Cooper Blows a Gasket: ‘Ludicrous’ for Trump to Forget Things

In the midst of CNN’s Chernobyl-style meltdown regarding the Special Counsel’s finding Thursday, Anderson Cooper seemed irate that President Trump’s written answers to Robert Mueller included 30 instances where he couldn’t remember the events asked about. The response came from the same news outlet that applauded Hillary Clinton’s similar answers during the Benghazi hearings. But Cooper found Trump’s answers to be an unspeakable offense.

Just before Cooper went off, CNN’s Pamela Brown suggested Attorney General William Barr was lying when he said the Trump team fully cooperated, and Trump’s forgetfulness was her proof (click “expand”):

But in this report, the Special Counsel said found Trump's written answers to the team were, quote, “inadequate”, and here’s what it goes on to say. It says: The Special Counsel agreed to receive written responses from Trump but it, quote, “viewed the written answers to be inadequate. We noted among things the President stated on more than 30 occasions that he, quote, “does not recall” or, quote, “remember”, or have an independent recollection of information called for by the questions. Other answers were incomplete or imprecise,” the report says. So, basically this is sort of a scathing criticism.

From there, Cooper flipped his lid and ranted about how it was “ludicrous” for the President to forget anything (click “expand”):

ANDERSON COOPER: It’s also -- Just think about that for a moment. In written answers, the President of the United States says he doesn’t recall. I mean—

JEFFREY TOOBIN: Over and over again.

COOPER: You have plenty of time--

BROWN: More than 30 occasions.

COOPER: But you have plenty of times to check your file-o-fact. I mean -- It's not like he's answering in real time. These are lawyered up, prepared things.

JAKE TAPPER: That’s with any lawyer. Any lawyer would do that.

COOPER: I know, but it's sort of a ludicrous.

Trump could have taken all the time he wanted, but if he couldn’t remember then he couldn’t remember. What did Cooper want, for Trump to write any-o-thing down and lie?

Adding on to Cooper’s rambling, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin mock the “notion” of Trump forgetting something because “This is not just an ordinary president. This is a president who has said he has one the great memory of all time.” It was an exaggeration from the President they mocked him for making in the past.

 

 

Moving back to trying to destroy Barr’s reputation for the crime of stating the facts that proved Trump innocent, host Jake Tapper suggested that the AG lied about Mueller not kicking the determination on obstruction to Congress. “I don’t know any way to read this than to say he's kicking it to Congress,” he declared. Except for the fact that a special counsel answers to the attorney general, and the AG makes the call on charges. The facts are pesky things to CNN.

For back up on smearing Barr, Tapper turned to CNN legal correspondent and daughter to an Obama aide, Laura Jarrett to further slime the AG. According to Jarrett, Barr was just a political operative working to save Trump from his crimes and he would be ultimately held to account (click “expand”):

He went out of his way today to say, on every possible occasion to say, “Look the President was facing an unprecedented situation. Of course he was angry. Of course, he was lashing out. Of course, he was saying all kinds of things to his officials and his administration.

But what’s pretty clear here is that Robert Mueller was very troubled by it. He obviously doesn't decide to exercise traditional prosecutorial judgment, but he's really wrestling with all of these different acts so much so that he lays out for Congress sort of chapter and verse a road map for obstruction of justice. I mean, Congress can take this 400 pages right now and do everything it wants. It doesn't need a referral from Barr. That was a political decision. That was a political lens that the attorney general chose to make at the beginning of this day. And the fact that he did it before we saw the report I don't think helped the President on this because now the report now speaks for itself.

And the report itself is so detailed and so damning on so many different issues I think it's hard for Barr to now explain when he goes to Capitol Hill in a couple of weeks, on May 1, he’s scheduled to go up there and defend the report and -- and he's going have to answer all these questions, and I -- I don't know how he walks that back.

A short time later, Tapper, Cooper, and the rest of the liberal only panel roared with laughter at the idea of Trump getting locked up for lying to the press (click “expand”):

TAPPER: And it's an interesting part of the report because Mueller goes into detail, quite some detail about the fact that President Trump led the charge to lie about this Trump Tower meeting. But ultimately Mueller concludes, and I think we all said this at the time, it's not a crime to lie to the public. It's not a crime to lie to reporters.

COOPER: Which is lucky for this White House, frankly, because they do it all the.

TAPPER: If it were a crime to lie to the American people, this would be quite a damning document.

