CNN Panelists Dismiss Privatization as Silliness, Refer to Trump as 'Unhinged' and 'Unpresidential'

During Monday's edition of New Day, two guests took turns ripping the Trump Administration. Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin referred to the Trump Administration's idea to privatize the VA as "silliness" while Brian Karem referred to the President as "unhinged" and "unpresidential." Guest co-host John Avlon briefly joined the anti-Trump crusade, describing the idea of the President taking action based on "things he sees on TV" as "objectively troubling." 

While discussing the recent ouster of VA Secretary David Shulkin, Toobin explained that the administration supports for-profit charter schools, relying on private companies for infrastructure and privatizing the VA, which former Secretary Shulkin opposed. According to Toobin, “There’s a lot of silliness here. But it’s also about actual government and how it works or does not work.”

 

 

His fellow panelist Brian Karem jumped in: “it doesn’t work. And the idea is they’re trying to solve a problem by throwing it into the private sector with things that have been traditionally been what we consider, you know, public sector.” Karem warned that the push for privatization “has an inherent risk and it can be very dangerous.”

Maybe these panelists resent any plan that doesn’t try to solve a societal problem by throwing money at it and hoping for a better result.

Guest co-host Avlon, one of two men filling in for Chris Cuomo, introduced the standard left-wing talking point against Dr. Ronny Jackson, Trump’s choice to replace Shulkin as VA Secretary, saying that the choice to put the White House Physician in that post shows that the President is increasingly “valuing personal chemistry over competence”; warning “that’s bad news for the government" and "bad news for the American people."

Karem echoed Avlon’s concern: “And if it is a personal whim and it boils down to personality instead of reality and education and facts, that’s where the problem is and that’s what this administration is running on. Seat of the pants, anything that the President tweets, anything that he wants, and join him or die. And...that’s (an) inherently dangerous way to run a Federal government.”

Karem, it should be pointed out, is the same journalist who claimed that Trump believes “every immigrant in this country” is “a killer.” 

The conversation then turned to a Washington Post article which talked about how “this is now a president a little bit alone, isolated and without any moderating influences – and, if anything, a president who is being encouraged and goaded on by people around him. It really is a president unhinged.” 

Karem agreed with the Washington Post’s characterization of the Trump White House as “unhinged”, adding that the “23 sources” that the Post relied on for its hit piece have seen “that man act in a very unpresidential manner on a number of occasions.”

More than a year into the Trump Presidency, the media’s playbook has changed very little. They repeatedly paint the President as unfit for office, hoping that the public and liberals in Congress will take notice and look into using the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. While they occasionally focus on the substance of his Administration’s arguments, they more frequently rely on personal attacks. 

A transcript is below. Click "expand" to read more. 

 

CNN New Day

04/02/18

06:21 AM

 

JEFFREY TOOBIN: Look at what the Administration wants to do. Whether it’s for-profit charter schools in the enter, in the education field. Whether it’s the infrastructure plan, which means turning over highways to, you know, private companies that will build them and collect tolls. Whether it’s here in the V.A, which will privatize significant parts of the V.A. system. I mean this, you know, there’s a lot of silliness here. But it’s also about actual government and how it works or does not work. 

BRIAN KAREM: It doesn’t work. And the idea is they’re trying to solve a problem by throwing it into the private sector with things that have traditionally been what we consider, you know, public sector. You know, everything that affect us; roads, schools, V.A. benefits. All of those things, privatizing them and turning them over to the private sector has an inherent risk and it can be very dangerous.

JIM SCIUTTO: It falls in under what we’ve talked about on a number of these moves, right? You have a V.A. Secretary who clearly wasn’t on board for that plan. Right? And seemed to express those concerns internally and then was, you know, beaten out, beaten out because of that disagreement. Meanwhile, he’s going to be replaced with someone who’s with, and listen, a President has every right to have folks who are with the program. But I suppose the worry is that there’s no one challenging his impulses here at any turn.

AVLON: Right. I mean, Ronny Jackson is the President’s personal physician. We don’t know his position on these policies yet. Presumably, those will come out. And look, the government should be about great debates about policy but increasingly, we’re seeing personality injected into this. Personal whim, this is about personal chemistry more than policy. And that becomes a real problem. And if the President increasingly is valuing personal chemistry over competence, that’s bad news for the government. That’s bad news for the American people.

KAREM: Well, that’s, John, that’s the bottom line. It’s the competence part of it. I mean, it’s having people in place that have knowledge, education, and are able to debate the issues based on knowledge and education. And if it is a personal whim and it boils down to personality instead of reality and education and facts, that’s where the problem is and that’s what this administration is running on. Seat of the pants, anything that the President tweets, anything that he wants, and join him or die. And that’s, that’s a very, very, again, inherently dangerous way to run a Federal government.

ALISYN CAMEROTA: Let’s talk about the new Washington Post reporting from over the weekend. The President’s inner circle is shrinking. Who he gets advice from, who his confidantes are. Hope Hicks left. And so what does that mean? Where does that leave him? Here’s how The Washington Post describes it, and, by the way, they said they had 23 sources. They used, I mean, it’s interesting when newspapers reveal how many sources they are so that you get the scope of who they are talking to. They say these are internal close aides and people who have left the White House. So 23. Here’s the description. “This is now a president a little bit alone, isolated and without any moderating influences – and, if anything, a president who is being encouraged and goaded on by people around him. It really is a president unhinged.” 

TOOBIN: You know, look who he was with this weekend. I mean, it was all these Fox News people who care deeply about cracking down on immigration. And that’s, and that’s what we see, including, you know, statements like, people are coming across the border to take advantage of DACA, which is just factually inaccurate. DACA only applies to people who have grown up in this country.

CAMEROTA: And who were here in 2007.

TOOBIN: Right. You can’t come across the border and take advantage of DACA. But that, I mean, that’s the people that he’s getting advice from and that’s the policies...

JIM SCIUTTO: This is the way he ran his company. It’s a tiny group, he’s at the top. He’s got folks around him who are on with the program. Right? And you survive if you follow the lead.

AVLON: This is instinct masquerading as insight and the problem is the President of the United States, here’s the core reality where we are. The President of the United States is taking action based on things he sees on TV rather than his intelligence reports. That is objectively troubling.

KAREM: I don’t even think it’s that. I think he’s taking action based on whatever, who he’s spoken to, what he ate last night, what he ate this morning, what he saw on TV. It really doesn’t matter. “Unhinged” is something that we’ve seen in the White House, covering this White House from the very beginning. What you’re now seeing are the people who have tried to protect him and be a gatekeeper are leaving him. So that is seeing itself out in the open a little bit more. But anyone who’s covered that White House in the last fifteen months, has seen that man act in a very unpresidential manner on a number of occasions. And it drifts down to staff. And I can tell you those 23 people that have talked to him, they’ve said that to many reporters. Just read anything that’s come out. It’s not news. It’s scary. 

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