CNN’s ‘The Lead’: Ham Owns the Libs, But Sanders Says Trump Should Be Arrested

As those on Twitter have probably seen by now, CNN eventually started allowing conservatives on their airwaves by the late Thursday afternoon hours after the release of the Mueller report, and Mary Katharine Ham didn’t waste the chance to own more than a few libs and their “operation in gaslighting” maintaining Trump’s guilt.

In contrast to Ham’s masterful takedown, liberal CNN political commentator Symone Sanders lashed out by suggesting that, if America had a real “justice system,” the President would be arrested right now. In addition, former longtime Countdown guest and Watergate figure John Dean declared the Mueller report to “more damning” than the Iran/Contra, Starr, and Watergate reports.

 

 

First, to Ham’s latest five-star demolition derby. The Lead host Jake Tapper gave her the floor at roughly 4:19 p.m. Eastern and she didn’t waste it by first quipping: 

I hope nobody missed leg day because carrying these goal posts are going to be very heavy if you want to do it for the next 18 months because the idea coalescing that the idea of collusion, which everyone, we all know, used for two years as a short hand for a conspiracy and a large criminal sense, the idea that we did not use that for that and that that conclusion does not matter and that, therefore, it's like somehow improper to point out there was no collusion as we meant it for the last two years, I think is an operation in gaslighting. There was no collusion. 

Ham pointed out that it is indeed “great news” that the President “wasn’t a foreign asset” and thus he’s definitively a legitimate President. 

She even conceded that the report showed the President used “bad judgment and often lies,” but the fact remains that the “bar was set at this level and it wasn't set by the President” but instead by “plenty of other people, the entire media included, that set it there on the obstruction of justice stuff.”

Batting cleanup for the conservatives in the lion’s den was fellow political commentator David Urban, who chimed in a few minutes later by calling out his colleagues directly: “For a long time, for two years on this program, on others across network television, cable television, you heard Democrat after Democrat, there's absolutely proof of this. This is going — I mean, I could read the pool of quotes of conspiracy and collusion.”

Urban continued by pointing out that there are droves of people who could have been indicted for conspiracy (aka collusion) that weren’t the President, but they weren’t (click “expand”):

And lo and behold, as Mary Katharine points out, now that there is no conspiracy or collusion, we're going to slide the goal post down to something else. Look, this — they could have indicted Don Jr. They could have indicted lots of people. They could have. They could have done it. There's no reason. The President is something different but there are lots of other people that are chronicled in this report on the conspiracy part that were simply, you know, passed over because there was not enough and as to the obstruction piece, right, as Jeffrey points out, the legal term, the old-fashioned legal term of center, let’s not — let’s not overlook, that’s the — that’s nub of the obstruction charge is your — your — your intent. The person's intent at the time. I mean, we have smart lawyers sitting here. And if that isn't the nub of it, then tell me what is.

Before a commercial break, Sanders jumped into to get the final word: “This is not the justice system. This is not the justice system. The justice system, honestly, the things that were laid out, Donald Trump would be in handcuffs right now. This is an enforcement system. This is enforcement system. It's not justice.”

Okay, then! I guess she wasn’t actually ever offended by the “lock her up chants” at Trump rallies.

After that break, Dean told Tapper:

Well, Jake, what I did is I looked on my shelf for the Watergate — Senate Watergate Committee report. I looked at the Iran/Contra report. I also looked at the — the Ken Starr report which is too big to bring to the set here. It's four volumes, over 2,000 words and I've got to tell you. I’ve read all of those and in 400 words, Mr. — this report from the special counsel is more damning than all those reports about a president. This is really a devastating report. 

To see the relevant transcript from CNN’s The Lead on August 18, click “expand.”

