Who better than Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign chairman to weigh in on the Mueller Report? That was the attitude on CBS This Morning, Monday, as the show’s hosts brought on John Podesta to make predictions in the wake of the release.
Asking for advice, co-host John Dickerson wondered, “What do you think the next move should be for Democrats on the hill in terms of they want to see the rest of the report? But then they also, you know, can get bogged down in this for the next two years of the administration?”
Dickerson also offered this softball to Podesta: “What do you make of his report then?” Although Bianna Golodryga noted that “you were interviewed by the special counsel,” at no time did she or any of the co-hosts mention the liberal politico’s brother, Tony Podesta.
As the New York Times explained in November of 2017:
Mr. Podesta’s older brother, Tony Podesta, has been ensnared in the investigation by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, into Russia’s meddling in the race and whether it involved any associates of President Trump. The efforts by his firm, the Podesta Group, to win support for the agenda of Viktor F. Yanukovych, the Russia-aligned former president of Ukraine, were cited in an indictment handed down last month against two former campaign aides to Mr. Trump, Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, who arranged the Ukrainian lobbying work.
Neither Tony Podesta nor anyone at the Podesta Group has been publicly charged in the case. But Mr. Mueller has subpoenaed the firm and its employees for documents and testimony related to their work and interviewed roughly half a dozen people about Tony Podesta’s involvement. And as the Podesta Group has withered under the scrutiny, its employees were informed in a tearful meeting on Thursday that they may stop receiving paychecks after next week, according to people in attendance.
Somehow that never came up.
Also interviewed for Monday’s show was 2020 Democratic candidate Amy Klobuchar. Golodryga delicately wondered if impeachment was “off the table.” She added, “But Senator, isn't this a delicate dance for Democrats going forwards?” Not exactly a grilling.
Yet, when Dickerson talked to one of the President’s lawyers, Jay Sekulow, he picked at the Trump team’s triumphant response to the Mueller report: “The President claims he was exonerated. The special counsel, accepting everything you've said, nevertheless chose to use specific words which is that he does not exonerate him.”
A transcript of the questions to Podesta is below. Click “expand” to read more.
CBS This Morning
JOHN DICKERSON: Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign chairman, John Podesta, was one of the people interviewed by Mueller's investigators. Podesta’s private emails were stolen by Russian-backed hackers and made public during the campaign. Last year a grand jury indicted 12 Russian intelligence officials on charges brought by the Special Counsel in regard to the hack. John Podesta is founder of the Center for American Progress and we have him for an interview you’ll see first, here, on CBS This Morning. Welcome, John.
JOHN PODESTA: Good morning.
DICKERSON: Let me start with Mr. Mueller's report here. You said and you said previously that you trusted him. What do you make of his report then?
DICKERSON: What do you think the next move should be for Democrats on the hill in terms of they want to see the rest of the report? But then they also, you know, can get bogged down in this for the next two years of the administration?
BIANNA GOLODRYGA: As John mentioned, you were interviewed by the special counsel. Are you surprised the president was interviewed by the special counsel? We know he submitted answered questions. But he wasn't interviewed in person.
PODESTA: Yeah, I think that’s exceptional. And the question is why?
GAYLE KING: Professor, Law Professor Jonathan Turley was here and he said, “Listen, it's impossible to see the whole report. Some of it will be redacted because it has sensitive national information.” So, we can't, as a public, he said, see the full report. Is there merit to that?
GOLODRYGA: Do you believe the Justice Department acted appropriately throughout this investigation?