CNN Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin had a meltdown over a tweet by President Donald Trump that anchors reacted to in real-time.
During CNN’s “New Day” on Friday, anchor John Berman accused the president of threatening “to throw people in jail” after reacting to his tweet right after it was posted, turning to Toobin for his take after reading it on the air.
“I don’t do this often, but the president just wrote something on Twitter and I want your take on it,” Berman said, interrupting the morning program with a decision to share the tweet immediately before any preparations could be made.
“The president says his campaign was conclusively spied on, which isn’t true,” Berman announced. “But then he goes on to say, ‘It’s a really bad situation. Treason means long jail sentences, and this was treason.’”
My Campaign for President was conclusively spied on. Nothing like this has ever happened in American Politics. A really bad situation. TREASON means long jail sentences, and this was TREASON!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 17, 2019
“So, the President’s official statement, which Twitter is, the president just threatened to throw people in jail,” Berman concluded, turning to Toobin.
“And treason is a crime for which death is a potential penalty. It is so reckless and irresponsible to talk that way,” the staff writer for The New Yorker declared.
“You know, one of the things that this president has done has violated so many norms. It’s not illegal to say what he said, but the idea of a president accusing people of any crime — remember, he accused Michael Cohen’s in-laws of crimes,” Toobin continued.
“A president, who is the head of the Justice Department, the head of the FBI, accusing people of crimes, much less crimes punishable by the death penalty, is really a grotesque abuse of power. It’s gone on for so long now, that we’re kind of, ‘Oh, well, it’s just another tweet,’ but it’s worth pausing to recognize how reckless that is,” he added.
CNN’s White House Correspondent, Kaitlan Collins, weighed in on what she claimed Trump’s advisers were telling the president.
“And the president’s advisers do not want him tweeting things like this. They want him to move on from the Mueller investigation, because they think it cleared him,” she said. “They say that he should put it behind him and move on with his presidency. But you see when the president rolls out an immigration plan like he did yesterday, but then he tweets something like this, the message will not be about this immigration plan.”
Trump’s tweet comes as his Attorney General William Barr has moved to review the origins of the Russia probe, appointing U.S. Attorney John Durham to essentially investigate the investigators. Barr told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee last month that he did believe “spying did occur” on the Trump campaign, announcing that he would be looking into the origins of the investigation into whether there was any collusion between the campaign and Russia.
Barr told Fox News in an interview that he has been “trying to get answers” and believes the American people have a right to know if government officials “put their thumb on the scale” in the beginning stages of Robert Mueller’s probe.
AG Barr says public has right to know if gov’t officials ‘put their thumb on the scale’ in Russia probe https://t.co/603j9DHkz2
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) May 17, 2019
“People have to find out what the government was doing during that period,” Barr explained. “If we’re worried about foreign influence, for the very same reason we should be worried about whether government officials abuse their power and put their thumb on the scale.”
The president also cited a Fox News poll released Thursday in another tweet which indicated that 58 percent of voters think it is “at least somewhat likely the FBI broke the law” in the beginning stages of the investigation.
New Fox Poll: 58% of people say that the FBI broke the law in investigating Donald J. Trump. @foxandfriends
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 17, 2019
The president has long asserted that he was spied on, making comments soon after his election which were mocked by many on the left at the time.
President Trump was absolutely correct in March 2017 when he tweeted to the world that he was SPIED ON!
His enemies mocked him. The rest of America believed him.
— CC (@ChatByCC) May 17, 2019
Trump’s election win is even more amazing given this act of treason during the election campaign.
— ??KeepAmericaGreat?? (@M_A_G_A_45) May 17, 2019
It’s not illegal or treason to “have contact “ with Russia. No collusion between the President or his campaign – but plenty between the Dems. HRC’s campaign & Russia. Time to wake up & realize the Dems lyes & conspired to have a coup..and it’s all coming out.
— It’s Cathy ?? (@Woodcat0214) May 17, 2019
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