As biased as the journalists on CNN are, the anonymous individuals behind the graphics department seem even worse. Wednesday’s CNN Newsroom may have showcased the worst example yet. (And that’s saying something.) The network told viewers that the White House has officially “declared war” on the “Constitution.” (It hasn’t.) Here’s the full graphic and screen shot from the opening of the 9am hour: “WH Declares War on Impeachment Inquiry & Constitution.”
Co-host Poppy Harlow breathlessly began the program this way: “The White House lays down the gauntlet, setting up a constitutional battle not seen in generations in a scorching, often surreal letter to House Democrats.” She added, “The White House declares all-out war on the impeachment inquiry into President Trump vowing zero cooperation, claiming Democrats want to just overturn the results of the 2016 election.”
Co-host Jim Sciutto intoned, “It's a constitutional crisis in the making.” But notice what wasn’t in the segment? The anchors never actually said what the CNN graphics alleged. Harlow and Sciutto did not claim the White House is at “war” with the Constitution. Once again, the graphics department is more biased than the journalists at CNN.
The letter from White House Counsel Pat Cipollone states:
“Your unprecedented actions have left the President with no choice in order to fulfill his duties to the American people, the Constitution, the executive branch and all future occupants of the office of the presidency.”
Now, one can find that self serving or believe that this administration doesn’t care about the Constitution. But it’s not CNN’s job to flat-out declare that Trump hates the Constitution.
A transcript is below. Click “expand” to read more.
9:02 AM ET
POPPY HARLOW: The White House lays down the gauntlet setting up a constitutional battle not seen in generations in a scorching, often surreal letter to House Democrats. The White House declares all-out war on the impeachment inquiry into President Trump vowing zero cooperation, claiming Democrats want to just overturn the results of the 2016 election. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, though, undeterred, firing back in her own letter that the impeachment inquiry will continue. And that the president of the United States in her words is, quote, “not above the law.”
JIM SCIUTTO: It's a constitutional crisis in the making. And crazy and frightening. That's how a White House official described the phone call between President Trump and the president of Ukraine. According to a memo written by the first whistleblower.
CNN GRAPHIC: WH Declares War on Impeachment Inquiry & Constitution
SCIUTTO: For more on this historic fight over the balance of power in Washington, let's begin with CNN’s Joe Johns at the White House. The White House is making it clear here that they will fight this impeachment inquiry as they have fought other examples of congressional oversight by basically saying, “We're not going to cooperate.”
JOE JOHNS: That's what the White House is saying so far. And they sent that letter up to capitol hill which essentially makes procedural complaints, not substantive. But procedural complaints about the way the inquiry is going. And they were pressed on a call, a conference call with reporters too whether the White House would cooperate with the House of Representatives inquiry if there were a full vote, which is one of the things they say hasn't happened. And that senior administration official would not commit to actually participating in the inquiry and letting witnesses testify and so on. Even if there were a vote.
So we're sort of in a holding pattern on this thing right now. I just want to read you a quote from that letter from just last night that really goes to show just how far down the road the White House already is on this. “President Trump and his administration reject your basis on constitutional efforts to overturn the democratic process. Your unprecedented actions have left the President with no choice in order to fulfill his duties to the American people, the Constitution, the executive branch and all future occupants of the office of the presidency. The President and his administration cannot participate in your partisan and unconstitutional inquiry under these circumstances.” So there are some legal arguments in this letter, but this is basically a political letter to the House of Representatives telling them, no deal. We're not going to cooperate. Back to you.