Raging David Gregory Assails Ken Cuccinelli for Calling Out His Absurdity

All the media could talk about Tuesday night was how President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. As unfounded speculation about Trump’s assumed guilt swirled, CNN political commentator David Gregory was in a visible rage over the whole ordeal. At the end of the eight o’clock hour of Anderson Cooper 360, he declared that the firing was a display Trump’s “disdain” for the rule of law. But what was on full display was Gregory’s disdain for the Trump administration.

“I want to make a point about how absurd this night is,” he angrily told the rest of the panel partway through the nine o’clock hour. He railed against Attorney General Jeff Sessions for not standing up to the President. “So, at no time did he turn to the president and say, “You know, it would be inappropriate for you to fire the head of the FBI when the FBI is investigating your campaign by extension your White House for colluding with a foreign power,” he spat.

Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli spoke up and called Gregory’s visceral reaction absurd. “How is that absurd,” Gregory yelled across the table. “If you run an agency that runs investigations, which I have, that person does not day to day run the investigation. They are not in charge of the investigation. They manage the personnel and that's it,” Cuccinelli began to explain as Gregory proceeded to shout over him.

“I'm sorry. No, no, no! He is the attorney general – [cross talk] no, no, you interrupted me. I will finish my point. Mr. Cuccinelli! [cross talk] No, no. You are getting out talking points,” Gregory could be heard yelling over the cross talk. The CNN political analyst accused Cuccinelli of just spouting White House talking points and no substance. He then praised the Hillary Clinton campaign for getting “sage advice” to not fire Comey if she won.

Cuccinelli then called out the entire CNN panel for being obviously stacked with opponents of the administration’s action and “hyperventilating” over it. “But you all are jumping to conclusions. I think maybe -- let's hypothetically assume all of your awful expectations are true. Which are overwhelmingly represented in the discussion tonight,” he chided.

Later on in the show, Cuccinelli took ranting and raving Jeffrey Toobin to task and embarrassingly educated him on the way the FBI works. “Here we have an investigation that is proceeding. Everything that happens in this investigation tomorrow is going to be the same in spite of the removal of the director of the FBI,” he told Toobin. “Because the professionals who handle this day to day are going to keep handling it day to day. They're not going to their office and start sucking their thumbs.”

“How do you know? How do you know that,” Toobin demanded to know. “So why is there a head of the FBI if the guy doesn't matter at all? They sort of operate on automatic pilot?”

“The whole agency operates day to day, a whole set of career professionals who carry these investigations in a responsible for them day to day,” Cuccinelli said. “Who tells them what to investigate,” Toobin responded. “Once in a while one of them die. They replace them. And lo and behold the investigation goes on,” the former Virginia AG joked.

Throughout their whole discussion, Toobin was childishly making goofy faces as if Cuccinelli didn’t know what he was talking about. Between this and Gregory’s angry antics, it appears as through their thinly veiled hatred and biases have bubbled up to the surface. 

Transcript below:

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CNN
Anderson Cooper 360
May 9, 2017
9:12:20 PM Eastern

DAVID GREGORY I want to make a point about how absurd this night is. The attorney general who is involved in making this recommendation thought enough to recuse himself from the Russian investigation because he himself failed to disclose that he had meetings with the Russian ambassador. So, at no time did he turn to the president and say, “You know, it would be inappropriate for you to fire the head of the FBI when the FBI is investigating your campaign by extension your White House for colluding with a foreign power.”

KEN CUCCINELLI: That in itself is absurd.

GREGORY: How is that absurd?!

CUCCINELLI: If you run an agency that runs investigations, which I have, that person does not day to day run the investigation. They are not in charge of the investigation. They manage the personnel and that's it.

GREGORY: I'm sorry. No, no, no! He is the attorney general – [cross talk] no, no, you interrupted me. I will finish my point. Mr. Cuccinelli! [cross talk] No, no. You are getting out talking points.

ANDERSON COOPER [over cross talk]: One at a time. We don't need to talk over each other. We have plenty of time. Will you just stop? Let him finish his point.

GREGORY: To issue a talking point. You’re a political figure understand you want to do that. He is the attorney general of the United States. He advises the President. He knew enough to recuse himself from the investigation. He should have been a grown-up and stood up said this was wrong. You know, people have said from the White House, some of the talking points you were starting to utter, that in fact Hillary Clinton –

CUCCINELLI: I don’t have any White House talking points.

GREGORY: Well it sounded similar to what Kellyanne Conway said when you interrupted me.

CUCCINELLI: When she was being interrupted by Anderson.

GREGORY: Excuse me I'm speaking. You will have your chance. You’ve been brought on. You’ll have plenty of opportunity. The White House is saying Hillary Clinton would have fired Jim Comey. I'm sure she would have liked to. I know for a fact here was some discussion of that when she thought she was poised to win. But she actually got very sage advice that you couldn't do that because of how nakedly political that would look. Apparently, there's nobody in the White House who gave that advice to this president.

CUCCINELLI: But you all are jumping to conclusions. I think maybe -- let's hypothetically assume all of your awful expectations are true. Which are overwhelmingly represented in the discussion tonight. Let's assume they are true. You will know that when the President announces his proposed replacement. That person in light of all of the concerns expressed here -- some of them in a rather hyperventilated way -- will be brought into even clearer focus when that person is selected.

9:40:45 PM Eastern

CUCCINELLI: Here we have an investigation that is proceeding. Everything that happens in this investigation tomorrow is going to be the same in spite of the removal of the director of the FBI. Because the professionals who handle this day to day are going to keep handling it day to day. They're not going to –

JEFFREY TOOBIN: How do you know?

CUCCINELLI: --their office and start sucking their thumbs.

TOOBIN: How do you know that?

CUCCINELLI: Oh come on, it's ridiculous Jeff. This doesn't stop anything. All the grand jury subpoenas go out. The work in pursuit of those will continue just as it has before.

TOOBIN: So why is there a head of the FBI if the guy doesn't matter at all? They sort of operate on automatic pilot?

CUCCINELLI: The whole agency operates day to day, a whole set of career professionals who carry these investigations in a responsible for them day to day.

TOOBIN: Who tells them what to investigate?

CUCCINELLI: Once in a while one of them die. They replace them. And lo and behold the investigation goes on.

CyberAlerts Appointments Foreign Policy Russia Government Agencies Media Bias Debate Conspiracy Theories Covert Liberal Activists Labeling Political Groups Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals CNN Anderson Cooper 360 Video James Comey Jeff Sessions David Gregory Jeffrey Toobin Anderson Cooper Donald Trump Ken Cuccinelli