Soon after former Trump attorney Michael Cohen testified in front of the House Oversight Committee hearing on Wednesday, a panel of commentators on CNN surprised viewers by contradicting the disbarred lawyer’s claim that he never wanted a post in the White House.
Cohen’s troubles began when Dana Bash, the chief political correspondent for the liberal channel, pointed out that he was “not the perfect messenger” to attack Trump because of “one potential problem” contradicting CNN’s reports on the matter.
“He very much wanted” to work in the White House, Bash noted. The Lead host Jake Tapper quickly agreed, stating that “a lot of us here raised our eyebrows” over his assertion “because we knew it to not be true.”
The host then played a video of the clash between Cohen and Ohio Representative Jim Jordan, who asked him: “How long did you work in the White House?”
“I never worked in the White House,” the witness responded.
The GOP official then inquired: “And that's the point, isn't it, Mr. Cohen?”
“No, sir,” he replied.
Jordan then asserted that the lawyer was unhappy because he “didn't get brought to the dance.”
I was extremely proud to be personal attorney to the President of the United States of America. I did not want to go to the White House. I was offered jobs.
I can tell you a story of Mr. Trump reaming out [then-Chief of Staff] Reince Priebus because I had not taken a job where Mr. Trump wanted me to, which was working with Don McGahn at the White House General Counsel's office.
At that point, Tapper stated that “the issue there is that one sentence” even though “all of our reporting suggests that’s not true.”
Bash rejoined the discussion by stating that she had “reached out” to Priebus, who replied: “I’m not getting involved in this.” She specifically pointed to Trump when noting that “this President, probably more than any other, if you want somebody in the White House, they’re there.”
“So if Michael Cohen and the President really wanted it to happen, more importantly the President, it would have happened,” she added. “And [Cohen] wanted it.”
Compared to his testimony on Wednesday, the attorney sang a different tune during an appearance on CNN’s New Day program on November 10, 2016, when he told then-host Chris Cuomo that he hadn’t been asked to fill a post in the new Trump administration.
Cuomo responded with surprise and asserted that Cohen “would be the first person” Trump “would want by his side.” Cohen responded “I agree with that” before stating that any post he took would have to be “a role I feel comfortable with.”
When Cuomo asked if “there’s a chance” he would be asked to go to Washington,” Cohen replied: “I certainly hope so” before adding he would “100 percent” accept such an offer and that his future would “hopefully” be in the nation’s capital.
And yet! Why didn't CNN dig this interview out of the archives to prove Cohen lied to Congress? Chris Cuomo spent most of his hourlong show on Wednesday night obsessing over Cohen without ever exploring Cohen's exchange with Jim Jordan or this Cuomo video clip.
Instead, he lectured conservatives for having zero curiosity: "You have to look at the Right. They had no curiosity about anything Cohen had. They get on the high box of 'Credibility is everything,' when they're backing a President who certainly doesn't have good credibility.
CNN's assertion matched tweets from President Trump’s sons.
“Michael was lobbying EVERYONE to be ‘Chief of Staff.’” Eric Trump tweeted. “It was the biggest joke in the campaign and around the office. Did he just perjure himself again?”
“Nailed it,” Donald Trump Jr. posted in response. “It really was the biggest joke of the entire transition. The beginning of his bitterness was when he realized that was never going to happen.”
As NewsBusters previously reported, these reporters’ tone was dramatically different from the attitude before Wednesday’s testimony, when the press was practically giddy over the impeachment “test drive” that was predicted to be a “bullet to the heart” of President Trump.