Chicken Littles: CNN Uses Founders to Call for Trump’s Removal...or America Will Die!

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In the first hour after dear friend and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) released his team’s impeachment report, CNN Right Now went into overdrive, illustrating its pompous partisanship. 

With help from the usual suspects and a fraudulent liberal posing as a Republican, CNN painted a narrative that, if you’re a patriotic American who cares about the Founding Fathers and our future, then voting to impeach and remove President Trump is the only option. Otherwise, America will die.

Host Brianna Keilar was one of many to read their favorite excerpts, including a passage opining that Trump is the very kind of person George Washington warned about in his farewell address.

 

 

Brought on as a “Republican” guest due to her role for the House GOP in the Clinton impeachment, Never Trumper, liberal, and Hillary voter Sophia Nelson offered the first of many warnings that took aim at Fox News and her so-called party (click “expand”):

NELSON: I mean, Brianna, this is a huge moment for America and I’ve been saying this for weeks. It's about who we're going to be in this moment and who we're going to be going forward and I realize that politically the president plays to his base and we know we're really living in two Americas right now because if you turn on another network, versus this network or another network, you hear entirely different set of facts, narratives. It's kinda scary, because if you don't know, you don't know who to believe at this point and I think what's dangerous is that the Republican Party, Lincoln's party, has now adopted a position that says it's okay to subvert democracy. It's okay to gloss this over. It's okay not to honor checks and balances. Is that really the hill they want to die on? Because that's a bad hill, if you ask me. 

GLORIA BORGER: Well, you know, this — this summary report talks about that because the question that Schiff's committee raises is, if you can't agree on the facts and the truth, how can you have a debate? And it says this. “But perhaps even more corrosive to our democratic system of governance, the President and his allies are making a comprehensive attack on the very idea of fact and truth. How can a democracy survive without acceptance of a common set of experiences?”

Keilar agreed, furthering Schiff’s narrative by stating that impeachment is well and good and not robbing voters because it’s in the Constitution.

Longtime diplomatic analyst Robin Wright described the report as not only “embarrassing” for Trump at the NATO conference, but “shameful” that Trump’s behavior will have “repercussions for our ability not just during the Trump presidency but I think down the road.”

Keilar then appeared to opine Trump voters are too stupid to understand Wright’s analysis, believing that such foreign alliances don’t affect them.

Nelson agreed and feigned outrage at her supposed party, claiming that she’s “embarrassed as a lifelong Republican — I am embarrassed and ashamed of the Republican Party that not one person could stand up and say this conduct is unacceptable.” She added that removing Trump is “not about partisanship” but “right and wrong.”

This came from the woman who went full Chris Matthews about Hillary Clinton’s majesty, called the Benghazi hearing a “high-tech lynching” of Clinton, and lashed out at any woman who wouldn’t vote for her.

 

 

Nelson’s charade allowed Keilar and chief political analyst Gloria Borger to resurrect their act about how Ukrainians putting their thumb on the scales of the 2016 election for Clinton was totally above board (which NewsBusters demolished on Monday).

Speaking of Borger, she also invoked the Founders and spoke in apocalyptic terms while again quoting the Founders-wrapped report, arguing Congress will rule “whether what they do matters at all because if they can be circumvented by a president — anytime he or she wants, why do you need a Congress?”

Nelson soon got another chance, griping that the only “advice” she has for her supposed party is “find your soul” because, well, the America we love would cease to exist if Trump isn’t tossed:

This is bigger than you. This is bigger than this moment. This is about who we're going to be. Does Congress have a role? Because if Congress doesn't have a coequal role in oversight investigation, then we have a problem. We don't have a republic anymore. We have something else moving closer to an authoritarianism type of rule of a President that, as he said, has absolute power under Article II, which, of course, does not exist. That’s not true. 

Not to be left out, former Obama officials Carrie Cordero and Joshua Geltzer sang from the same apocalyptic sheet music (click “expand”):

CORDERO: It's up to Congress now to decide who to do with those facts and that gets to your points about the historical significance of these acts and is this conduct that really any party for the future wants to consider as appropriate and acceptable for any president to engage in and that's why these proceedings are so important to create historical records. 

