DIABOLICAL: CNN Smears Gun Owners, Trashes ‘Diversionary’ Speech by Racist Trump

On Monday morning, CNN Newsroom made sure everyone recognized its hatred for President Donald Trump, his supporters, the Second Amendment, and anyone looking to unify the country in the wake of the Dayton and El Paso mass shootings. If you weren’t on board with those terms or approved of the President’s Monday morning speech, there was no place for you aboard Team Jeffrey Zucker.

Along with blaming the President and his supporters, journalists also slammed the National Rifle Association (NRA) as seemingly the one group that’s anthetical to keeping Americans safe and even in particular blamed Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) for having “rhetoric” that was similar to the El Paso monster.

 

 

Co-host and former Obama official Jim Sciutto got things started, almost immediately pivoting to complaining that the President didn’t push for sufficient gun control. Co-host Poppy Harlow then touted (as others would) the misleading statistic about “90 percent of Republicans supporting” expanded back ground checks and peddled a lie about a repealed government regulation about the mentally ill and access to firearms.

Playing the role of pundit, she ruled (click “expand”):

I don't know if this moment is different. Let's hope so, but I don't know. If Sandy Hook wasn't different and Parkland wasn't different, why should we believe that this will be different? Okay, so Jim and I would like to bring in all of our panelists who just listened to the President. With us, Nia-Malika Henderson. We heard the president say, quote, “mental illness pulls the trigger, not the gun.” And he did bump stocks, for example. His administration did ban but what he also did before parkland is he rolled back an Obama-era regulation specifically aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. It would mandate that certain information from the Social Security department had to go out about people that were trying to buy guns, to indicate if they were getting help for mental health issues, and his administration chose to take that away. 

Senior political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson blasted the President’s speech as “a diversionary tactic” that ignored how Trump’s “horrific” language was “inspiration” and “comforting” to people like the gun man who was merely “echoing [Trump’s] own thoughts.”

After senior White House correspondent Pamela Brown waxed poetic about how the powerful NRA hasn’t allowed massive gun control (read: confiscation), a truly ugly and rhetoric waterboarding ensued between conservative political commentator David Urban versus the rest of the panel (including former Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez).

But once Sciutto brought in some of the other panelists, he went next to the incredibly arrogant and smug John Avlon (click “expand”):

And look here’s the real shame of it is this is a 90 percent issue. 90 percent of Americans support background checks. But it keeps being blocked by very small number of folks and David Urban is talking about a holistic approach, common sense approach. Well, mental health may be part of it, video games may be part of it, but there are countries around the world that have mental health issues and video games but they don't have the kind of mass murder that we see here in the United States because of gun violence. So universal background checks ought to be part of that. Let's not be naive about what can get through. But let's also not disagree about the fact that this has been blocked by Mitch McConnell and opposed by Republican presidents over and over again. This is not an issue where there’s mythical moral equivalency.

Harlow then expressed her support for House Democratic gun control measures as a way to tee up deranged, far-left Washington Post journalist Wesley Lowery, who went on a long-winded rant that began by decrying America as “out of touch and undemocratic with what the will of the people is” and that the country should become a direct democracy. 

Apparently, Lowery either doesn’t know what he’s talking about or care about why the Founders didn’t go with direct democracy.

Here’s the rest of Lowery’s nonsense (click “expand,” emphasis mine):

 

 

If this went up for a national will tomorrow, all of these things would pass, right? The NRA would be very, very upset.....I think it's very clear and obvious the Republicans are the ones obstructing legislation to change the way guns operate in our country. We know that. We can’t — we don't need to pretend this is on both-sides issue, right. But going back to what the President's challenge was today, right? He had to deal with two crises, concurrent crises. The crisis of gun violence and white supremacy and domestic terror. He acknowledged one and did not acknowledge the other. He acknowledged the domestic terror crisis we're dealing with. He met the lowest bar. He named it what it was, he called it racist. He did not as the congressman notes, involve any introspection of the fact that this racist manifesto, the President’s words included things like the President's words, things like invasion. But on the gun crisis issue I do think there was a refusal to name what it was. What we know is that we have a health crisis in the country, at times, a mental health crisis, but to — to demagogue these shooters and to make it about mental health, there’s some danger there too, right? That there are any number of people deal with mental health crisis and the vast majority of them will never pick up a weapon and so something like this....The reality is that there is one thing that is different in the United States of America and that is our guns and it is the availability of them and sure, would banning one type of gun get rid of the complete possibility of someone committing an act of terror? Of course not. But the hope would be that we would get together to take the most steps possible to make it as difficult as possible for anyone to commit an act like this. It was mentioned earlier tommy guns and machine guns. Well, guess what? Those things are illegal now and people can't walk into places and use them. 

