Monday on ABC’s The View, things got heated when discussing the breaking news that morning about ex-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had been indicted by FBI special counsel Robert Mueller. After announcing the news, the audience cheered as the panel joked that they hoped President Trump would be next. As co-host Meghan McCain brought up Hillary Clinton’s funding of the Russian dossier, co-hosts Sunny Hostin and Joy Behar angrily shut her down, insisting that Democrats and Clinton had nothing to do with any Russia collusion.
Whoopi chuckled while announcing the news that Paul Manafort had been indicted by the FBI this morning. The audience roared in approval as The View producers played a fake clip of President Trump being arrested by the FBI.
“I want to just be clear that was actually scenes from the show Daredevil with the theme some “To Russia with Love.” I don't know who did it. They did a beautiful job. It looks like a great thing. It's not real. I just want to make sure people understand that because people say ‘oh, my God they put this thing out there and they said this was real.’ We know it's not real. It's a mock up that somebody sent out,” she stated.
“It's not real yet,” Joy Behar joked, to audience cheers.
The hosts moved on to talk about the indictment and President Trump’s tweet denying any of Manafort’s collusion being done on behalf of his campaign. Trump’s tweet also brought up the media’s dismissal of the DNC and Clinton funded Russian dossier, which brought out loud groans from the panel and the audience.
“Donnnn!” Whoopi sighed with frustration. Co-host Sara Haines claimed this wasn’t true, while admitting she was satisfied that Mueller had finally found evidence of Russian collusion:
This behavior actually goes into 2016 so it did go into the actual campaign... The other thing I just keep thinking is, ‘This nothingburger sure tastes good.’ Anyone else?” she joked.
“I was told I was crazy for so long. People kept saying depending where you were watching, which I was trying to cross reference my sources so I could see what everyone was saying, some people were saying, ‘Oh, the obsessing with this Russia is just crazy.’ I just feel a little better because I was beginning to think ‘Is it all in my head? Are these all coincidences?’” Haines gushed.
McCain urged caution to linking this indictment to the Trump campaign colluding with Russia:
“But we don't know what we don't know yet. Let's not get--like we don’t even know what--” she began.
“But if we talk about the indictment, which is a fact, right? Because I have it right here,” Hostin interrupted, holding up a document. “It’s significant,” she stated.
“Isn’t it also a fact, it came out last week that the DNC and Hillary Clinton have ties to this Fusion GPS oppo research group and they also paid money to get this Russian dossier,” McCain started to say.
“But isn't it normal to have opposition research conducted?” Hostin turned to ask.
“Not through Russian operatives! Which Hillary Clinton did as well,” McCain answered.
Haines interrupted to clarify that she wasn’t looking for ties specifically to Trump, but was encouraged to learn her paranoia was justified in that there was ties to Russia at some level, from someone:
“Just to be clear, it’s not that it traces to Trump, but I’m saying, I always had a problem with the fact there was a crazy amount of ties and this is a little bit of confirmation,” she added.
“But this is the ultimate breakdown of democracy. The humor and levity surrounding it on both sides--” McCain started before Hostin angrily shushed her.
“Wait, wait, wait. Let’s not talk about ‘both sides’” she stopped McCain from completing her thought.
“Can I please finish?” McCain urged.
“No, no, no. Let's not talk about both sides,” Hostin argued. “Let’s talk about what’s happening today,” she added.
“I just said, Hillary Clinton and the dossier, the DNC paid for--” McCain started to say again.
“Hillary Clinton is not the president and Hillary Clinton wasn’t just indicted!” Hostin gushed, to loud cheers and applause from the audience.
As McCain tried to push back, Hostin kept repeating, “No” over her as she was speaking.
As the cheers died down and Hostin shook her head, a frustrated McCain tried to explain:
“You know what, I'm trying to give you guys insight because I actually know a lot about--” she began before being interrupted by Hostin again.
“We don't need any insight into Hillary Clinton!” Hostin declared emphatically again to shut down the conversation. But Haines urged Hostin to let McCain get her point out:
HAINES: Let her talk. I want to hear it.
MCCAIN: Okay Sunny, you don’t need any insight from me. You know what, Paul Manafort, I will say, for those of us who work in Republican politics has always been someone who is ethically ambiguous because of these money dealings and allegedly taking money from Ukrainian officials in the Russian government. We all know the story about Don Jr. meeting up with the Russian operative allegedly to gain oppo research on Hillary Clinton. A source of the White House just said to Sara Murray, “These guys were bad guys when they started. They were bad guys when they left.” So during the campaign when he was hiring people like Roger Stone and Paul Manafort it raised a lot of alarms for people like me. Because in inner political circles, your campaign operatives are a reflection of the candidate. I will just say. We don't know what we don't know at this point, but to sort of like poo poo the idea that the DNC is now also attached to this Russian dossier is what makes Republicans heads go crazy.
Joy Behar came in as backup for Hostin.
“It's a distraction Meghan,” she dismissed her argument.
“Why are we even talking about the DNC? Why are we talking about Hillary? Why aren't we talking about the two people who were indicted today?!” Hostin again stated with frustration, to audience applause.
“Because it's the same thing you’re vilifying them over!” McCain finally was able to say.
“No, no,” Hostin waved that away. Behar shifted the conversation back to Republicans.
BEHAR: You know what really bothers me? 75% of the Republicans in this country do not think it's a big deal that the Russians invaded our country through cyber attacks.
MCCAIN: President Obama told Mitt Romney that it was a 1980s foreign policy in the 2012 Republican debate.
Again, Hostin angrily shut down McCain’s point, to on cue applause from the audience.
HOSTIN: President Obama wasn't indicted today! [applause]
MCCAIN: President Obama did not take Russia seriously. I'm just trying to explain to you my side of the aisle on this.
BEHAR: Let us give a little to you too.
MCCAIN: I’m just saying it’s intellectually dishonest to say that Democrats have always cared about Russia until it started impacting our election. President Obama did not take it seriously. I just quoted you what he said to Mitt Romney.
But Behar didn’t want to put the focus back on Democrats, insisting that it was Republicans who didn’t care about foreign collusion into our elections.
“I'm talking about something else. 75% of Republicans do not think it's important to invade our democracy,” she insisted.
“It’s very disheartening to hear this about the people in this country that they don’t care about democracy that we have worked so hard, that your family and mine have fought so hard to preserve,” Behar added.
After more back-and-forth, McCain urged:
“I’m just saying, don't underestimate the politicization of this as well,” she stated.
Haines admitted she didn't like the timing of the report on Hillary Clinton dossier, saying it was a convenient distraction from the Manafort indictment, nevermind that it has been reported by conservative outlets for weeks now:
“If it comes out that there's more collusion on any side, I'll always be concerned. I think the timing of bringing up Hillary Clinton while we're finding out the present administration is having these problems is just a little more concerning to me,” she stated.
“It’s a canard,” Behar agreed.
But Hostin wouldn’t let McCain’s point about the DNC and Clinton go.
“We danced around every single topic except what happened today. We have an indictment against Paul Manafort who was the campaign chairperson in March 2016 and Richard Gates. We're talking about millions and millions of dollars that were money laundered. We're talking about meetings with the Russians. This is not about both sides. This is about this side. I think we need to call it what it is,” Hostin stated.