(....)

GELTZER: I think we need to dwell on this point today because tomorrow the conversation will shift to, what is an impeachable offense, what it's a high crime misdemeanor, that’s obviously going to critical in the weeks ahead. But for one day to dwell on how bad it is for American national security and U.S. foreign policy to have a quid pro Trump, really. A quid pro quo, not a trade to benefit our country, our nation our people but to benefit him personally. That is what's so dangerous and what can't be normalized the way Mulvaney's comment suggests. 

Before the coverage wrapped, Nelson stated that “we're all in agreement we cannot allow this to be okay” but doing so would mark “the beginnings of the end of America” and “the soul of America” because we’d fail to uphold Benjamin Franklin’s “if you can keep it” line.

On cue, Keilar again displayed a Swamp-like mentality in bashing Trump supporters: “But it seems like some voters are fine with a degree of sort of that more authoritarian streak if it speaks to what they believe in.”

To see the relevant transcript from December 3's CNN Right Now, click “expand.”

CNN Right Now
December 3, 2019
2:11 p.m. Eastern

BRIANNA KEILAR: One of the things — one of things in this preface. It says — it talks about George Washington and what he said. It said: “In his farewell address, President George Washington and this seems to answer sort of what you were saying there, Pamela, “warned of a moment when ‘cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men will be able to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which lifted them to unjust dominion.’”

SOPHIA NELSON: I mean, Brianna, this is a huge moment for America and I’ve been saying this for weeks. It's about who we're going to be in this moment and who we're going to be going forward and I realize that politically the president plays to his base and we know we're really living in two Americas right now because if you turn on another network, versus this network or another network, you hear entirely different set of facts, narratives. It's kinda scary, because if you don't know, you don't know who to believe at this point and I think what's dangerous is that the Republican Party, Lincoln's party, has now adopted a position that says it's okay to subvert democracy. It's okay to gloss this over. It's okay not to honor checks and balances. Is that really the hill they want to die on? Because that's a bad hill, if you ask me. 

GLORIA BORGER: Well, you know, this — this summary report talks about that because the question that Schiff's committee raises is, if you can't agree on the facts and the truth, how can you have a debate? And it says this. “But perhaps even more corrosive to our democratic system of governance, the President and his allies are making a comprehensive attack on the very idea of fact and truth. How can a democracy survive without acceptance of a common set of experiences?”

KEILAR: One of the things this also makes the case for is — is impeachment. To your point where White House officials or those in Trump's corner think, oh, you're attacking democracy with this or you’re saying this is about democracy. They're laying out the case to say impeachment isn't a radical idea. Impeachment is clearly lined — outlined in the Constitution. This is actually something that is part of the — the, you know, the founding document.

(....)

2:20 p.m. Eastern

ROBIN WRIGHT: The thing that strikes me, this is — began with foreign policy and Donald Trump is in London celebrating 70 years of western cohesion and unity on issues that have to do with democracy. How embarrassing is it for him? How much does this undermine not only his ability to conduct foreign policy, but America's credibility? And it's not just shameful in terms of the way it plays out among us, it is — it has repercussions for our ability not just during the Trump presidency but I think down the road that the United States would stoop to the level of trying to compromise the safety of a country that's on the front line with Russia militarily. For his own political gain. That's just — that’s just unprecedented when it comes to American history. 

KEILAR: Do you think, Robin, that that's too distant in the history of the country for a lot of Americans to say, oh, yeah. That really matters. That's very important to me personally, to the health of the country, to have this cohesion to have these alliances? Do you think that’s something that really — I mean I think people obviously who are steeped in foreign policy, they understand just how important that is, but I wonder if there’s a lot of Americans, that's not something that convinces them? 

WRIGHT: The one thing that came out of these hearings people realized there was a country called Ukraine and very emotionally the way Fiona Hill and Bill Taylor talked how Ukrainians are dying every day to protect their territory and the west in general against Russian aggression. The tragedy in all of this is that we talk a lot about the aid finally getting through, but the fact is the Trump administration has done nothing inner its of countering Vladimir Putin on his annexation of Crimea and his support for separatists there. This is really the frontline for us, too. Not just for Europe. This is where the tensions that played out during the Cold War and now in the post-Cold War world, so much is at stake and the repercussions of this report and what happens in this impeachment hearing I think will play out for a very long time, not just in our elections. 