Avlon reiterated the lie about the Social Security Administration rule and interjected to mock Urban and anyone not on board with CNN’s worldview, asserting that the President used “a lot of Republican talking points that don't get to the heart of the issue of what we're dealing with too often in America.”

Leading up to the 10:45 a.m. Eastern mark, Harlow told Henderson that the lack of gun control (again, read: gun confiscation) in America has led to these shootings creating “a national embarrassment” because “who cares how strong our economy is or how strong our military is if Americans are killing Americans like this over and over and over again.”

Henderson not only agreed, but appeared to pin blame on Cornyn for the mass shooting and decried Trump as not only a racist but a cause of the shooting (click “expand,” emphasis mine):

No, I think that's right. Only in America. This is a unique problem to this time in American history where you have this proliferation of guns. You can talk about mental health, you can talk about video games all you want, but as Wes pointed out, certainly there are mental health issues in other countries, there are video games in other countries as well. And the other unique part of this era is Trump's rhetoric on race, his rhetoric about black and brown people in the Republican Party's unwillingness to really talk about it and in some ways really pick up that language. If you look at John Cornyn's Twitter feed, for instance, some of the language mirrors some of the language in that manifesto from the killer in El Paso, so that is problematic. You know, David Urban has a lot to say about Congress and what Congress needs to do. I wonder if he has any advice for what the President should do in terms of his language, talking about Mexicans as killers, talking about Mexicans as rapists, talking about Baltimore, talking about African countries in a disparaging way. So, you know, all fine and good that he wants Congress to come together and sort of clean up their act and address gun control, but listen, I mean, the President also has a responsibility. I think most Americans agree, to not be so disparaging, to not be so disparaging towards black people, towards brown people in the way that we've seen him do time and time again, endless, countless examples of him really I think inciting this sort of rhetoric at his rallies and again we saw it in the manifesto with this killer pointing out the — Trump's own rhetoric. 

Urban stood his ground by correctly pointing out that he has called out the President when he believes that he’s gone too far and asked if she would “be fair and acknowledge that.” Of course, Henderson sat stone cold-faced and allowed Gutierrez to continue with the rhetoric flogging.

So much for not being the enemy of the people or something.

To see the relevant transcript from August 5's CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto, click “expand.”

CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto
August 5, 2019
10:18 a.m. Eastern

JIM SCIUTTO: The President there issuing an emotional, I think you can say, public statement following these two days of deadly violence in America. He said two things there, Poppy, that he has not yet said about these shootings. He mentioned white supremacy and said that there should be a clear condemnation of racism, bigotry and white supremacy. He also called the violence domestic terrorism, again a phrase that we've rarely heard him apply to acts like this here on U.S. soil. But crucially, what is next? What will be different now? The President did not explicitly mention support for universal background checks. He talked about the internet, he talked about video games, he talked about mental health laws, he talked about so-called red flag laws which would prevent people who have mental health diagnose he's and other warnings from getting weapons. He also mentioned instituting the death penalty or rate crimes and mass murders. But you know, Poppy, we were talking a lot going into this, is this moment different in terms of how the country reacts? And at least on gun control measures, universal background checks does not appear that the President has moved significantly on that. 

POPPY HARLOW: Despite 90 percent of Republicans supporting them. I don't know if this moment is different. Let's hope so, but I don't know. If Sandy Hook wasn't different and Parkland wasn't different, why should we believe that this will be different? Okay, so Jim and I would like to bring in all of our panelists who just listened to the President. With us, Nia-Malika Henderson. We heard the president say, quote, “mental illness pulls the trigger, not the gun.” And he did bump stocks, for example. His administration did ban but what he also did before parkland is he rolled back an Obama-era regulation specifically aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. It would mandate that certain information from the Social Security department had to go out about people that were trying to buy guns, to indicate if they were getting help for mental health issues, and his administration chose to take that away. 

