CNN's Cooper Exonerates the Bidens: Trump 'Falsely Accused' Your Son With 'No Evidence'

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CNN devoted the first 20 minutes of the 2020 Democratic primary debate to impeachment and actually asked the candidates some tough questions on whether the process makes any sense. Yet, moderator Anderson Cooper made sure to exonerate the Bidens, telling Joe Biden that your son has been “falsely accused” and there’s “no evidence” of any wrongdoing when it comes to Ukraine. 

Cooper began by repeating Democratic talking points, cheering, “The impeachment inquiry is centered on President Trump's attempts to get political dirt from Ukraine on Vice-President Biden and his son, Hunter. Mr. Vice President, President Trump has falsely accused your son of doing something wrong while serving on a company board in Ukraine. I want to point out there's no evidence of wrongdoing by either one of you.” 

 

 

(A CNN.com article posted for the debate similarly exonerated the Bidens: “There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe or Hunter Biden.”)

Having offered the helpful disclaimer, Cooper finally got around to challenging the frontrunner: “Having said that on Sunday, you announced if you are president, no one in your family will be involved in any foreign businesses. My question is, if it's not okay for a President's family to be involved in foreign businesses, why was it okay for your son when you were Vice-President?” 

However, before the first part of that query, Cooper surprisingly asked a series of questions wondering whether impeachment was pointless or a distraction. Here are a sample: 

 

 

ANDERSON: COOPER: Senator Harris, Nancy Pelosi said members of Congress have to be, in her words, “fair to the President” and give him a chance to exonerate himself. You have said that based on everything you have seen, you would vote to remove him from office. Is that being fair to the President? 

8:06

COOPER: Senator Booker, you have said that President Trump’s quote, “moral vandalism” disqualifies him from being president.”  Can you be fair in an impeachment trial? Please respond.

8:08

COOPER: Senator Klobuchar, what do you say to those who feel that impeachment is a distraction from issues that impact people's day to day lives, health care, the economy and could backfire on Democrats?  

8:09

COOPER: Secretary Castro, is impeachment a distraction? 

The CNN journalist then pressed Pete Buttigieg: 

Mayor Buttigieg, you said impeachment should be bipartisan. There has been, obviously, very little Republican support to date. Yet Democrats are proceeding. Is it a mistake? 

The first 15 questions were about impeachment.  At one point, Cooper followed-up with Biden, demanding: 

Hold on. Mr. Vice-President. As you said, your son Hunter gave an interview and admitted that he made a mistake and showed poor judgement by serving on the board. Did you make a mistake by letting him? You were the point person at the time. 

Although many queries were tough, he also wondered, “Senator Sanders, do Democrats have any chance but to impeach?” 

A transcript of the debate’s first half hour is below. Click “expand” to read more: 

CNN Debate
10/15/19

8:02

ANDERSON COOPER: Since the last debate, House Democrats have officially launched an impeachment inquiry against President Trump which all the candidates support. Senator Warren, I want to start with you. You said there's enough evidence for President Trump to be impeached and removed from office. The question is, with the election one year away, why shouldn't it be the voters who determine the President's fate? 

8:03

COOPER: Senator Sanders, do Democrats have any chance but to impeach? 

8:03

COOPER: Vice-President Biden, you said, “The American people don't think that they have made a mistake by electing bill Clinton. We in Congress had better be careful before we upset their decision.” With the country split, have Democrats been careful enough in pursuing the impeachment of President Trump? 

8:05

COOPER: Senator Harris, Nancy Pelosi said members of Congress have to be, in her words, “fair to the President” and give him a chance to exonerate himself. You have already said that based on everything you have seen, you would vote to remove him from office. Is that being fair to the President? 

8:06

COOPER: Senator Booker, you have said that President Trump’s quote, “moral vandalism” disqualifies him from being president.”  Can you be fair in an impeachment trial? Please respond.

8:08

COOPER: Senator Klobuchar, what do you say to those who feel that impeachment is a distraction from issues that impact people's day to day lives, health care, the economy and could backfire on Democrats?  

8:09

COOPER: Secretary Castro, is impeachment a distraction? 

8:10

8:10

COOPER: Mayor Buttigieg, you have said impeachment should be bipartisan. There has been, obviously, very little Republican support to date. Yet Democrats are proceeding. Is it a mistake? 

8:12

COOPER: Congresswoman Gabbard, you’re the only sitting House member on this stage. How do you respond? 

8:13

COOPER: Mr. Steyer, you have been calling for impeachment for two years. Does there need to be bipartisan support? 

8:13

COOPER: Mr. Yang, do you think there's already enough evidence out there to impeach the President? Please respond. 

ANDREW YANG: I support impeachment. We shouldn't have any illusions that impeaching Donald Trump will, one, be successful or, two, erase the problems that got him elected in 2016. 

8:15

COOPER: Congressman O’Rourke on impeachment, please respond. 

8:16

COOPER: The impeachment inquiry is centered on President Trump's attempts to get political dirt from Ukraine on Vice-President Biden and his son, Hunter. Mr. Vice President, President Trump has falsely accused your son of doing something wrong while serving on a company board in Ukraine. I want to point out there's no evidence of wrongdoing by either one of you. Having said that on Sunday, you announced if you are president, no one in your family will be involved in any foreign businesses. My question is, if it's not okay for a President's family to be involved in foreign businesses, why was it okay for your son when you were Vice-President? Vice President Biden? 

8:18

COOPER: Hold on. Mr. Vice-President, as you said, your son Hunter gave an interview and admitted that he made a mistake and showed poor judgement by serving on the board. Did you make a mistake by letting him? You were the point person at the time. You can answer. 
COOPER: Senator Sanders, your response. 

8:20

MARC LACEY (New York Times): We want to move to the economy. Senator Warren, you have proposed –  thank you. [Beto O’Rourke tries o interrupt.] We're going to – Senator Warren, we have proposed —  you proposed free public college, free universal childcare, eliminating college debt. You have said how you are going to pay for those plans. You have not specified how you are going to pay for the most expensive plan, medicare for all. Will you raise taxes on the middle class to pay for it? Yes or no? 

8:21

LACEY: Senator Warren, to be clear, Senator Sanders acknowledges he is going to raise taxes on the middle class to pay for Medicare for All. You endorsed his plan. Should you acknowledge it too?

8:22

LACEY: Mayor Buttigieg, you say Senator Warren has been evasive about how she's going to pay for Medicare for All.  What’s your response? 

8:23

LACEY: Senator, your response? 

8:24

LACEY: Can the mayor respond? 

8:25

LACEY: Senator Sanders? 

8:26

LACEY: Senator Warren, will you acknowledge about what the Senator just said about taxes going up? 

8:26

LACEY: Senator Klobuchar? 

8:27

LACEY: Senator Warren? 

8:28

LACEY: Senator Klobuchar, do you want to respond? 

8:29

LACEY: Vice President Biden, let me bring you in here for your response. Are Senators Warren and Sanders being realistic about the difficulty in enacting their plans? 

 

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