDAN: — no, it was embarrassing to them. 

CUOMO: It doesn't mean that it's necessarily —

JORDAN: Come on.

CUOMO: — perfidious — that it's dishonest. Look, we'll have to know more. It's just about the mechanism and you know we'll keep talking about this with you. I'm anxious for you to make the case and I don't know how tomorrow's going to make anything better but let's see what happens. Let's be almost irrationally optimistic about it and then let's come back together and figure out what we know. Jim Jordan —

JORDAN: We'll do it.

CUOMO: — thank you for making the case.

JORDAN: You bet.

CUOMO: I appreciate it.

JORDAN: You bet, thanks.


Please support NewsBusters today! [a 501(c)(3) non-profit production of the Media Research Center]

DONATE

Or, book travel through MRC’s Travel Discounts Program! MRC receives a rebate for each booking when you use our special codes.

BOOK NOW
NBDaily FBI Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals Trump-Russia probe CNN New Day Video Government & Press James Comey Robert Mueller Chris Cuomo Donald Trump Jim Jordan Devin Nunes Peter Strzok
Curtis Houck's picture