With the January 6 hearings well underway, the media and Democrats want to keep the focus on bashing the Republican Party and portraying them as an extremist party ahead of the midterm elections. So for Monday’s Don Lemon Tonight on CNN, Lemon and former Defense Secretary and Senator William Cohen added to the mix stating outright, that these people rely on violence and “write laws which advantage them to the great detriment of health, welfare, and safety of the American people.”
Referring to the Republicans supposedly “not condemning” a recent ad put out by Eric Greiten’s US Senate campaign encouraging voters to join in the fight for hunting RINOs (Republican in name only.)
Cohen went on to state that “candidates like these do not represent the best of this country,” for they “promote violence… promote lies, and dishonesty and dishonorable activity.” Completely ignoring the plethora of Republicans and Conservatives that have condemned Greitens.
That didn’t stop Cohen from playing the race card and suggesting Republicans would condemn Greitens if he was black. “Can you imagine if that was a black man with a shotgun with all of those shells loaded by his side and in the gun?” he said. “How long do you think before the Secret Service or the FBI were breaking down his door?”
Lemon himself has encouraged political violence himself, justifying the Black Lives Matter riots that took place over the summer of 2020, and promoting the Antifa terrorist group. Excusing the extreme violence at the time, Lemon described it as the “mechanism for a restructure of our country or for some sort of change.”
Lemon tried to pivot to the so-called ‘stolen election,’ asking the Senator about the possibility of that happening again. Cohen warned that the Republican Party was no longer “the party of Lincoln but rather, “the party of Putin.”
The two then touched on the assassination attempt of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanagh in which Cohen downplayed the fact that he was targeted by a liberal extremist.
Just as a reminder, CNN initially tried to downplay the attack by suggesting the attacker didn’t have a weapon “at all” after the assassination attempt. In fact, they barely even reported on the assassination, but continued on the January 6 hearings.
Continuing to ignore Republican condemnation of Greitens, Cohen wrapped up by claiming they were actively defending him. “They're saying well, First Amendment rights. No harm done. No. There was harm being done when we allowed that to take place without condemnation,” he huffed.
But that’s simply not the case.
Click "expand" to read the full transcript.
CNN Don Lemon Tonight
10:13:08 p.m. Eastern
DON LEMON: Joining me now is a former U.S. Senator and former Defense Secretary William Cohen. Thank you, Secretary. I appreciate you joining us. I mean, that really hit home, to hear that election worker say that. I mean, we are teetering by a thread. Will this, what comes out of these hearings. I think it's really important to show the direction of this country. Am I wrong with that?
FMR. DEF. SEC. WILLIAM COHEN: We have become a very violent country when you have extreme rhetoric, when you have violent rhetoric, inevitably that leads to acts of violence. And so, we are seeing this take place on a regular basis now. I think we have to ask ourselves as a country, where are we going?
You cannot go to a city council meeting, a school board meeting, a legislature club meeting. The governor office can't go, the Supreme Court of the United States, a justice recently was threatened with his life and that of his family.
So, when do we start saying enough and no more? And I mean not only political leadership. I don't know why every Republican in the Senate is not standing up and condemning that ad that you have refused rightly to run. Why are they not condemning that and saying, ‘this is way over the top? This is violent. You are encouraging violence?’
And then I want to ask the corporate leaders of this country. Why are you pouring money into the candidacies of people who are threatening and undermining the institution of this country? So, we --
LEMON (interrupting): Can you say that one more time please? Can you please say that again? Because I think that is the crux of it. There are too many people who are falling -- it is about -- it is about money for the corporations. It is about power for the politicians. Ultimately, it's about money and power. Please, speak on that, Secretary.
COHEN: Yes. Well, we just heard, we saw that example of that video of this running and then a request who wants to join in the hunt. Send money. Buy a permit. And so, it's a fundraising activity.
What we have to ask is the corporate leaders of this country who now are treated as individual citizens -- they have a right to vote, so to speak, according to the Supreme Court. We have to ask the corporate leaders, you are putting money, thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars into campaigns on candidates who do not represent the best of this country, who promote violence, who promote lies and dishonesty, and dishonorable activity.
You have to be held accountable, so when people see that companies are contributing to these candidates, we ought to respond at the pocket book level. They ought to vote with their, with their feet and with their pocketbooks and move away from those companies. And make them pay a penalty, because they are in fact voting to put people in power who write laws which advantage them to the great detriment of the health, welfare, and safety of the American people.
LEMON: You know, the former President's team tried to steal the election. What is to stop that from happening again?
COHEN: The only thing that will stop that from happening is the American people. We- many of us knew from the beginning that Mr. Trump was unfit for that office. That he demonstrated it time and time again. And now he's doing it in our -- in our faces once more. Doubling down, tripling down, and quadrupling down.
To say, ‘I am going to change the way this country functions. I don't believe in the rule of law. I believe in the power of ruling,’ and that's what is happening to the Republican Party. It's not the party of Lincoln. It's more like the party of Putin, namely that one person gets to change the institutions and tells people what the laws are going to be, because he is going to write those laws.
So, I am -- I'm surprised that not more Republicans are willing to step forward. They were quick to step forward as they should have when a threat was made against the Supreme Court justice and his family. They were quick to call that we got to protect them.
Well, yes, speak up now when you have members in your own party who were carrying out ads that are designed to inflame the politics of this country. Can you imagine if that was a black man with a shotgun with all of those shells loaded by his side in the gun? Walk into a house and say I'm going to kill some Republicans, because I disagree with their policies?
How long do you think before the Secret Service or the FBI were breaking down his door? Now, it's not just a matter of free speech. They're saying well, First Amendment rights. No harm done. No. There was harm being done when we allowed that to take place without condemnation.
So, I think we have an obligation, everybody, Republicans and Democrats, whether it happens on the left with Antifa. Anybody who advocates violence ought to be disqualified from office. And I think that is incumbent on us, the American people to see that that happens.
LEMON: Secretary Cohen, thank you, sir. I appreciate what you said and I appreciate your time.
COHEN: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: Thank you.
COHEN: All right.