CNN Panel: ‘No One’ Is ‘Saying’ Trump Is Illegitimate, ‘Colluding with Russia Again’

Listen to the Article!

CNN’s Inside Politics continued on Friday the latest liberal media crusade to do not only Russia’s bidding by sowing dissent, but argue with a rhetorical wink and nod that Donald Trump is an illegitimate President. Most amusingly, host John King and his fellow panelists claimed that “no one” has been “saying” in the wake of Thursday night’s New York Times article “that Trump was colluding with Russia again.”

Of course, The Times piece wasn’t explicit about that, but one only needs to consult the airwaves of MSNBC to see how, outside the article, that claim doesn’t hold water.

 

 

King reacted to Trump’s anger toward now-former acting DNI Joseph McGuire by acknowledging, then refusing to disprove, the notion that Trump’s not a real President instead of one installed by Russia:

In the immediate wake of the 2016 election, he lost the popular vote, there’s all this talk that Russia intervened, that Russia helped him, so he doesn't want to talk about it because he thinks it undermines his legitimacy. 

While the President could certainly give a speech and direct his administration to further crack down on Putin (which King suggested), the problem would remain with the liberal media’s ongoing explicit and implicit narrative that he’s illegitimate (and thus Hillary Clinton is).

“He — he still views that as essentially an admission that he got help shouldn't have gotten in the 2016 race, that he wouldn't have won without that help. He thinks it undermines him personally,” replied New York Times congressional editor Julie Hirschfield Davis.

But what left King incensed was a Fox News Channel appearance by Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA) teeing off on the liberal media and the Deep State: 

These guys have lost their mind, okay? Vladimir Putin is not running some operation with Donald Trump. There’s no evidence of that and so all this is they don't have anything to run on and so they've got to make up Russia again.

With nary a pause afterward, King lashed out (click “expand”): 

Who is they? Who’s they in the sense that Putin is not running some operation with Donald Trump? That was not the substance of the briefing. No one was saying Trump was colluding with Russia again. They were saying Russia is interfering with the election today and it is their intelligence conclusion based on a lot of intelligence that Russia has a preference for President Trump. So Devin Nunes, a ranking member that is very sensitive, that has to handle very sensitive information, has to communicate with the American people at times of crises, says Putin is not running some operation with Donald Trump. That is not what was alleged, correct? “They have nothing to run on.” “They have to make up Russia again.” It’s the Democrats making it up. It’s the Democrats running against President Trump. This is people who work for the President. 

Washington Post White House reporter Toluse Olorunnipa agreed, scoffing that “you hear this sort of slip of words from the President, from his allies regularly saying that the Democrats are trying to use Russia against him.” Spoiler alert: They are.

King kept going, dripping with sarcasm: “But — but God forbid the truth and, say, national security and information would outweigh what the President's ego needs to be stroked[.]”

He then became direct, lecturing those pushing back on The Times story and peddling “the idea that everyone is a partisan hack or deep stater out to get the President is dangerous.”

Not surprisingly, The Daily Beast’s Jackie Kucinich agreed, declaring that the President and the Republican Party (and not the left and the media) are doing Putin’s bidding (click “expand”):

KUCINICH: Well and the great irony of all this is that by putting all this in the public, by Devin Nunes running to Fox, by the President sowing — continuing to sow mistrust in these institutions, it’s playing into what Vladimir Putin and what the Russians are doing. This is what they want. They want this discontent, they want the continued adversarial nature between the political parties, not in a political way. These intelligence agencies should have oversight. That's why congress is there, but this isn’t oversight. This is messaging and this is way to bolster what — to make the President feel better, and perhaps at the cost of the safety of the United States. 

KING: We’ll, keep on top of it. Okay. Russia, Russia, Russia, as the President likes to say. I guess this might be with us for a while in this campaign. 

To see the relevant transcript from CNN’s Inside Politics on February 21, click “expand.”

CNN’s Inside Politics
February 21, 2020
12:05 p.m. Eastern

JOHN KING: The intelligence officials do their job. They’re supposed to brief Congress on big developments. They go up and give a briefing. They tell him the truth, Russia is meddling again, and based on their assessment that the Kremlin prefers President Trump again. They do their jobs, they tell the truth and the president doesn't like it. Fair? 

JOSH DAWSEY: Our understanding is that, last Thursday they go and they say Russia is preferring President Trump again. There's a dispute among the House members. What then happens is House member allies tell the president that this happens. On Friday morning, they come in and give the president his presidential daily briefing. They're going to talk to him about election interference and he's apoplectic that he learned about this from the House members, that he learned that the briefers went to Congress even though his administration set up this briefing, that he learned about it from the House members and that they said this happened. He said they're getting played. He said Russia is not trying to help me, I don't know what you guys are talking about and he lashes out at McGuire — Joe McGuire, the former Intel chief now, he left yesterday, he lashes out at him and says, why did you let this happen? You didn't tell me this was going to happen and now, as you see on Twitter, he's denying it repeatedly and he says to the intel folks yesterday in the Oval Office, what's your evidence for this? Why do you think Russia is helping me? I can't believe you guys went to Capitol Hill and said that and it was a time when it was quite a showdown between the President and his intelligence community about something that has just been a furious — something that brings furious anger from the president repeatedly over and over and over, this idea that Russia wants him to win. 

