The journalists at CBS This Morning on Wednesday allowed Senator Cory Booker to smear Trump administration officials with what sounded like a Nazi comparison. The Democrat appeared on the show to gloat about his theatrical attack on Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and her recounting of whether Donald Trump used a profanity in the Oval Office.
Booker slimed, “Why would an American lie under oath lie? To protect their job? Again, that speaks to a dark history on this planet of people obeying orders, doing their job, while they're witnessing injustice."
Dark history on this planet of people just following orders? I see what you did there, Senator. Rather than call Booker out on this, the co-hosts just let it slide by.
In the Senate hearings on Tuesday, Booker yelled at Secretary Nielsen for saying she couldn’t remember the details around Trump supposedly saying the word “shithole.” Co-host Gayle King promoted his talking points: “Senator, you called it a moral moment for the country. It seemed really to strike a nerve with you. What do you mean?”
A partial transcript is below:
CBS This Morning
[Clip of Booker yelling at DHS Secretary.]
CORY BOOKER: The Commander in Chief in an Oval Office meeting referring to people from African countries and Haitians with the most vile and vulgar language. That language festers. When ignorance and bigotry is allied with power, it is a dangerous force in our country. Your silence and your amnesia is complicity.
JOHN DICKERSON: Democratic senator Cory Booker of New Jersey serves on the Senate Judiciary and Foreign Relations Committee. He's with us from Washington. Good morning, Senator. I want to start with this. Let's forget the word for a moment. The Homeland Security secretary also didn't agree that the President had grouped nations in this fashion. Forgetting the word. Do you believe she told the truth under oath in her testimony?
BOOKER: John, first of all, welcome to the show. It's exciting to have you as part of the morning show that I watch. To your question, she was not telling the truth. She was an American citizen under oath before a Senate committee and she pretended like she didn’t remember. She couldn’t remember what the President of the United States, the Commander in Chief, her boss, was saying. She couldn't remember what Lindsey Graham was saying who challenged the President on his vile words. It was so offensive to me that she lied under oath. And it’s not — Everybody wants to say it's about the profanity. It's not about the profanity. It's that the President of the United States would speak in such a bigoted manner against large groups of people here in this country as our fell low American citizens.
GAYLE KING: Senator, you called it a moral moment for the country. It seemed really to strike a nerve with you. What do you mean?
BOOKER: Well — All of us know our history in this country and throughout the world in places like Europe that so many folks have said the opposite of justice is not injustice. It's silence. It’s inaction. In other words, the perpetrators of bigotry and hate that is really bad. But what the worst thing that allows hatred and bigotry to proliferate is people who stand by and do nothing when it is said. We in America when we witness sexism or sentiments against Catholics or Muslims or Jews, or blacks, those of us who stand by and do nothing are complicit in that ignorance. We have all got to, as Americans say, “If you come after a Catholic American, if you come after a Haitian-American, if you come after a Nigerian American, you're coming after me and I'm going to defend that.”
KING: So what do you think of the Republicans, Senator? Because the way I see it, the Oval Office is not a big space. The president of the United States is speaking. And most people who go in the Oval Office, you're listening with both ears to anything the President has to say. So to have Republicans to say, “I didn't hear it or it's mis-characterized, what do you make of that and what should be done about that?
BOOKER: Well, I mean, the one thing is I'm not going to take it and that's why I did get very upset sitting there and I'm one of the junior members of that committee, so I had to listen to her over and over again tell lies to my colleagues. I'm just not going to take it. All of us should not be silent. But you're right. I've been in that Oval Office. I've been in meetings with the President, with President Obama, small groups, large groups, one on one. When you're in that room, it's a sacred space in our country. You — All your senses are heightened. You know what the President of the United States is saying especially in heated conversations and back and forth. So this is just no way I buy that. I'll tell you in talking to others, everybody knows that this is a lie.
It's a sham. And it’s not — What hurts me is why? Why would an American lie under oath lie? To protect their job? Again that speaks to a dark history on this planet of people obeying orders, doing their job, while they're witnessing injustice, when they are witnessing things that are words coming from power that don't just dissipate in the wind. They give license to people. Understand we've had 85 vicious attacks, terroristic attacks since 9/11. Over 70 percent of them have been from white nationalists. People who have peddled in this kind of hatred and bigotry. People who have used Donald Trump's words and communications have shown that this is a justification coming from the White House who can't even condemn white nationalists marching in Virginia in Tiki torches. This has got to stop. This is not Republican or Democrat. This is why Lindsey Graham is such a hero in this. Republican from South carolina. Because he didn't remain silent. He stepped up and challenged the president.
NORAH O’DONNELL: Senator, meanwhile, the work does not get done by the President or the United States Congress. The deadline has passed. The government shutdown looming on Friday. Dreamers still without a plan. Some of their parents being sent back because they're not eligible for DACA. Pain in families because of this. Are you and fellow Democrats willing to vote in favor of a short-term bill that does not include a DACA solution?
BOOKER: The irony of what you're saying, the President in an earlier meeting said let's talk about love. “I’ll accept any deal that’s brought to them.” Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin and other of my colleagues on both sides of the deal hammered out a deal. It wasn't perfect. There were aspect I didn't like. But it was a deal. If it was put on the Senate floor dealing with DACA and Dreamers, it would have gotten over 70 votes and they rejected it. So this is an artificial moment.
O’DONNELL: Mitch McConnell still put it on the floor?