CBS to Democratic Senator: ‘Confront’ President and Tell Him to ‘Stop It!’

CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King on Friday demanded that a Democratic Senator go to the White House and “confront” the President. After Mark Warner attacked Donald Trump for criticizing government agencies, King lectured, “A lot of people feel the way you do, Senator, that words matter. Why don't a group of you all get together and just confront him and say, you know, ‘Mr. President, this is not helping. You've got to stop it’?” 

Clearly irritated, she continued: “So many people come on this program and say what you're saying, ‘This is wrong, this is bad. What are we going to do?’ It’s very tit for tat. But I know there are people that feel, a lot of people that feel the way you do in very powerful positions. Why don’t a group of you just confront him and just say stop it?” 

 

 

Though Warner was on to talk about cyber security and our elections, he kept turning to attack Trump: “A normal White House would have appointed someone in charge of election security to coordinate these kind of activities to push back.” Finally, co-host Norah O’Donnell got irriated and shot back: “I know you're levying attacks. I spoke with the head of the FBI. The FBI is looking into this.” 

The attacks from Gayle King aren’t a surprise as the CBS host is a Democratic donor. (See Open Secrets for more donations.) That’s hasn’t impacted her ability to be a network journalist. In February, she admitted on-air to actively encouraging liberal pal Oprah Winfrey to challenge Donald Trump. 

In March, this remarkable moment occured when King talked about how her best friend running would impact her hosting duties: 

Somebody told me you'd have to leave your job at CBS. I said, "Why do I have to leave my job at CBS?... I could be very impartial. 

A partial transcript is below:  

CBS This Morning
10/26/18
8:04am ET
        
NORAH O’DONNELL: With just 11 days before voters head to the polls for the midterms we're taking a closer look at election security in our series “issues that matter.” Earlier this year, Congress approved $380 million to help safeguard voting systems against cyber attacks. The threats of hacking and continued foreign interference continue to be major concerns. Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia is a leading voice on election security. He is the vice chair of the Senate select committee on Intelligence. Senator, good morning. 

SENATOR MARK WARNER: Morning. 

O’DONNELL: Thank you so much for joining us. We learned that the U.S. cyber command launched an operation to combat Russian interference in our elections in this spreading of misinformation that they're involved in. How effective do you think that operation will be? 

...

WARNER: Frankly, when the President, at times, calls out and impugns the integrity of the FBI, impugns the integrity of the Justice Department, I believe in many ways, this is basically an assault on the rule of law. And that brings us to the election security piece. 

GAYLE KING: Before you move on to that. A lot of people feel the way you do, Senator, that words matter. Why don't a group of you all get together and just confront him and say, you know, “Mr. President, this is not helping. You've got to stop it?” So many people come on this program and say what you're saying, “This is wrong, this is bad. What are we going to do?” It’s very tit for tat. But I know there are people that feel, a lot of people that feel the way you do in very powerful positions. Why don’t a group of you just confront him and just say “stop it”? 

WARNER: Well, as I think we’ve seen from his tweets overnight, Donald Trump thinks all of this is simply about him. And what I had hoped along the way would be that the next outrage would finally make many of my Republican colleagues step up. Now privately they have expressed these concerns. This may be the moment, but because, again, we've got ten pipe bombs, an act of terror, and yet the President is out instead blaming the media as opposed to supporting the FBI to make sure we find this culprit. 

...

WARNER: And in a normal world, because of our elections that are spread between federal, state, and local, a normal White House would have appointed someone in charge of election security to coordinate these kind of activities to push back. Instead, this White House not only didn't appoint anybody on election security, but they actually eliminated the cyber security position at the White House. Now, Department of Homeland Security —  

O’DONNELL: I know you're levying attacks. I spoke with the head of the FBI. The FBI is looking into this. What I'm asking you is based on what you know, what are we doing to push back against this influence? 

WARNER: Let me finish because the FBI -- 

O’DONNELL:  The FBI is working hard on this. 

WARNER: They're working very hard. But what they have not had is a level of coordination across government. So we've improved security and almost all of the polling positions.

 

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