NELSON: It brings me back to — she underscores my point. We're going to decide who we are and what we will tolerate. A line on page three. “The impeachment inquiry found that President Trump personally and acting through agents within and outside of the U.S. government solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, to benefit his re-election.” To your point, how embarrassing. He's there for NATO. He’s with the queen of England now. Everyone knows what's going on. It’s like the 800-pound elephant in the room and America looks ridiculous right now and the question is, what are we going to do about it at home? And I'm embarrassed as a lifelong Republican — I am embarrassed and ashamed of the Republican Party that not one person could stand up and say this conduct is unacceptable. It's not about partisanship. It's about what's right and wrong and it's a shame that not one Republican in the House has done that. I'm —

KEILAR: Well, one did and then he had to leave the party. 

NELSON:  — well Justin Amash, right. But other than that, not one in the House and I'm hoping Mitt Romney leads a charge like Margaret Chase Smith in Senate but I'm not optimistic there, either. 

BORGER: You know, what’s — what’s also troubling is the new Republican defense that Ukraine interfered in one way or another in the 2016 election. Something that American intelligence officials did not find. Something that Bob Mueller did not find and something that the Senate intelligence committee did not find. 

KEILAR: There’s no indication that happened. There was some — 

BORGER: There’s absolutely no indication.

KEILAR:  — Ukrainian officials that voiced that they were oppositional to the President —

BORGER: Exactly.

KEILAR: — because he was oppositional to Ukraine. Sorry. I just want to make that very clear. 

BORGER: Exactly. It is one way of trying to defend the president by saying, well, you know, he would just — didn't like Ukrainian election interference, which, of course, never occurred, and that is beside the point. I think what this report is pointing out here is that, a., the President didn't mention corruption on his phone call with Zelensky and, B., that's really not what this is about. This is about stopping military aid on behalf of an ally against an aggressor. Russia. Russia. Not our friend, our foe. Russia and if that can be pointed out to the American people, that this benefits Russia, and the Republican Party used to be a party that really cared about how we dealt with Russia, maybe that will have some impact. I'm not sure, but I'm wondering if we’re going to hear this, you know, Ukraine tried to influence the election defense as we heard from Senator Kennedy, over and over again as this plays out, because it was in the House Republican report here and there's no place for it in this. 

(....)

2:36 p.m. Eastern

BORGER: Well, and don't forget. This money, this military aid was approved by Congress. Congress is going to be the one deciding on impeachment. They’re going to figure out whether what they do matters at all because if they can be circumvented by a president — anytime he or she wants, why do you need a Congress? And that's the point that this report makes very, very strongly. I mean, it says that — “having just one hard-fought independence from a king with unbridled authority,” Congress — “the framers were attuned to the danger of an executive who lacked fealty to the law and to the Constitution.” So, that's what this is about. 

KEILAR: Sophia, you were counsel for Republicans during the Clinton impeachment. I wonder, as you know, Gloria, we know, from the reporting we do, we know certainly there is a segment of the House Republican conference that believes what they're saying. Right? They believe — they might even believe some of these conspiracy theories. There's also a large section of the House Republican conference that actually believes one thing and is talking out of the other side of their mouth defending the President muddying the waters. I wonder for you as someone who went through the Clinton impeachment for Republicans, what you think about that? 

NELSON: So I was on Oversight, of course, Judiciary did the Clinton impeachment but we would give them documents and all that as you see here. There’s some —

KEILAR: Oversight. This was in conjunction with oversight — 

NELSON: — yeah, there — usually, the committees help each other. The investigative committees, but the Republicans then and I opened with this an hour ago talking about Lindsey Graham and others cleansing the office and all that matters somehow those same Republicans don't see it that way now and for me, there is no advice I could give any of them other than find your soul and understand exactly what Gloria said, what I've been saying, which is this is bigger than you. This is bigger than this moment. This is about who we're going to be. Does Congress have a role? Because if Congress doesn't have a coequal role in oversight investigation, then we have a problem. We don't have a republic anymore. We have something else moving closer to an authoritarianism type of rule of a President that, as he said, has absolute power under Article II, which, of course, does not exist. That’s not true. 

