No edition of CNN’s New Day would be complete without at least one instance of Trump-bashing. Pundits on Tuesday morning’s show referred to the President as "pathetic," “unpresidential,” “whiny," and "weak.”
New Day brought on John Avlon and David Gregory to discuss the reasons why President Trump might not want to participate in an interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Avlon believed that the President’s lawyers feared that he might perjure himself while testifying under oath, saying “that itself is both pathetic and unpresidential.”
Later, the discussion turned to comments President Trump made in Ohio Monday, where he called the Democrats “treasonous” and “un-American” for refusing to applaud when he pointed out some of his accomplishments during his State of the Union address. David Gregory chimed in and referred to the President as “so whiny and so weak.” Fill-in anchor John Berman then told Gregory to keep an eye on his Twitter feed, as the President’s supporters will certainly have something to say about Gregory’s choice of words.
Avlon also weighed in on the President’s criticism of Democrats, saying “the only thing that’s un-American to me is people who call other Americans un-American.” One can’t help but wonder if Avlon would consider Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell’s accusation of anyone who wanted to release the classified memo raising questions about surveillance abuse by the FBI of “peddling the Putin narrative” would fall into the category of “un-American.”
If the media and the left really hated name-calling so much, they could lead by example and resist the urge to call the President names.
JOHN AVLON: Let’s just reality check on two things. This is a President, who, when asked earlier, said 100 percent he wanted to do it; utterly confident. We’re now acknowledging, the President’s lawyers are acknowledging that that was pure bluster designed to create a sense of confidence where there was none. Second, the President’s lawyers are saying he should not testify, not because he’s, this is all blown out of proportion but because they’re afraid he will lie under oath. They don’t trust him to be interviewed with lawyers without creating more problems for himself. That itself is both pathetic and unpresidential.
ALISYN CAMEROTA: And so listen, CNN had this reporting that they also are arguing that it didn’t, it doesn’t meet the threshold. I’ll just read what CNN’s reporting was from January 31. Trump’s attorneys are arguing that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team has not met the high threshold they believe is needed to interview a President in person, according to sources familiar with the ongoing deliberations. So, David, as we all remember, Bill Clinton didn’t at first agree to an interview with the Special Counsel and then he was subpoenaed. And so, that could play out here, but then that opens up a whole another can of worms.
DAVID GREGORY: Sure.
CAMEROTA: And then it could be the Supreme Court deciding things. But you know, listen, I mean you’d think, normally, okay if, when the normal laws of gravity apply politically that would be unwise. What is the President hiding? But, you know, as you know, President Trump has been sort of teflon to his base that he’ll spin it in a way that it doesn’t mean he’s hiding something, he’s unfair.
GREGORY: Right. And I think, you know, that, the legal part will play itself out. This President is using the Clinton playbook in terms of going after the special prosecutor and whether this has gone too far afield as an investigation, but let’s just remember whatever this President has tried to do on this Nunes memo, to argue that this was kind of – the investigation where there was garbage in and you got garbage out. There are Republicans, even those who were involved in drafting this partisan memo, that indicate this is not really a statement about the Mueller investigation, this is about this particular process before the FISA Court with regard to Carter Page. It’s much larger than that. And the second point is– let’s also remember and this is probably what his lawyers are worried about and boy they should be – just look at President Trump as a private citizen and his record in being deposed. I mean, I just can’t imagine any lawyer would want him to sit and answer questions under oath or in any way that could be –
JOHN BERMAN: Hang on one second. Hang on one second, John because David brought up the memo here and I want to move on to that subject because we’re in an interesting place right now, which is that the House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously to open up this memo, send it to the President for him to declassify. It’s now on the President’s desk, John. He’s got to decide whether or not he is going to release this Democratic memo which provides a very different argument than he wants the people to see.
AVLON: But let’s take everyone at their word about wanting more transparency. Look, there’s no reason to believe the President is going to go out of his way to sign this. He doesn’t want transparency; he wants that other narrative out there. But there’s sort of a, there’s a catch here, where he can’t just indefinitely refuse it. Again, the House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously to release it. It would be better for the country to release it but there’s no reason to believe that the President will do that.
CAMEROTA: He doesn’t seem inclined to do what Adam Schiff is requesting at the moment, David. He, I mean, he’s picked this fight with Adam Schiff. Adam Schiff has returned fire. So, if the President does not release it, then it goes to the full House and then it could be released if they choose to do it?
GREGORY: Right. Well, and again, I don’t have confidence in anybody doing that. What they’ve done and what the House Speaker has done, is open the door to such partisanship on this investigation, which has been there all along, which is why there’s value in a special prosecutor as opposed to a political process in this investigation. But the whole thing is absurd and the President talking about Democrats being treasonous because they didn’t applaud for him during the State of the Union. You know, at some point, even the President’s core supporters have got to make an assessment about a President of the United States who is so whiny and so weak. Instead of, I thought he was strong, I thought he attacked other people who had low energy. What is the insecurity all about? It’s one thing to be on the offense and that is his right and he’s certainly done that. But this incredible insecurity, I just don’t think is good for the office.
BERMAN: Whiny and weak from David Gregory, watch your Twitter feed for the next few hours, David. Hang on one second...
GREGORY: I’m not doing that.
BERMAN: ...Because you brought up, you brought up something the President said yesterday right now, which is the type of thing I don’t think we can grade on the curve. Let’s listen to what the President said yesterday when he was in Ohio.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: You’re up there, you’ve got half the room going totally crazy, wild. They loved everything. They want to do something great for our country. And you have the other side, even on positive news, really positive news, like that, they were like death and un-American. Un-American. Somebody said treasonous. I mean, yeah, I guess, why not. Can we call that treason? Why not. I mean, they certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.
BERMAN: You know, John Avlon, as I said, there are going to be people who say oh it’s just the President and he’s joking.
BERMAN: You can’t be graded on a curve here. When a President calls something treason, it’s outrageous?
AVLON: It is outrageous and we shouldn’t get numb to it by saying “That’s just Trump being Trump.” Words have meanings. Treason is the most serious civic sin there is. It is a crime. And to say all of a sudden that Democrats, the political opposition, is treasonous for the crime of not applauding you during a State of the Union, is just nuts. And un-American itself is also something we shouldn’t gloss over. You know, the only thing that’s un-American to me is people who call other Americans un-American. And the President using these phrases so casually in rallies is a total departure from our best traditions and we cannot get numbed into forgetting that.