Not The Onion: CNN’s Baldwin Brings on McCabe to Bash ‘Trump Conspiracies’

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As one Twitter user argued, weekday afternoon CNN Newsroom host Brooke Baldwin is the daytime version of Don Lemon. While she’s promoted as a journalist, she’s no more than a pro-impeachment and pro-Resistance partisan who accepts most everything liberal guests tell her. 

Such was the case on Tuesday when she lectured viewers about how raising questions about the Biden family or the whistleblower was tantamount to spreading conspiracy theories. And to back her up, she turned to none other than fired FBI official, proven liar, and CNN contributor Andrew McCabe.

 

 

The pillow-fluffing began immediately with this softball accompanied by the chryon “Presidency in Peril; Barr Goes on Reported World Tour to Fuel Trump Conspiracies” (click “expand”):

Let’s have conversation about all of this. Andrew McCabe is a CNN contributor and former FBI deputy director. Sir Andrew McCabe, a pleasure, sir. Welcome back.....Here’s my first question to you. You — you were one of “the” top officials who made sure the Russia investigation was opened. You were at the top levels. They're investigating you and your colleagues. Do you find Bill Barr's travels problematic? And in your decades with the agency, have you ever heard of anything like this? 

McCabe obviously replied that he hadn’t, fretting about “why is [Barr] doing this all” when not only were “[t]he circumstances behind the opening of the Russia case....not a mystery” thanks to books and testimonies he and James Comey have completed, but “[t]hey were entirely validated by the special counsel investigation” that he deemed horrible for the President.

So, in the eyes of McCabe, they didn’t find the collusion that had been shoveled on the American people for two years, but it was still damning. But if that’s the case, then why doesn’t it appear as though the Mueller report’s findings serve as likely articles of impeachment?

Another hallmark of a softball interview by an allegedly objective journalist is when the interviewee praises the interviewer for question. Here’s one instance of that in which Baldwin lamented that “Trump’s conspiracies” were spreading worldwide (click “expand”):

BALDWIN: To — to add to your example, something we wondered also, is Bill Barr doing this for the sole purpose of pursuing Trump's conspiracies? Because it's just worth reminding everyone that this is the guy who wrote that, you know, unsolicited memo to the DOJ just last year saying that he thought the Mueller investigation was “fatally misconceived” and that was before nominated for the job? 

MCCABE: You know, that’s a great question, Brooke. It's not one we know the answer to, but I think it is undeniable that the attorney general's personal involvement in this investigation, his prioritization of it, which is indicated by his own travel, is entirely consistent with the President's obsession of undermining the root cause and the impact of the Russia investigation. So we don’t — we can't say right now exactly why the attorney general's doing what he's doing, but we do know what he's doing is entirely consistent with the President's goals. 

After a pathetic question wondering if Barr should be recused from this impeachment inquiry, Baldwin boasted that the intelligence community’s Inspector General “debunked multiple conspiracy theories spread by this president and his allies and the right-wing media.”

That’s quite amusing considering all the conspiracy theory spoon-feeding CNN has engaged in against anyone not onboard with their anti-Trump agenda. What miserable, loathsome hacks.

But wait, there’s more! Here was Baldwin’s final question: “And we use this word “unprecedented” feels like on a daily basis. Tell us, Andy, seriously, how extraordinary is this?”

Once again, McCabe agreed with Baldwin’s premise:

It is, running out of words here as well, Brooke. It is truly extraordinary. The opinion or the statement that he released yesterday is remarkable for its candor and legal analysis to my estimation is bullet-proof and I would say it is — it is another act of courage by this intelligence community inspector general[.]

To illustrate for those still unsure, Baldwin gushed at McCabe’s analysis when the interview ended: “Yes. Your point being bullet-proof. Great insight. Andy McCabe, thank you so much. Good to have you on.” Yuck.

Earlier before McCabe, Baldwin boasted of how “[t]here is no evidence of wrongdoing by” Joe or Hunter Biden and that Barr’s oversight and investigation into why the cockamamie Trump-Russian probe began was no more than a fool’s errand, disguised as overseas travel “to persuade several foreign governments to help discredit the Mueller probe.”