CNN’s The Lead
August 18, 2019
4:19 p.m. Eastern

MARY KATHARINE HAM: Look, I hope nobody missed leg day because carrying these goal posts are going to be very heavy if you want to do it for the next 18 months because the idea coalescing that the idea of collusion, which everyone, we all know, used for two years as a short hand for a conspiracy and a large criminal sense, the idea that we did not use that for that and that that conclusion does not matter and that, therefore, it's like somehow improper to point out there was no collusion as we meant it for the last two years, I think is an operation in gaslighting. There was no collusion. It is good news. It's great news he wasn't a foreign asset and that he's the duly elected President. That being said when you move on to the obstruction stuff, Trump once again, and, by the way, I'm on record for saying that all of the things that are revealed in here are bad judgment and often lies. Like I've said this many times, but the bar was set at this level and it wasn't set by the President. There were plenty of other people, the entire media included, that set it there on the obstruction of justice stuff. Again, I am very thankful to those who stopped him from doing things that I think would have completely torpedoed his presidency. I also think this now becomes, as you said, a political calculation when it comes to the Congress to decide how much do you want to put out there on the line for an obstruction charge that ultimately did not obstruct the investigation and everything that — he got access to what he wanted. We have an answer in this report, and I think it's important to take that answer[.]

(....)

4:22 p.m. Eastern

DAVID URBAN: So my reaction is similar to Mary Katharine's, right? For a long time, for two years on this program, on others across network television, cable television, you heard Democrat after Democrat, there's absolutely proof of this. This is going — I mean, I could read the pool of quotes of conspiracy and collusion, as colloquy as you said, and just we wait —  we're going to wait for this report. I've urged, let's just wait and all read it. And lo and behold, as Mary Katharine points out, now that there is no conspiracy or collusion, we're going to slide the goal post down to something else. Look, this — they could have indicted Don Jr. They could have indicted lots of people. They could have. They could have done it. There's no reason. The President is something different but there are lots of other people that are chronicled in this report on the conspiracy part that were simply, you know, passed over because there was not enough and as to the obstruction piece, right, as Jeffrey points out, the legal term, the old-fashioned legal term of center, let’s not — let’s not overlook, that’s the — that’s nub of the obstruction charge is your — your — your intent. The person's intent at the time. I mean, we have smart lawyers sitting here. And if that isn't the nub of it, then tell me what is.

(....)

4:24 p.m. Eastern

URBAN [TO TOOBIN]: As you — as you pointed out earlier, or somebody else on one of these shows, genius move by his lawyers, right? Provided enough — enough background information from everybody so that Mueller says —

ELIE HONIG: Not enough. Not enough. Mueller said — Mueller said his response was, “insufficient and inadequate.” That is not cooperation.

URBAN: — well, whose response? The President's response? The President — listen — 

SYMONE SANDERS: I would just like to say — this is why people call it —

URBAN: — 500 people — 2800 subpoenas. 

SANDERS: This is not the justice system. This is not the justice system. The justice system, honestly, the things that were laid out, Donald Trump would be in handcuffs right now. 

TAPPER: Okay.

SANDERS: This is an enforcement system. This is enforcement system. It's not justice.

URBAN: I think we call that truthful hyperbole. 

TAPPER: We're going — we’re going to take a very quick break.

(....)

4:29 p.m. Eastern

JOHN DEAN: Well, Jake, what I did is I looked on my shelf for the Watergate — Senate Watergate Committee report. I looked at the Iran/Contra report. I also looked at the — the Ken Starr report which is too big to bring to the set here. It's four volumes, over 2,000 words and I've got to tell you. I’ve read all of those and in 400 words, Mr. — this report from the special counsel is more damning than all those reports about a president. This is really a devastating report. 

TAPPER: And yet, it concludes that there's insufficient evidence to say that the President and his team conspired with Russia, which was the most important part of the investigation, one might argue. 

DEAN: Exactly. You know, and I think we've also lost some of the context of what's going on here. This was a campaign that Trump has all but admitted was not a serious presidential campaign. It was a branding under taking and they wanted all the help they could get from wherever they could get, and it's clear they got a lot from the Russians. An unusual amount. Does it rise to the level of a criminal conspiracy? Apparently not, at least with the evidence that's available. Not everybody was willing to talk about everything that was available. A lot of messages were encrypted. They couldn't get to them and as far as the obstruction goes, this is clear obstruction, Jake. It — the obstruction statute is an endeavor statute, as well as actual overt action, but just — if you endeavor to obstruct and there is much evidence here of endeavor, you violated the obstruction statue. 

NB Daily Mueller Report Push to Impeach Trump Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Trump-Russia probe CNN The Lead Video Government & Press Symone Sanders Robert Mueller Mary Katharine Ham John Dean Donald Trump
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