During Monday’s edition of CNN's New Day, panelist John Avlon said that President Trump’s “9-hour tweet storm” demonstrates that he is “unhinged.” The “tweet storm” in question consisted of about a dozen tweets primarily discussing the Russia investigation and arguing that the FBI’s obsession with it caused them to overlook warning signs about the school shooter that killed 17 people at a south Florida high school last week.
Guest co-host Dave Briggs also criticized the “tweet storm”, saying “No proof of collusion, no proof of instruction (sic) but proof the President, John, should play more golf because 20 tweets on Saturday and Sunday, it was a hot mess.” Keep in mind that if the President actually chose to play golf, the media would have criticized him for his “insensitivity” for teeing up just miles away from the site of last week’s school shooting.
After co-host Alisyn Camerota suggested that the tweeting was prompted by Trump’s consumption of cable TV, Avlon took a veiled swipe at Fox News, referring to it as “one channel that has a tendency to sort of give talking points to the worst angels of his nature.” Avlon also blasted the President for listening to cable TV over his own intelligence community.
Avlon continued to make the argument that the American people have elected an “unhinged” President, saying that his cabinet keeps attempting to contain him and arguing that “the President is isolated himself in sort of a hermetically sealed bubble.” Nothing thrills the media more than the idea of a White House in chaos.
The rest of the segment dealt with one of CNN’s favorite topics; the Russia investigation. The hosts and the panelists attempted to drill into the audience’s skull the ideas that the investigation has only just begun and that the indictment of 13 Russian nationals completely unrelated to the Trump campaign does not provide any vindication to the President’s “no collusion” narrative. Legal analyst Carrie Cordero argued that the President’s tweets demonstrate “that he’s terrified of this investigation.”
Nine months into the Special Counsel’s investigation, it looks like CNN will not dial back the Russia hysteria anytime soon.
CNN New Day
JOHN AVLON: You could do a montage of him denying this; this has been his reflexive position from the beginning. And it’s only when he’s being tightly scripted does he acknowledge. One of the extraordinary things about this 9-hour tweet storm is just how unhinged the President seemed. I mean, he’s going after his own National Security Director, right? He’s going after Hillary Clinton, Obama, the FBI; all punctuated by dinner with Geraldo. This is not a, a, a particularly hinged guy on, on Presidents’ Day Weekend serving in the Oval Office. But you really do get a sense of, of the real man from Twitter Trump and it doesn’t look real pretty right now.
DAVE BRIGGS: Yeah, no proof of collusion, no proof of instruction but proof the President, John, should play more golf because 20 tweets on Saturday and Sunday, it was a hot mess but Carrie let’s get back to the indictment; 13 Russians indicted, three entities, what did it show? Some call this the largest attack on our country since 9/11.
CARRIE CORDERO: Well, this was a really big indictment. As you said, it was 13 Russian nationals and what it shows is that the Special Counsel’s team is willing to charge Russian nationals, Russian companies that were operating this intelligence operation directed against American democracy, even if the team knows that these individuals probably will never actually stand trial in a U.S. Court. And so, what it shows, it demonstrates the level of evidence that the United States government has assembled against these Russian organizations and individuals and it shows; I think that it’s more likely that in the future, we might see more indictments and charges against individuals, perhaps who were involved in the DNC hacking and the Podesta hacking and the leaking of those, of that information because if the team was willing to charge Russian nationals and Russian organizations in this, which was conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government, then I think we’re going to see more of the same.
ALISYN CAMEROTA: You’re right. There’s no indication that this was the end for Mueller. There is indication that this is, you know, the beginning or somewhere in the middle but not the end. So listen, John, back to the tweet storm because there’s an interesting back story about what was happening behind the tweet storm that we should get into. Maggie Haberman of The New York Times has some reporting, as well as CNN that at first, the President was pleased with the Mueller indictment because it was people in Russia, 13 people who he doesn’t know. They’re not connected to the Trump campaign. In fact, they said there’s no, no, no one wittingly on the Trump campaign. So he saw that as good news. And he wanted to play golf but he was counseled that this would not be a good weekend to play golf when Parkland, Florida is a few miles away and they have just suffered this horrific school shooting. So, he was inside and he was watching TV is the story. And then he started hearing analysts and people saying that in fact, this was not good news for the Trump campaign. And then he started getting sort of more agitated and tweeting this stuff.
JOHN AVLON: Yeah. Look, we know the President is reactive to what he watches on TV, particularly one channel that has a tendency to sort of give talking points to the worst angels of his nature. The fact that the President consistently listens to cable TV over his own intelligence community is really troubling and that raises the real question of, you know, technically, tweets are official Presidential statements.
AVLON: And the fact that the President’s keep confusing American policy, keep being attempted to be contained by his own cabinet, speaks to the which, they way in which the President is isolated himself in sort of a hermetically sealed bubble. This indictment is a thorough going indictment of the denial that Russia meddled in our election. They clearly did on a highly sophisticated way over a long period of time designed to create massive disruption and prey on identity politics fissures in our society, okay? But Donald Trump, I think, realized over time that this is not in any way a vindication; that this is part of a larger plan that was in place; that Mueller is highlighting. And the fact that he’s reactive to cable TV, maybe sometimes outside voices give him a reality check. But this is not a situation where the President should feel at all vindicated. This is part of a larger Mueller investigation and that is incontrovertible now. He’s not going to believe his intelligence agency, this lays it out real clear for the American people.
BRIGGS: That was the word used by National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, “the evidence is now incontrovertible that Moscow meddled in the 2016 campaign.” So Carrie, does it have anything to do with vindicating the President because he retweeted a New York Post column that says “charges deal Don a big win.” Did they?
CARRIE CORDERO: I don’t think so. And here’s why. The main part of the, what the, what the indictment charged was conspiracy to defraud the United States and what that defrauding is in the indictment is interfering with U.S. democracy and interfering with the election. What that means is if there is evidence that individuals connected to the campaign or other Americans involved in the political process were also conspiring or were assisting in some way or had knowledge that that conspiracy can actually broaden. And so, I’m not, we don’t know if there is that evidence yet because we haven’t seen that revealed but the way in which this document was crafted leaves open that possibility. I think, also, the President’s tweets demonstrate that he’s terrified of this investigation and he’s either terrified of this investigation because there is some kind of evidence that would implicate those close to him or those involved in his campaign or he’s worried about the fact that this Special Counsel now, with this indictment and the way that the Deputy Attorney General is conducting oversight of it, that this investigation is now on track and will not be derailed. And whether that reaches into financial aspects related to the campaign or the Trump Organization, or whatever else it is that has him so concerned, it is on track and this train is continuing to run.
CAMEROTA: I guess. I mean, look. That’s one interpretation that he’s terrified, we also do have some reporting that he’s just very, very frustrated because he doesn’t want it to be perceived that he had any help winning. He won this election, he feels, fair and square and the idea of, whenever it’s suggested that he may have had some help because the Russians wanted him to win, that’s what he bristles at. He won’t hear that.
BRIGGS: This is all the small stuff. What are we going to do about it? How are we going to stop it in 2018 and beyond? That we will address. John?
AVLON: We know from DNI Coats’s testimony that there is no coordinated effort to block, what he’s already saying is going on now, that Russia is trying to influence the ‘18 election.