“And we should also just note that the intelligence community IG’s office issued a sharp rebuke to conspiracy theories that it was, you know, spun by the President, spun by his allies that it's hearsay and that laws were changed over the last year to allow secondhand information to be used,” she added.

>>Help fight back against the media's impeachment crusade.<<

To see the relevant transcript from October 1's CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin, click “expand.”

CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin
October 1, 2019
2:00 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Presidency in Peril; All the President’s Men: Trump’s Allies Part of Tangled Web]

BROOKE BALDWIN: Here’s the story today. In Washington, the word congressional recess seems to be code for anything but a break as this impeachment inquiry launched by Democrats intensifies along with the pushback from the Trump White House.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Presidency in Peril; Pompeo Plays Hardball on Calls for State Officials to Be Deposed]

And now two top officials — you have Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General. William Barr, the latest high-profile names entangled in President Trump's attempts to get foreign governments to act on his behalf. Today, Secretary Pompeo is taking aim at Democrats who want to depose his staff in the wake of that July phone call where President Trump repeatedly urged his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate both Joe Biden and his son Hunter and, again just a reminder to everyone. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Biden.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Presidency in Peril; Pompeo Accuses Dems of “Bullying” State in Whistleblower Scandal]

Pompeo tweeted a letter he sent to the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee where he wrote the depositions are an attempt to, his words, “intimidate” and “bully” State Department officials adding that he would “prevent any attempts to do so.” 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Presidency in Peril; Pompeo Was on Ukraine Call, Despite Evasive Answer in Interview]

Now, the secretary's defiance comes as sources tell CNN that Pompeo was one of the people actually listening in on the phone call and just contrast that with a little over a week ago when Pompeo claimed he hadn't even read the whistle-blower complaint about that conversation. 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Presidency in Peril; Barr Goes on Reported World Tour to Fuel Trump Conspiracies]

And then there is Bill Barr, the nation's top law enforcement official who reportedly has been meeting with counterparts in Australia and elsewhere in this bid to persuade several foreign governments to help discredit the Mueller probe. 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Presidency in Peril; Ex-Ukraine Envoy, Intel AG Expected at House Hearings This Week]

All of that is happening as an important week plays out for House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff and his committee, high-profile appearances, including Kurt Volker, the former Ukraine special envoy who quit the day after that whistle-blower complaint went public along with President Trump's hand-picked intelligence community inspector general.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Presidency in Peril; Intel Watchdog Refutes Whistleblower Conspiracy by GOP]

And we should also just note that the intelligence community IG’s office issued a sharp rebuke to conspiracy theories that it was, you know, spun by the President, spun by his allies that it's hearsay and that laws were changed over the last year to allow secondhand information to be used. In a statement, the IG debunked all of that, saying that the whistle-blower had direct knowledge of some of the alleged conduct and that, just as important, secondhand knowledge is permitted as part of any complaint and just finally, the IG said no laws were changed to accommodate the report.

(....)

2:05 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Presidency in Peril; Barr Goes on Reported World Tour to Fuel Trump Conspiracies]

BALDWIN: Let’s have conversation about all of this. Andrew McCabe is a CNN contributor and former FBI deputy director. Sir Andrew McCabe, a pleasure, sir. Welcome back. 

ANDREW MCCABE: Thanks, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Hang on one — We've got you, Andy? There we go. Just like the magic television. Love it. Here’s my first question to you. You — you were one of “the” top officials who made sure the Russia investigation was opened. You were at the top levels. They're investigating you and your colleagues. Do you find Bill Barr's travels problematic? And in your decades with the agency, have you ever heard of anything like this? 

MCCABE: No. No. I sure haven't heard of anything like this. There's a — there’s a — two primary questions that I think you have to ask here. The first is, why is he doing this at all? The circumstances behind the opening of the Russia case are not a mystery. I have testified under oath about them as early as December of 2017. Jim Comey’s made comments publicly, I have, we both wrote books that touched on the issues. So it's circumstances behind the case are widely known. They were entirely validated by the special counsel investigation. We now know that Russia did try to attack our elections and that the President did engage in numerous acts of potential obstruction — obstructive conduct. So it raises that question of what are we doing here? The second question is —

BALDWIN: Yeah. 

