Cuomo: Trump Is 'Hoisted On His Own Petard'

On CNN's New Day Thursday, co-host Chris Cuomo said that President Donald Trump is "hoisted on his own petard.” This remark occurred during a panel discussion regarding a House Intelligence Committee report concluding there is no evidence that former President Barack Obama ordered wiretapping of Trump Tower.

"We keep using this old expression, 'Hoisted on his own petard.' The bomb he set up for somebody else is going off on him instead,” Cuomo said. "But he likes this dynamic...He likes to test that which he is criticized about."

He added, "There will be something that comes out about the Russian hacks. And he wound up like quoting Julian Assange saying something about the Russian hacks. He has fallen short on this several times and yet there is a good chance that something will come out about surveillance in general and how they got Flynn while they were surveilling the Russian ambassador and he can say, 'That’s what I meant.'”

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At a press conference Wednesday the Committee, headed by Arizona Republican Representative Devin Nunes and California Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, announced that their weeks-long investigation into whether or not the Obama administration wiretapped Trump Tower turned out nothing to support the President's accusation.

Here is the March 16th exchange:

New Day


6:39:56 AM – 6:44:39 AM [4 min., 43 sec.]


DEVIN NUNES:  Evidence still remains the same we don't have evidence that that took place. I don't believe in the last week of time with the people we talked to, I don't believe there was an actual tap of Trump Tower. 

ADAM SCHIFF: To date, I see no evidence that supports the claim that President Trump made that his predecessor wiretapped he and his associates at Trump Tower. That's where we have seen no basis for that whatsoever. 

POPPY HARLOW: Ranking members, Democrat and Republican, of the House Intelligence Committee say, “We see no evidence.” How much longer can the White House go without giving any answers or evidence? Lindsey Graham said yesterday to Chris, he’ll subpoena if he has to. To you, David Gregory.

DAVID GREGORY: I don't know how much longer the President can go. He had so many assertions that prove not to be true and we're waiting for follow up. I mean, where is the evidence about all the illegals voting in this election that he promising this big investigation on. I'm waiting for him to help O.J. Simpson find the real killers. He goes on and worries about undercutting agencies. How about the President and his credibility and the word of the President of the United States. All of this matters and it matters when getting to the bottom of what Russia is up to and what help if any there was from anybody in the Trump orbit in the course of the election. That's something that he has a responsibility to worry about. Not about undercutting his own legitimacy about whether it can happen again or, whether it can happen in other countries or whether it can happen to a future candidate. That's what he is supposed to be safe guarding and his tweet I think strategically got us off of that central focus which is where investigators ought to be.

CHRIS CUOMO: Well, he, again, we keep using this old expression, “Hoisted on his own petard. The bomb he set up for somebody else is going off on him instead.” But he likes this dynamic, David Drucker. He likes this. He likes to test that which he is criticized about. He did it with oh we'll see. There will be something that comes out with the Russian hacks. He has fallen short on this several times and yet there is a good chance that something will come out about surveillance in general and how they got Flynn while they were surveilling the Russian ambassador and he can say, “That’s what I meant.” Will that be enough? 

DAVID DRUCKER: I think for domestic politics I think that will be enough in that these kind of episodes the president uses to strengthen his connection to the base and keep them doubting critics so everybody is always after him then you can't trust people that are critical of his policies and I think he uses situations like that to do that and to pretty good effect. Now as David Gregory pointed out what people around the world see as another matter and that is problematic. Because the word of the president of the United States is supposed to matter and other countries and foreign leaders could use this against him overtime, saying you can't trust what the President says because he says all sorts of things. That gets us back to Republicans and the people he's looking to to defend him and what I’ve noticed in talking to them over the past month or so is they have gotten used to his Twitter tirades and him being unconventional as we say, but they are concerned about his credibility and the Twitter, tweet-storm about the wiretapping did concern them and if there's anybody that's not looking to undermine him. People might look at Lindsey Graham and say he never really liked the president but Devin Nunes of the House Intelligence Committee advised Trump’s Transition and was a big fan of General Flynn.

CUOMO: You see his face, Devin Nunes? This is a guy who came out at the beginning of this and said, “Hey, we’re going to investigate. Let’s see what it is.” You see his face yesterday? I mean, basically, the thought bubble “Why do I have to deal with this?” 

DRUCKER: Right. And it’s not something he wants to deal with. I do think, however, we should continue to watch his investigation because they have for weeks been looking into how General Flynn’s comments and discussion with the Russian ambassador, and that it might have been swept up in surveillance of the Russian ended up in public and it might have been illegally leaked to the public.

CUOMO: What do you think of David Gregory’s tie while we let them go? Are those dog paws and basketballs?

HARLOW: Basketballs.

GREGORY: This is my son’s cardigan mountain school basketball tie.


GREGORY: Go Cougars. And my son played varsity basketball there. And I’m very proud to wear it.

HARLOW: Good dad. Are you wearing a special tie to your kids this morning?

CUOMO: No. I wear black because I’m in mourning on a regular basis. 

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