CNN SEETHES Over ‘Dark,’ ‘Disturbing,’ ‘Mean-Spirited,’ ‘Poisonous’ Trump Speech

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CNN showcased for all to see Thursday afternoon its undisputed position as leader of the opposition party and hate for President Trump, lashing out at the post-impeachment speech as an “angry,” “dark,” “disturbing,” “mean-spirited,” “poisonous,” “spiteful,” and “vindictive” “set of remarks” by a man in “a dark place” suffering from “deep psychological distress.”

In other words, it was another day in Zuckerville, where dissent is frowned up upon and emptying one’s thesauruses of mean words is encouraged.

 

 

With chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta presumably unavailable, fellow White House correspondent John Harwood filled in with the worst hyperbole and amateur psychology. 

Harwood warned that Trump’s “rambling, disordered set of remarks” “was a very disturbing tableau for the country” and “dark because he’s made clear that his mind is dark.” 

He stated without evidence (or an education in mental health) that he’s a man “in deep psychological distress right now, self-pitying, insecure, angry” who’s unable to “recognize abstract concepts like right and wrong, like morality or immorality, like true or false.”

Like a pundit, he asserted that Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) “stripped naked the rationalizations that [Republicans] have used for their votes” (when they should have voted to throw Trump out of office).

Rewinding a tad, CNN Right Now host Brianna Keilar presided over their post-speech discussion, first calling the remarks “unscripted, vindictive, sometimes profane,” and “angry.” She later added that she “was struck by just what a dark place” the East Room was instead of being “conciliatory,” “forward-looking,” or “somber.”

Chief political analyst Gloria Borger agreed, calling it “an avalanche of grievance against everybody” that “was vindictive, as you pointed out, it was full of revenge, it was mean-spirited, it was poisonous, it was spiteful and it gave you a real look at the way he views the world, which is the bad and evil people.”

Senior political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson fretted that while Trump “can be vindictive, can be petty, can be, you know, frame himself as the victim and want to air grievances all the time, but it felt like this was a real moment” that went beyond that and instead was a “very, very bizarre...long and rambling speech.”

“[T]his was sort of like a session with your therapist, right, where you're sitting on the couch and you're kinda talking about the internal emotions that you're having,” she added, which led Keilar to joke that “it’s more a dear diary... because a therapist might interject in the middle.”

Keilar went back to Borger, who fretted about Trump framing the world in terms of what he views as good and evil when, in reality, she described how CNN views its political opponents (click “expand”):

BORGER: [T]his is the way this campaign is going to be run. Make no mistake about it. No matter who his opponent is, the world will be divided into good and evil and most of the country, I don't think, is in the good and evil thing. I think the country looks at politicians and says, well, there are some good things he says, there are some bad things she says. I don’t — you know — 

[CROSSTALK]

HARWOOD: Most of the country is against it. 

BORGER: That’s right. That’s right. But people don't see people as black and white. 

ALEXI MCCAMMOND: And he's playing on the inherent tribalism that I think a lot of people feel since President Trump was elected and clearly that a lot of people were feeling —

BORGER: Absolutely

MCCAMMOND: — bubble up, you know, when Obama was President.

To see the relevant transcript from February 6's CNN Right Now with Brianna Keilar, click “expand.”

CNN Right Now with Brianna Keilar
February 6, 2020
1:23 p.m. Eastern

BRIANNA KEILAR: I'm Brianna Keilar and you have been watching the President of the United States with an unscripted, vindictive, sometimes profane, angry response to his impeachment acquittal. The President there for an hour holding what's really been a surreal ceremony there in the East Room in front of his legal team, in front of Republican lawmakers, White House staff, his family. A friendly crowd that gave him numerous standing ovations. The President insulting and going after his perceived enemies, everyone from former FBI Director James Comey to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Senator Mitt Romney. It also comes hours after he attacked the faith of Mitt Romney who was the only Republican senator to vote to convict him on abuse of power, just one of the two articles of impeachment. [INTRODUCES PANEL] First off, just the tone, the vindictive nature of his going through, clearly, almost an enemies list that he appeared to be looking down at on the heels of a number of Republicans voting to acquit him, citing that they think he's learned his lesson, which clearly he has not. 

GLORIA BORGER: Which clearly he has not. You know, I — I — this started out with the President coming out into the East Room to ruffle some flourishes and then immediately turned into an avalanche of grievance against everybody. It was vindictive, as you pointed out, it was full of revenge, it was mean-spirited, it was poisonous, it was spiteful and it gave you a real look at the way he views the world, which is the bad and evil people, as he spoke about, those are his words, who dared oppose him versus the people who stuck with him and he had names for everybody who opposed him. They were vicious, as he called Adam Schiff, as you said. Mitt Romney, a failed presidential candidate who used religion as a crutch. This is a man who was a former bishop and president of his Mormon church, so I think it was quite a remarkable view into the President's psyche here and when you compare it to Bill Clinton, as we were all talking about after his impeachment, Bill Clinton apologized to the American people and said he was “how profoundly sorry I am to do what I did to trigger all this.” The President did none of that.