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON: You know, I guess this speech in some ways is sort of a diversionary tactic for this President. You look at what happened in El Paso, it was about what Christopher Wray has been talking about, which is the rise of white nationalism, which the rise of white supremacists and this ideology that this killer likely laid out in this racist essay. So the President, you know, wants to talk about video games, he wants to talk about mental health and he certainly doesn't want to talk about the ways in which he, in some ways through his own speech, has — I think, in some ways if you're a white supremacist, you find the President's words possibly inspirational, possibly comforting. The white supremacist in there and the way that he sort of tries to absolve the President, he certainly points to him, too, right. He essentially says the President is echoing his own thoughts. So I think that's a big missing piece. But he talks about the white supremacy, in some ways, he says, “oh, the nation needs to come together and call these people out.” I think his speech has been so horrific over these past four years as he’s running for president and then as President and this is a big problem I think that the Republicans don't want to talk about it, that this President obviously doesn't want to talk about. They want to talk about everything else, video games in this sense and mental health, and as you point out, even in what he's done as President. It shows that he doesn't even really think that's an issue that he wants to address. 

HARLOW: Pam Brown, you were with us before the president spoke. You heard his words. What's your read on this from the White House at this moment? 

PAMELA BROWN: A couple of things here, Poppy. What stuck out to me was the President was really focused on evil attacks, pinning this on mental health issues, an act of evil and he clearly from my view stayed away from connecting these shootings from gun violence and proposing anything new in terms of gun reform. He only looked backwards, looking at the bump stocks ban that his administration did enact, but clearly the President is not as forward-leaning on gun control as he has been in the past after other shootings like the Parkland shooting when you'll recall he considered assault rifle bans, when he talked about raising the age limit for buying rifles, background checks. We didn't hear any of that today and of course we know he backed away from those proposals under pressure from the NRA. Something else that stood out to me was the President condemning white nationalism and supremacy, his words racism. But he didn't acknowledge his own role in fanning the flames. Instead, he pointed the blame at the internet and social media. So the question is does the President have any acknowledgment of the role his rhetoric as the President of the United States might play in what happened in El Paso? We do know that he has called the invasions of people coming over the southern border, that language was used in the manifesto connected to the gunman, though that gunman said he had his views before President Trump. But that was also something missing from the President's statements. 

(....)

10:37 a.m. Eastern

SCIUTTO: But John Avlon, for this broadcast we asked 50 Republican lawmakers to come on. The only one who said yes was Ted Yoho to his credit. But when I spoke with him a short time ago, he was repeating many of the positions we've heard from Republican lawmakers back to past shootings, back about mental health and not rushing a decision on universal background checks. He doesn't support universal background checks and the President, while tweeting this morning, that he might tie them to immigration reform did not mention new background checks legislation in his statement there when he had an opportunity to do so. Your read of the politics here, have they changed one iota after these attacks today? Is the dynamic any different? 

JOHN AVLON: It should be. But you saw the President go out in front on Twitter and call for universal background checks and it was notably omitted from his scripted remarks. What was that conversation like inside the White House? What pressure groups were calling and saying you can't say that? And look here’s the real shame of it is this is a 90 percent issue. 90 percent of Americans support background checks. But it keeps being blocked by very small number of folks and David Urban is talking about a holistic approach, common sense approach. Well, mental health may be part of it, video games may be part of it, but there are countries around the world that have mental health issues and video games but they don't have the kind of mass murder that we see here in the United States because of gun violence. So universal background checks ought to be part of that. Let's not be naive about what can get through. But let's also not disagree about the fact that this has been blocked by Mitch McConnell and opposed by Republican presidents over and over again. This is not an issue where there’s mythical moral equivalency

HARLOW: You know what, Wes lowery, as Jim aptly brought up, HR-8, bipartisan background checks after 2019 passed the house. 241 votes to 90. Eight Republicans — only eight Republicans. HR-1112, bipartisan background checks, again passed the House but didn't go anywhere in the Senate. So how does Mitch McConnell answer these questions when this issue of background checks has 90 percent of Republican support? 

WESLEY LOWERY: Certainly. I mean, this has been an issue for a long time where the politics and our political representative system has been out of touch and undemocratic with what the will of the people is. If this went up for a national vote tomorrow, all of these things would pass, right? The NRA would be very, very upset. But the reality is because of the way our political system works, it’s not a true democracy, it doesn't really matter what the vast majority of Americans want many things that are considered common sense steps. You know, going back to the President's comments, you know, because I do think it's very clear and obvious the Republicans are the ones obstructing legislation to change the way guns operate in our country. We know that. We can’t — we don't need to pretend this is on both-sides issue, right.

