CNN Surprisingly Tough on Biden Team Dodging on Classified Documents

January 12th, 2023 4:56 PM

What's going on at CNN This Morning? Don't tell us there's been an outbreak of objectivity!

Earlier this week, we noted the show's skepticism about the White House's claim that it was simply a "coincidence" that there were no migrants at a "migrant service location" in El Paso when Biden visited it.

Today, the show took a rather jaundiced view of the Biden admin's handling of disclosures of information regarding classified docs in Biden's possession as a private citizen after leaving the vice presidency.

The show opened with a clip of Biden spox Karine Jean-Pierre bobbing and weaving on the matter, essentially stonewalling reporters. 

Don Lemon observed that there were a lot of questions, but not many answers. And he described the situation as "a growing political crisis for President Biden and for Democrats."

CNN legal correspondent Paula Reid then said that the discovery of classifed documents in a second location: "seems to strongly lean in favor of [AG Garland] appointing a special counsel."Joe Biden Don Lemon CNN This Morning 1-12/23 That quickly turned out to be accurate.

Do we see the hand of new CNN honcho Chris Licht at work here? He has announced that he wants to move CNN from its hard-left line back to a more centrist stance. 

Compare and contrast with Morning Joe's handling of the scandal. As we've documented here and here, the MSNBC show been in all-out defense mode for Biden this week.

Now, this was CNN, and Don Lemon, after all. Lemon did maintain some liberal-media street cred, saying that "the new revelation now intensifying the Republicans' attacks on the president." And he described the GOP as "pouncing" on the story. Like a big cat, Don! 
CNN This Morning being surprisingly tough on President Biden regarding the revelation that he had been in possession of a second batch of classified documents after leaving the vice-presidency was sponsored in part by Trivago

Here's the transcript.

CNN This Morning
6:00 am ET

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: So, I'm just going to leave it there. I want to be prudent here. This is under review by the Department of Justice. I'm not going to go beyond what the president shared yesterday. I'm not going to go beyond what my colleagues at the White House Counsel shared with all of you as well.

DON LEMON: Not really many answers there.


LEMON: But a lot of questions about classified documents and a lot of no comments from the White House. Good morning, everyone. Poppy is off today. It's Kaitlan and I in New York City. But we've got a lot to cover in Washington. You could be in Washington again today with all the news.

COLLINS: We brought Washington here basically.

LEMON: Obviously, we're talking about President Biden's legal team finding another batch of classified documents. The new revelation now intensifying the Republicans' attacks on the president.

. . . 

We're going to begin with the fallout from the second batch of classified documents found by President Biden's legal team at a separate location used by Biden after his time as Vice President. 

It presents a growing political crisis for the president and for Democrats. The latest revelation fuelling Republicans' claims that Donald Trump is being targeted, receiving unfair treatment as he's being investigated by special counsel over classified material found at Mar-a-Lago. 

It is a huge opening for the new, pro-Trump House majority, now poised to investigate Democrats, though insist that Biden and Trump cases are not one and the same. 

CNN's Paula Reid, live in Washington. Paula, the different story yesterday. Different story the day before. And now, here we go again. It is growing. What do we expect to know about these documents in the second patch? What are we finding out?

PAULA REID: Well, we don't know much. And part of that is because the White House is making a strategic decision not to get out in front of this matter. And as you saw at the briefing there, not to answer questions, and instead to let things leak out through the media. 

And here's what we've learned from our reporting. And that is, that Biden attorneys have found a second set of documents that include classified information at a second location. The first location, of course, was an office here in DC. As we reported, Biden's lawyers were clearing out that office back in November, and uncovered what we learned were ten classified documents, including information about Ukraine, Iran, and the United Kingdom. And those included top secret documents. 

Now, we've learned that was only known by a small group of advisers. But once they made that discovery, that prompted them to search other locations. 

But at this point, we have so many questions about this new batch. What is in them? How many were there? Where were they located? And the biggest question right now, is this it? The White House has been very careful not to say definitively that that first batch that was discovered was all there was. 

But also another big question right now, not for us but for Attorney General for Merrick Garland, whether or not to appoint a special counsel to just take this on. But the fact that we now have documents in more than one location, that seems to strongly lean in favor of appointing a special counsel. But that's a decision for him, and who knows when we'll get that answer?

LEMON: Of course, as we said, the GOP is pouncing. Paula Reid, thank you very much, we appreciate that.