CNN Panel Uses McSally Testimony to Attack President Trump, Even McSally Herself

March 8th, 2019 2:06 PM

A Senate Armed Services Committee hearing took an unexpected turn Wednesday when Arizona Senator Martha McSally announced that she was raped by a senior officer during her time in the Air Force. Not surprisingly, two liberal CNN guests on Wednesday’s The Lead used McSally’s testimony as an excuse to attack President Trump and even McSally herself.

Host Jake Tapper opened the segment by playing a clip of McSally’s emotional testimony on Capitol Hill, where she talked about how the military’s “wholly inadequate” response to the widespread sexual assault allegations as well as the response to her own allegations almost caused her to give up her Air Force career. Never Trump conservative Amanda Carpenter had the most measured response of the three panelists, praising her “bravery, courage, and accomplishment.”



The Beat DC's Tiffany Cross stressed that the “safety of women should matter to all people” before arguing that McSally’s testimony “does beg the question how some Republicans stand by this President who himself is accused of sexually assaulting over 20 women.”

CNN appears to have mastered the art of working President Trump into every single news story. Later that night, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo managed to work veiled swipes at President Trump into a story that had absolutely nothing to do with politics; Jeopardy host Alex Trebek’s cancer diagnosis.

After making her blatantly partisan statement, Cross made a Freudian slip, arguing that the issue “shouldn’t be bipartisan,” likely meaning to say “should be bipartisan.” Cross argued that McSally’s testimony “forces the question” about Republicans’ support of President Trump in spite of the accusations against him “to be answered honestly.”

Former Obama State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki praised McSally for “using her platform for good” before trashing her decision to support Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, which she described as “hard to grapple with.”

To be clear, McSally did not serve in the Senate at the time of Kavanaugh’s confirmation but she did tell KTAR News that “I would vote for Brett Kavanaugh.” The Kavanaugh nomination became more of a political football than even the most partisan Supreme Court nominations when decades-old and unsubstantiated sexual misconduct accusations surfaced.

Not surprisingly, Psaki’s reference to McSally’s support for Kavanaugh came as music to Cross’s ears; she muttered the word “right” as Psaki urged McSally to work with “people like Kirsten Gillibrand and others on the other side of the aisle to address some of these issues that she’s experienced.” 

With that, the conversation on The Lead came to a close but the conversation about McSally and her support for Kavanaugh continued online. A Vox article picked up where Psaki left off; arguing that “the (Republican) Party’s support Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh....makes coming forward complicated for Republican women.”

This segment on CNN proves that the liberal media will never shy away from scoring political points with their brethren on the left; even when it comes to stories that should draw bipartisan outrage, such as the accusations made by McSally.

A transcript of the relevant portion of Wednesday’s edition of The Lead is below. Click “expand” to read more.

CNN's The Lead With Jake Tapper


04:56 p.m. Eastern

JAKE TAPPER: Our “National Lead” now. We expected to hear from survivors at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on sexual assault today but what no one expected was an incredibly emotional moment from Senator Martha McSally; where the Arizona Republican revealed that she was raped while serving in the United States Air Force by a superior officer.


SEN. MARTHA MACSALLY: I am also a military sexual assault survivor but unlike so many brave survivors, I didn’t report being sexually assaulted. Like so many women and men, I didn’t trust the system at the time. I blame myself. I was ashamed and confused, and I thought I was strong but felt powerless. The perpetrators abused their position of power in profound ways and in one case, I was preyed upon and then raped by a superior officer. I stayed silent for many years but later in my career, as the military grappled with scandals and their wholly inadequate responses, I felt the need to let some people know I too was a survivor. I was horrified at how my attempt to share generally my experiences were handled. I almost separated from the Air Force at 18 years over my despair. Like many victims, I felt the system was raping me all over again.


TAPPER: Wow. I mean, it’s hard to, to, to gather yourself for a reaction but I mean, obviously, very brave of Senator McSally to do that not unlike Senator Ernst in January did a similar thing; talked about how she had been raped. What’s your reaction upon watching that?

AMANDA CARPENTER: It’s especially important that she said that in her capacity as a female U.S. Senator. Because as the discussion has increased about rapes and how they’re reported, a lot of people questioned the, the validity of those reports because they’ve increased dramatically in recent years on campus, in the military, in corporate America. And she is there saying I didn’t report it because I feared retribution. And so I think those people who want to make that argument will have a hard time sitting next to a woman of her bravery, courage, and accomplishment and trying to question the, the validity and ask why she didn’t report sooner.

TIFFANY CROSS: And it’s very timely considering this morning that we saw the outburst from singer R. Kelly trying to defend himself against these accusations with his interview with Gayle King. Look, I think this is not a partisan issue. You know, the safety of women should matter to all people but it does beg the question how some Republicans stand by this President who himself is accused of sexually assaulting over 20 women. So again, it shouldn’t be bipartisan but you do…you know, it forces the question to be answered honestly.

JEN PSAKI: Yeah. I mean, I think just by speaking her mind, she is using her platform for good and we should…that should be applauded. I think what is hard to grapple with is the fact that she supported Brett Kavanaugh.

CROSS: Right.

PSAKI: I hope that she moves from here and works with people like Kirsten Gillibrand and others on the other side of the aisle to address some of these issues that she’s experienced.