This is CNN.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

CNN’S The Mueller Report: Special Coverage
April 18, 2019
1:12:26 p.m. Eastern

PAMELA BROWN: He said today, during the press conference, that the White House, quote, “fully cooperated” as we were talking about. But in this report, the Special Counsel said found Trump's written answers to the team were, quote, “inadequate”, and here’s what it goes on to say. It says: The Special Counsel agreed to receive written responses from Trump but it, quote, “viewed the written answers to be inadequate. We noted among things the President stated on more than 30 occasions that he, quote, “does not recall” or, quote, “remember”, or have an independent recollection of information called for by the questions. Other answers were incomplete or imprecise,” the report says. So, basically this is sort of a scathing criticism.

ANDERSON COOPER: It’s also -- Just think about that for a moment. In written answers, the President of the United States says he doesn’t recall. I mean—

JEFFREY TOOBIN: Over and over again.

COOPER: You have plenty of time--

BROWN: More than 30 occasions.

COOPER: But you have plenty of times to check your file-o-fact. I mean -- It's not like he's answering in real time. These are lawyered up, prepared things.

JAKE TAPPER: That’s with any lawyer. Any lawyer would do that.

COOPER: I know, but it's sort of a ludicrous.

TOOBIN: The spirit, “there's a tweet for everything.” This is not just an ordinary president. This is a president who has said he has one the great memory of all time. So, the notion—And I’ve been reading through the answers. And when you see them one after another, virtually every answer begins “I have no independent recollection.” Now, this is an example of good lawyering by Rudy Giuliani, Jay Sekulow, who are not exposing him to criminal prosecution.

COOPER: It’s not all that advanced lawyering. I don't have a law degree. I could have told him to say that too.

TOOBIN: I'm trying to say something nice, Anderson. But it is true that, you know, that the -- to see the answers in -- in succession is -- is even by lawyer standard kind of hilarious because they all begin the same way.

TAPPER: Let's bring in Laura Jarrett, our justice department correspondent. Laura, just to talk about these two things because very clearly earlier today, Attorney General Barr said things that do not seem to pass the smell test. One, he said that the that Mueller did not kick the question of obstruction of justice to Congress, and I don’t know any way to read this than to say he's kicking it to Congress.

And, two, he said the White House cooperated in every possible way and did not impede the investigation, and, again, you know, we have the Special Counsel saying that the written answers from the White House were inadequate, that they said he didn't recall things or remember things on more than 30 occasions; that the White House, the President, tried to convince witnesses not to cooperate, et cetera.

Doesn't that strike you as -- as surprising coming from a man like William Barr who did have a reputation before taking this current job for being an establishment type character who wouldn't risk list reputation to protect someone like President Trump?

LAURA JARRETT: But he also has a reputation of very broad view of executive power, and I think what we saw earlier here today and even what we saw several weeks ago with his four-paining letter is an attempt to have a political narrative here that is crystal clear and presents the most charitable view for the President.

He went out of his way today to say, on every possible occasion to say, “Look the President was facing an unprecedented situation. Of course he was angry. Of course, he was lashing out. Of course, he was saying all kinds of things to his officials and his administration.

But what’s pretty clear here is that Robert Mueller was very troubled by it. He obviously doesn't decide to exercise traditional prosecutorial judgment, but he's really wrestling with all of these different acts so much so that he lays out for Congress sort of chapter and verse a road map for obstruction of justice. I mean, Congress can take this 400 pages right now and do everything it wants. It doesn't need a referral from Barr. That was a political decision. That was a political lens that the attorney general chose to make at the beginning of this day. And the fact that he did it before we saw the report I don't think helped the President on this because now the report now speaks for itself.

And the report itself is so detailed and so damning on so many different issues I think it's hard for Barr to now explain when he goes to Capitol Hill in a couple of weeks, on May 1, he’s scheduled to go up there and defend the report and -- and he's going have to answer all these questions, and I -- I don't know how he walks that back.

(…)

TAPPER: And it's an interesting part of the report because Mueller goes into detail, quite some detail about the fact that President Trump led the charge to lie about this Trump Tower meeting. But ultimately Mueller concludes, and I think we all said this at the time, it's not a crime to lie to the public. It's not a crime to lie to reporters.

COOPER: Which is lucky for this White House, frankly, because they do it all the.

TAPPER: If it were a crime to lie to the American people, this would be quite a damning document.

(…)

NB Daily Events Mueller Report Conspiracy Theories Double Standards Labeling Political Scandals Trump-Russia probe Cable Television CNN Other CNN Video Pamela Brown Robert Mueller Anderson Cooper Jake Tapper Jeffrey Toobin Laura Jarrett Donald Trump Bill Barr

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