(....)

2:46 p.m. Eastern

CARRIE CORDERO: It's up to Congress now to decide who to do with those facts and that gets to your points about the historical significance of these acts and is this conduct that really any party for the future wants to consider as appropriate and acceptable for any president to engage in and that's why these proceedings are so important to create historical records. 

NELSON: I would add, too, that what Mulvaney said in one sentence is absolutely true. Of course this influence and lobbying in foreign affairs in this town. It happens every day. However, corrupt influence in foreign affairs, ask Paul Manafort how that worked out for him. The point is that there are limitations to what you can do. You have to register. There are, as I think Yovanovitch and —

KEILAR: Register as a foreign agent if you’re lobbying for a foreign government.

NELSON: — yep. Yovanovitch, Hill, others testified to this normal foreign policy then this other thing going on with Rudy running around and I can't imagine how horrible that must have been for those working in the State Department, our diplomats, to navigate a mess like that. You know what I mean?

JOSHUA GELTZER: I think we need to dwell on this point today because tomorrow the conversation will shift to, what is an impeachable offense, what it's a high crime misdemeanor, that’s obviously going to critical in the weeks ahead. But for one day to dwell on how bad it is for American national security and U.S. foreign policy to have a quid pro Trump, really. A quid pro quo, not a trade to benefit our country, our nation our people but to benefit him personally. That is what's so dangerous and what can't be normalized the way Mulvaney's comment suggests. 

BORGER: Yeah and the way Republicans, to use your word normalizing it saying, a., Ukraine is corrupt. We all know that, so why was congressional aid approved? If they — right? 

NELSON: Horrified. Looking at you in horror. Not because you're wrong. You're right. 

BORGER: But this is — this is the argument and so it's not on the President's phone call. It's not on this — this cascade of events or whatever you want to call it, but it is about the fact that, well, if Ukraine is corrupt, then whatever the President did was probably the right thing, and that the policy, that Congress approved, and financed, was not the right — you know, ipso facto. Not the right thing? I mean, that’s — that’s what disconnect.

GELTZER: It’s inventing an excuse, right?

BORGER: Right. It’s inventing.

GELTZER: It’s inventing an excuse to do something no longer contested that it happened. 

NELSON: But this is how Republicans have to twist themselves into these knots and pretzels to try to explain what's not explainable and to accept what's not acceptable. So we the people, like I said, have to make a decision. The Democrats I have to give them credit here. They're taking a big risk. This — you want to say something? 

KEILAR: I just add what we're looking at, live pictures here. All of this happening as the President is in London for the NATO summit. He and First Lady Melania Trump arriving there at 10:00 Downing Street. The prime minister's offices and residence. Please continues on, Sophia. 

NELSON: No, what I was simply saying is we're going to have to make a decision and I want to keep saying that. I think we're all in agreement we cannot allow this to be okay. If we allow it to be okay, what Ben Franklin said that day in 1776 about it's a republic if you can keep it, we will no longer be keeping it. It will crumble. This will be the beginnings of the end of America if we don't hold fast to our norms, our documents, and the foundations of who we are and we're in a fight for the soul of America right now. 

KEILAR: But it seems like some voters are fine with a degree of sort of that more authoritarian streak if it speaks to what they believe in. 

BORGER: Well, if you believe the so-called deep state is corrupt, and that, therefore, the foreign policy that had been approved by Congress, et cetera, being pursued was not irregular, but corrupt, because it was being promulgated by, you know, by this —

KEILAR: By career people.

BORGER: — this deep state that you don't trust and that now includes not only the State Department but obviously now the FBI, the CIA, whatever you want to throw in there, that you could believe that Donald Trump was actually saving the country rather than destroying the Constitution, as you point out.

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