KING: And so I can fathom this. In the immediate wake of the 2016 election, he lost the popular vote, there’s all this talk that Russia intervened, that Russia helped him, so he doesn't want to talk about it because he thinks it undermines his legitimacy. We're three years later now. Why can't the President of the United States publicly give a each saying, Vladimir Putin, we're watching. You're at it again. We will not stand for this. Do not meddle. I can win on my own, thank you very much. Go away. What's so hard about that? 

JULIE HIRSCHFIELD DAVIS: He — he still views that as essentially an admission that he got help shouldn't have gotten in the 2016 race, that he wouldn't have won without that help. He thinks it undermines him personally and let’s not forget there were two things that were said — I mean, there were a number of things that were said at that briefing based Josh's reporting and our reporting others. One of them was that Russia had developed a preference for Donald Trump. The other one was Russia is continuing to meddle in this year's election the same way that Russia did in 2016. You would think that that second thing, which I think was actually the primary assessment that the intelligence community was trying to share with these members, would be top of mind and the most important thing on the President of the United States’s min, but in fact, he doesn't separate those two things at all and he cannot bear to admit the first one, which is Russia is trying to interfere in our elections, from the second one, which is that, you know, he feels like it's wrong to ever have it be said that Russia has a preference for him and is trying to help him. 

KING: And out of this briefing, Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican now, the former chairman, now the ranking Republican on House Intelligence Committee, goes running to the White House, says he wants the President to know this was said at the briefing. Then he goes to Fox News and says this. 

CONGRESSMAN DEVIN NUNES (R-CA) [on FNC’s The Ingraham Angle, 02/20/20]: These guys have lost their mind, okay? Vladimir Putin is not running some operation with Donald Trump. There’s no evidence of that and so all this is they don't have anything to run on and so they've got to make up Russia again. 

KING: Who is they? Who’s they In the sense that Putin is not running some operation with Donald Trump? That was not the substance of the briefing. No one was saying Trump was colluding with Russia again. They were saying Russia is interfering with the election today and it is their intelligence conclusion based on a lot of intelligence that Russia has a preference for President Trump. So Devin Nunes, a ranking member that is very sensitive, that has to handle very sensitive information, has to communicate with the American people at times of crises, says Putin is not running some operation with Donald Trump. That is not what was alleged, correct? “They have nothing to run on.” “They have to make up Russia again.” It’s the Democrats making it up. It’s the Democrats running against President Trump. This is people who work for the President. 

TOLUSE OLORUNNIPA: Yeah, you hear this sort of slip of words from the President, from his allies regularly saying that the Democrats are trying to use Russia against him. The Democrats have come up with this hoax, not mentioning that it's actually the intelligence community, it's actually people he appointed. The FBI director who have said very clearly they believe Russia meddled in 2016 with a preference for President Trump and that they're looking to meddle again and this is something that's been confirmed by the Senate and in a bipartisan way. It's only the House Republicans who have pushed back against this idea. They've had access to the same intelligence that the Senate Republicans have, and they've come to very different conclusions as they tried to protect the president's ego. This is a President who has blown up at his intelligence officials when they’ve tried to brief him during his daily briefing about the Russians, so it's not surprising he hasn't heard some of these assessments that were as briefed to the House in part because he doesn't like hearing it. 

KING: But — but god forbid the truth and, say, national security and information would outweigh what the President's ego needs to be stroked in the sense that this is the President's son, Donald Trump Jr. “All I want is honesty in these places. Whether it's the Justice Department, whether it's there, I just want people who aren’t partisan hacks.” These are Donald Trump’s directors of national security. Dan Coates, a veteran Republican senator from the state of Indiana, not known as a partisan hack, also known as a professional, someone who came out of retirement to work for the President of the United States, do so, didn’t like some of the things the President said, was willing to keep publicly say the Russians is still meddling, which got the President mad at him cause he told the truth. Joseph McGuire, the former director of the National Counterterrorism Center, retired Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy, not a partisan hack and yet, you can disagree with people. You can say, come back — scrub that again. Are you sure? Scrub that again and come back to me. I doubt that. If you want to, you can say, I talked to Putin and he said he's not doing it. If you want to convince people that's not a believable source, but the idea that everyone is a partisan hack or deep stater out to get the President is dangerous. 

JACKIE KUCINICH: Well and the great irony of all this is that by putting all this in the public, by Devin Nunes running to Fox, by the President sowing — continuing to sow mistrust in these institutions, it’s playing into what Vladimir Putin and what the Russians are doing. This is what they want. They want this discontent, they want the continued adversarial nature between the political parties, not in a political way. These intelligence agencies should have oversight. That's why congress is there, but this isn’t oversight. This is messaging and this is way to bolster what — to make the President feel better, and perhaps at the cost of the safety of the United States. 

KING: We’ll, keep on top of it. Okay. Russia, Russia, Russia, as the President likes to say. I guess this might be with us for a while in this campaign. 

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential Russia Trump-Russia probe CNN Inside Politics Video John King Julie Hirschfeld Davis Josh Dawsey Jackie Kucinich Donald Trump Vladimir Putin
Curtis Houck's picture


Sponsored Links