(....)

1:28 p.m. Eastern

KEILAR: This was startling just to see this just litany of grievances and also name-chucking, people who helped him, voted against impeachment and who voted in the Senate to acquit him.

(....)

1:30 p.m. Eastern

KEILAR: To hear Mitt Romney explain, it really comes from a genuine place of conviction where he searched his searched his soul, he said essentially that he was looking for a reason to convict. But he couldn’t and that was because he had really an oath to God that he couldn’t move past that without feeling like he was breaking that to acquit the President. I was struck by just what a dark place this was in this speech. Other speeches in history strike a somber tone, strike a conciliatory tone, strike a forward looking tone. This was so dark, Nia.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON: Yeah, and surprising. I mean, not surprising that the President can be vindictive, can be petty, can be, you know, frame himself as the victim and want to air grievances all the time, but it felt like this was a real moment, right, where he could have some focus on a forward-looking message for the country, borrow from some of the themes in the hope from the State of the Union, Republicans certainly received that very well, but here he was talking about Bill Clinton, talking — or Hillary Clinton, talking about the FBI agents, Lisa Page and Peter Strzok. So it was very, very bizarre, in some ways a missed opportunity. Look, he spent a lot of time yesterday having to look at Mitt Romney on screen all day and give that very passionate address where he talked about his faith and really, in some ways, dismantled the Republicans arguments against impeachment and removing the President from office. So here this was just a long and rambling speech. You know, I was watching it and this was sort of like a session with your therapist, right, where you're sitting on the couch and you're kinda talking about the internal emotions that you're having cause that’s what it sounded like and listen, he's not going to get over the Mitt Romney thing. That was very deep-wounding to him. He very much prize — prizes the fact that he's been able to keep Republicans together, and the fact that Mitt Romney has strayed away from the Republican pack in aligning, you know, not aligning himself with the President. I think this is not something he's going to forgive. 

KEILAR: I might argue it’s more a dear diary or certainly you’re not getting your money’s worth because a therapist might interject in the middle of that and this was more of like a — this was more just a monologue. John Harwood, you cover him day in and day out. What struck you? 

JOHN HARWOOD: Look, this was a very disturbing tableau for the country. It was dark because he’s made clear that his mind is dark. This is someone who is in deep psychological distress right now, self-pitying, insecure, angry. He almost said plaintively at the end when he was reading a text from Strzok to Page, where he said I’m a good — I'm not a bad person. He was sort of imploring people to accept that view of him. When Kaitlan and Alexi said, he thinks I did nothing wrong, that sentence stops with the word “I” because, with Donald Trump, if he did it, it’s not wrong. He doesn't recognize abstract concepts like right and wrong, like morality or immorality, like true or false. He recognizes what is good for him in the moment and what has happened, what Mitt Romney has done by casting that vote, what Nancy — Pelosi has done has felt very, very unpleasant to him. He said impeachment is a very ugly. By going after Romney, the other part of it that I think is striking is that the entire Republican Party reduced to sitting applauding this rambling, disordered set of remarks, and one of the reasons why it is an uncomfortable moment for them is that Mitt Romney, when he gave that speech, said, I've looked at the facts. I've come to the conclusion and I can't avoid this. He stripped naked the rationalizations that they have used for their votes. Remember they started off saying, look, the whistleblower broke. They started out saying, well, it would be terrible if there was a quid pro quo, but there’s no evidence of a quick. Now, when we got to the end of the process, Ted Cruz told the White House lawyers well, we all know it’s a quid pro quo and what they’re saying is, yes, it was a quid pro quo. They approved that case but it's not that big a deal. They were starting from the end point of — of protecting this President and Romney has shown that the — the calculations behind that are pretty hollow.

BORGER: He is the victim here.

KEILAR: Yeah. 

BORGER: There — this is how he sees himself. He is the victim in all of this. He has done nothing wrong, and as you point out, John, lots of Republicans are now saying, well, the call was inappropriate — he thinks — but not impeachable. He said there is nothing wrong with it, he is the good guy, they are the bad guy, and this is the way this campaign is going to be run. Make no mistake about it. No matter who his opponent is, the world will be divided into good and evil and most of the country, I don't think, is in the good and evil thing. I think the country looks at politicians and says, well, there are some good things he says, there are some bad things she says. I don’t — you know — 

[CROSSTALK]

HARWOOD: Most of the country is against it. 

BORGER: That’s right. That’s right. But people don't see people as black and white. 

ALEXI MCCAMMOND: And he's playing on the inherent tribalism that I think a lot of people feel since President Trump was elected and clearly that a lot of people were feeling —

BORGER: Absolutely

MCCAMMOND: — bubble up, you know, when Obama was President.

NB Daily 2020 Presidential Congress Trump Impeachment CNN Video Brianna Keilar Gloria Borger Nia-Malika Henderson John Harwood Donald Trump Mitt Romney
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