CBS Hosts Grill Mike Lee on Impeachment, Fear Trump Not Fit for Office

During a contentious interview with Republican Utah Senator Mike Lee on Tuesday, the hosts of CBS This Morning grilled the lawmaker on whether President Trump should be impeached following the release of the Mueller report and fretted that the President was unfit for office. They also pressed Lee on whether the results of the Russia investigation would “hurt” Republicans politically.

“There are intense discussions right now within the Democratic Party to impeach or not to impeach. You’re on record as saying, ‘No, we should not impeach’....why do you say no to impeachment?,” co-host Gayle King lamented early in the exchange. After Lee explained that any impeachment proceeding would most likely backfire on Democrats, King optimistically wondered: “Do you think the Mueller report will hurt the Republicans in 2020?”

 

 

The Senator responded by citing recent polling showing public opinion of the President remained unchanged following the release of the Mueller report: “A recent poll that I became aware of yesterday, I think it was done by Rasmussen, suggested that most Americans’ opinion of the President, of this presidency, of the Trump administration, has not changed and is unlikely to change as a result of the Mueller report.”

Co-host Norah O’Donnell promptly dismissed those findings before referencing another poll that she liked more:

We don’t generally use Rasmussen in our polling. But there is actually a new poll out from Politico, actually this morning, that shows that after the Mueller report, that President Trump’s approval rating is now as low as it was following the violence in Charlottesville. So it has – it has hurt his approval ratings.

A recent Monmouth University poll showed that 54% think Congress should “move on” to other issues rather than continue to focus on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of the President.

Turning away from dueling poll results, O’Donnell pressed: “It didn’t alarm you at all by reading the Mueller report?” She then offered this aside: “ I mean, there was a key finding. Let’s just – there were so many – but let’s just take one for example.”

Moments later, co-host John Dickerson seemed to move the discussion to Lee’s new book, Our Lost Declaration, about adhering to the principles of America’s founding fathers. However, Dickerson quickly turned that topic back to the Mueller report:

You know, here, with respect to the Declaration, the summer of 1787, when you think about the Mueller report and the 55 men who met that summer in Philadelphia, does the behavior of the president in the Mueller report meet the standard those men hoped for in the Presidency of the United States?

As Lee defended the President, Dickerson continued to question Trump’s fitness for office: “Do you think the current president meets the standard for the office that they created in that summer? They created this new thing, this amazing new thing. Does the sitting president meet the standard that they had hoped for in that office?”

Despite the Mueller report largely being a dud, the media are undeterred in their crusade to take down Trump.

Here are excerpts of the April 23 interview:

8:05 AM ET

(...)

GAYLE KING: There are intense discussions right now within the Democratic Party to impeach or not to impeach. You’re on record as saying, “No, we should not impeach.” Because? Other than the fact that you’re a Republican, why do you say no to impeachment?

(...)

KING: Do you think the Mueller report will hurt the Republicans in 2020?

SEN. MIKE LEE [R-UT]: I don’t believe so. A recent poll that I became aware of yesterday, I think it was done by Rasmussen, suggested that most Americans’ opinion of the President, of this presidency, of the Trump administration, has not changed and is unlikely to change as a result of the Mueller report.

NORAH O’DONNELL: We don’t generally use Rasmussen in our polling. But there is actually a new poll out from Politico, actually this morning, that shows that after the Mueller report, that President Trump’s approval rating is now as low as it was following the violence in Charlottesville. So it has – it has hurt his approval ratings.

LEE: Some of the reports that have surrounded it, I think, might end up having a short-term impact on how they feel about him. But, they are not expected to change how they view them in the big picture.  

O’DONNELL: It didn’t alarm you at all by reading the Mueller report? I mean, there was a key finding. Let’s just – there were so many – but let’s just take one for example. That, “The President’s efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful. That is largely because the persons surrounding the President decided not to carry out the orders or accede to his requests.” I mean, in particular, the White House Council, Don McGahn.         

(...)

JOHN DICKERSON: Let me ask you about your book, Our Lost Declaration, you have worked really hard to try to keep the founders in the conversation, their standard that they created. You know, here, with respect to the Declaration, the summer of 1787, when you think about the Mueller report and the 55 men who met that summer in Philadelphia, does the behavior of the president in the Mueller report meet the standard those men hoped for in the Presidency of the United States?

(...)

DICKERSON: They thought a lot about the president, that’s why they made General Washington the president of the convention. Patrick Henry didn’t even go because he was so worried about the presidency. So back to the question. Do you think the current president meets the standard for the office that they created in that summer? They created this new thing, this amazing new thing. Does the sitting president meet the standard that they had hoped for in that office?

(...)

NB Daily Mueller Report Trump Impeachment Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats CBS CBS This Morning Video Gayle King Norah O'Donnell John Dickerson Mike Lee Donald Trump

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