MCCABE: — not the propriety of the attorney general talking to foreign colleagues, because that happens all the time, but these are foreign colleagues who are very, very familiar with working with U.S. investigators and prosecutors. We cooperate with those folks and have on investigations and prosecutions for many, many years. So the question becomes, why does the attorney general feel it's necessary to personally interact with those folks and make this introduction to Prosecutor Durham and what is taking place in those conversations? What objectives is he actually advocating here or assistance. 

BALDWIN: To — to add to your example, something we wondered also, is Bill Barr doing this for the sole purpose of pursuing Trump's conspiracies? Because it's just worth reminding everyone that this is the guy who wrote that, you know, unsolicited memo to the DOJ just last year saying that he thought the Mueller investigation was “fatally misconceived” and that was before nominated for the job? 

MCCABE: You know, that’s a great question, Brooke. It's not one we know the answer to, but I think it is undeniable that the attorney general's personal involvement in this investigation, his prioritization of it, which is indicated by his own travel, is entirely consistent with the President's obsession of undermining the root cause and the impact of the Russia investigation. So we don’t — we can't say right now exactly why the attorney general's doing what he's doing, but we do know what he's doing is entirely consistent with the President's goals. 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Presidency in Peril; All the President’s Men: Trump’s Allies Part of Tangled Web]

BALDWIN: And you think about how many times the President brought up the AG in that phone conversation with Zelensky. You know, Barr has not recused himself at this point. We know how well that went or not with Jeff Sessions. What would have to happen for him to do so and who would make him? 

MCCABE: Well, there's nobody that can make the attorney general recuse himself from any matter. That is a decision that's entirely up to him. He usually would — would make a decision like that based upon his consulting with professional ethics — professionals within the Department of Justice, but a very valid question there, Brooke, to think, has he even considered doing so? Has he requested that sort of guidance from the ethics professionals in the department? And if so, what sort of advice has he been given? There is no question at least in terms of the whistle-blower complaint that the attorney general is right square in the middle of that complaint as someone who would be certainly a relevant witness and someone who whose testimony would be essential getting to the bottom of those claims. 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Presidency in Peril; Intel Watchdog Debunks Trump Conspiracies in Rare Statement]

BALDWIN: And then I pointed this out off the top. You know, in this rare and public response the Office of Inspector General, the IC-IG, debunked multiple conspiracy theories spread by this president and his allies and the right wing media and we use this word “unprecedented” feels like on a daily basis. Tell us, Andy, seriously, how extraordinary is this? 

MCCABE: It is, running out of words here as well, Brooke. It is truly extraordinary. The opinion or the statement that he released yesterday is remarkable for its candor and legal analysis to my estimation is bullet-proof and I would say it is — it is another act of courage by this intelligence community inspector general who is a Trump appointee and who, no doubt, knows that the things that he is saying, the positions he is taking, are probably being looked upon very negatively by the President and the — and his supporters in the administration. But, you know, when you go through that statement, he makes it absolutely clear that it is not necessary for the complainant to come forward with a complaint based only on first-person information, but that the complainant in this case indicated that they had both firsthand information and secondhand information, and then he says in a very kind of deft way that his own analysis, his preliminary review of the credibility of the complaint involved talking to people with firsthand knowledge. So I think what that tells us, Brooke is that the IC IG is kind of telegraphing here that there are witnesses that he spoke to with firsthand knowledge who confirmed the allegations in this complaint and that is a — that's a very substantial revelation. 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Presidency in Peril; Subpoenas First Step in Trump Impeachment Process]

BALDWIN: Yes. Your point being bullet-proof. Great insight. Andy McCabe, thank you so much. Good to have you on. 

MCCABE: Thanks, Brooke. 

NB Daily Trump Impeachment Trump-Russia probe CNN CNN Newsroom Video Brooke Baldwin Andrew McCabe Donald Trump Bill Barr
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