SCIUTTO: Right.

LOWERY: But going back to what the President's challenge was today, right? He had to deal with two crises, concurrent crises. The crisis of gun violence in our country and white supremacy and domestic terror. He acknowledged one and did not acknowledge the other. He acknowledged the domestic terror crisis we're dealing with. He met the lowest bar. He named it what it was, he called it racist. He did not as the congressman notes, involve any introspection of the fact that this racist manifesto, the President’s words included things like the President's words, things like invasion. But on the gun crisis issue I do think there was a refusal to name --- to name what it was. What we know is that we have a health crisis in the country, at times, a mental health crisis, but to — to demagogue these shooters and to make it about mental health, there’s some danger there too, right? That there are any number of people deal with mental health crisis and the vast majority of them will never pick up a weapon and so something like this. In fact, what we know is that someone in the midst of a mental health crisis is more likely to be the victim of violence like this than to be the perpetrator. Second, video games, I mean, we should be doing studies of Japan and China then. We don't --- you know, every country has video games. This reminds me of Marilyn Manson being blamed for Columbine, right? The reality is that there is one thing that is different in the United States of America and that is our guns and it is the availability of them and sure, would banning one type of gun get rid of the complete possibility of someone committing an act of terror? Of course not. But the hope would be that we would get together to take the most steps possible to make it as difficult as possible for anyone to commit an act like this. It was mentioned earlier tommy guns and machine guns. Well, guess what? Those things are illegal now and people can't walk into places and use them. 

AVLON: And the important point of that, they've been illegal since the 1930s, right. I mean, the President and Dave Urban talked about mental health and one of the first things he did was turn over an executive order by Obama when he came in that dealt with gun access to folks with mental health issues. So —

HARLOW: Yeah.

AVLON: — maybe that's a reversal or some sign of progress but let's look at the whole field and not be naive, because there were a lot of Republican talking points that don't get to the heart of the issue of what we're dealing with too often in America. 

(....)

10:43 a.m. Eastern

HARLOW: You know, Mia, it just brings to my mind, it's a national embarrassment. I mean, who cares how strong our economy is or how strong our military is if Americans are killing Americans like this over and over and over again, Mia? 

HENDERSON: No, I think that's right. Only in America. This is a unique problem to this time in American history where you have this proliferation of guns. You can talk about mental health, you can talk about video games all you want, but as Wes pointed out, certainly there are mental health issues in other countries, there are video games in other countries as well. And the other unique part of this era is Trump's rhetoric on race, his rhetoric about black and brown people in the Republican Party's unwillingness to really talk about it and in some ways really pick up that language. If you look at John Cornyn's Twitter feed, for instance, some of the language mirrors some of the language in that manifesto from the killer in El Paso, so that is problematic. You know, David Urban has a lot to say about Congress and what Congress needs to do. I wonder if he has any advice for what the President should do in terms of his language, talking about Mexicans as killers, talking about Mexicans as rapists, talking about Baltimore, talking about African countries in a disparaging way. So, you know, all fine and good that he wants Congress to come together and sort of clean up their act and address gun control, but listen, I mean, the President also has a responsibility. I think most Americans agree, to not be so disparaging, to not be so disparaging towards black people, towards brown people in the way that we've seen him do time and time again, endless, countless examples of him really I think inciting this sort of rhetoric at his rallies and again we saw it in the manifesto with this killer pointing out the — Trump's own rhetoric. 

DAVID URBAN: Hey, Nia — Nia, to be fair —

LUIS GUTIERREZ: — President of the United States to go rallies in which people.

SCIUTTO: Let's let David respond if we can. 

GUTIERREZ: — President of the United States, sure.

URBAN: So Nia, Nia — I think to be fair to me, you should — you should recognize that I do call the president out each and every time. Every one of those instances you talk about, I've said the President should not do that. It is not — it’s not helpful, it's not right, and I call him out each and every time. So I think you should be fair and acknowledge that. 

[SILENCE]

NB Daily El Paso/Dayton shootings Guns Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats CNN CNN Newsroom Video John Avlon Wesley Lowery Jim Sciutto Poppy Harlow Nia-Malika Henderson Donald Trump John Cornyn
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