On Wednesday afternoon, during live reaction to White House press secretary Sean Spicer's recently concluded press briefing, CNN's chief political analyst Gloria Borger fretted that it was "troubling" that President Donald Trump is "stoking fear with the American public" in his push to reinstate the travel ban involving some Muslim countries.
And, in the same segment, without being identified as a former member of the Barack Obama administration, CNN global affairs analyst Tony Blinken added his word to criticizing the travel ban as he asserted that Trump's negative reaction to the legal dispute is "deeply troubling," and that "not a single American has been killed by someone coming from one of those countries since going back to 9/11." He did not mention Americans killed by Iraqis during the Iraq War, or other attacks by immigrants from other countries that were made on American soil that did not result in any deaths.
At about 2:45 p.m., CNN host Wolf Blitzer turned to Blinken and introduced him into the conversation:
And I want to bring in Tony Blanken, a former deputy secretary of State, CNN's global affairs analyst, he was also asked -- Sean Spicer -- was asked if -- about the President -- if the President was pleased with the way the Justice Department lawyer defended the arguments in favor of the travel ban from these seven mostly Muslim countries. Listen to this.
After a clip of Spicer, Blitzer posed: "When I was listening to his half-hour presentation and the Q&A that was going on, I said to myself, I suspect the President -- President Trump is not very pleased the way this discussion is going."
The former Obama official found President Trump's behavior "deeply troubling" as he began:
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Well, you know, two things, Wolf. First, I found it deeply troubling that the President seemed to be putting himself above the law this morning, saying that he was not subject to judicial review. That, of course, is not the way our system works. And, again, to call what happened yesterday "disgraceful," it's exactly the opposite. It was a moment full of grace, full of the grace of democracy, hearing the lawyers argue it out, hearing very probing questions from the judges from all directions.
He then added:
One of the things the government has to show is that there's a real threat if this ban is not put back in place. And I think they have great difficulty showing that. There's no evidence that there's some kind of imminent threat they're trying to stop. As it stands, with the system that we already have in place, it is very, very difficult to come into this country as a refugee or as an immigrant. It takes two years on average to come here as a refugee. The countries in question -- seven countries -- not a single American has been killed by someone coming from one of those countries since going back to 9/11.
Moments later, Borger added her own worries to the discussion:
What's troubling is the stoking of fear with the American public, saying "Look, I know more than you do," which is of course 100 percent true because he gets Presidential Daily Brief, he looks at the threat matrix, everything else. But what he is doing in order to push this through is to tell the American public, "Be afraid." It's one thing when you're a candidate and you're running for the presidency, and you say they're not doing a really good job. It's another thing when you're sitting in the Oval Office and you're telling people just, "You should be scared about this."