On Tuesday morning’s New Day, CNN host John Berman brought on Democratic Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger to spew Democratic propaganda about President Trump as he tossed her softball questions. The anchor cited unverified claims about Trump’s classified phone calls with world leaders made by left-wing activist Carl Bernstein in order to help the Democratic lawmaker launch her attacks.
After a series of questions urging Spanberger to accuse the White House of not taking action on reports about Russia issuing bounties on U.S. troops in Afghanistan, he implied that Democrats should not be “satisfied” with the administration's explanation:
The White House response to this is basically, well, there was conflicting intelligence. Why doesn't that satisfy you?
These types of questions are very ironic coming from Berman. On June 26th, he accused Sean Hannity of asking Trump “batting practice questions” at a Fox News town hall on June 25th. But hypocrisy is nothing new for Berman, as New Day brought on Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic Governor of New York, on June 25th, and asked him easy questions and did not hold him accountable for his deadly nursing home order.
Berman even commiserated with Spanberger:
I have to say, I've had the opportunity to speak with you a few times before. I don't remember hearing you sounding so dismayed or frustrated.
The host was not concerned with an actual news segment. He had to convey how “frustrated” the poor Democrats were from having to deal with Trump. If he wants to just attack Trump and not actually report the news, maybe he should quit pretending to be a journalist and join Joe Biden’s campaign. Or maybe he wants Connor Joseph’s job, Spanberger’s press secretary. Joseph in fact thought that Berman made Spanberger look so good that he retweeted a tweet from Berman about the segment.
Most ludicrously, Berman used an unverified report from "legendary reporter" and Trump-trashing CNN analyst Carl Bernstein to set up Spanberger to further assault the president:
I want to read you some reporting from Carl Bernstein, legendary reporter, who overnight put out information that he has gathered over four months from top security officials and their concerns over the president's conversations with world leaders, particularly Vladimir Putin, which is relevant to this discussion. And Carl writes -- and let me put my glasses on to read this -- he says, in numerous calls with Putin that were described to CNN, Trep -- Trump left top national security aides and his chiefs -- chiefs of staff flabbergasted, less because of specific concessions he made than because of his manner. Inordinately solicitous of Putin's admiration and seemingly seeking his approval. So, take Carl's reporting in conjunction with what's going on right now regarding this intelligence, and what questions does that raise for you about the president's attitude towards Vladimir Putin?
Berman did not care that the report was from an anonymous source and that Bernstein has become little more than a political pundit. Bernstein once told CNN that America is “at the mercy of a delusional, unstable President.” Does he really seem like an objective reporter whose claims about Trump should be taken at face value?
If Berman wanted to act less like a press secretary, and more like a reporter, here are some tough questions that he could have asked:
You didn't vote for Nancy Pelosi because you were more moderate. But your American Conservative Union score for 2019 was a 10 (ten percent conservative). How does that match?
The Washington Post says you've voted with Trump just 1.8 percent of the time. Is that "moderate"?
The Post also says your favorite mug says "Tears of My Enemies." Who are your enemies you want to see cry?
But Berman would never ask such questions because he’s interested in making Democrats look good.
The full June 30th transcript is here:
CNN New Day
JOHN BERMAN: So, this morning, a group of Democrats will be briefed on intelligence that Russia offered bounties to kill U.S. Troops in Afghanistan. Now, the White House denies that the president was verbally briefed on this intelligence, though we are reporting that the information was in his presidential daily briefing. Whether he read it or not, who knows. Our next guest, one of the Democrats who will be briefed today on this information, Democratic congresswoman Ab -- Abigail Spanberger. She serves on the foreign affairs committee and was a former CIA operations officer. Congresswoman, thank you so much for being with us this morning. What concerns you most about these reports? And as you head to this briefing, what questions do you have?
REPRESENTATIVE ABIGAIL SPANBERGER (D-VA): Well, as a former CIA case officer who worked overseas collecting intelligence that flowed into intelligence reports, I have a lot of questions. I have questions about who knew what and when. I have questions about what our next steps are. What concerns me most about -- about these reports is that the Russian government was putting bounties on the heads of U.S. soldiers, and our government took no action. At the time when the President of the United States was still lobbying for Russia to be included in a G-7 summit, knowing that his government was responsible for the potential death of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. It's just unthinkable to me.
BERMAN: The White House response to this is basically, well, there was conflicting intelligence. Why doesn't that satisfy you?
SPANBERGER: That doesn't satisfy me for a couple reasons. For starters, the collection of intelligence is like putting a puzzle together. You have pieces that flow in, and you -- you put together that puzzle as you pull in all of the individual pieces. At a certain point in time, the information becomes so validated or so verified, because you have information coming from different places that it gets pushed out. The fact that this information was in the presidential daily brief, evidently, in February, and then on a wire report, which is a CIA publication, in May demonstrates without a shadow of a doubt that this information was sourced to enough different and validated sources that it was considered to be at some level of high credibility, that it would go into those two documents. And there's a lot of intelligence that our intelligence community collects, particularly in the area of force protection, but the notion that this information would have flowed into the presidential daily brief is all I need to know to know that it is credible and that there was sourcing behind it that was deeply concerning and -- and vetted to some level.
BERMAN: I'm glad you brought up the presidential daily brief, because the bar is high to get in this document.
BERMAN: That gets put before the president. So it was there, but the president denies he was told about it. What does that tell you?
SPANBERGER: It's -- it's -- it’s -- it’s highly disappointing. The presidential daily brief is this document that is put together to ensure that the President of the United States and those in his closest circle have the information that is at the highest level of importance related to issues of national security. There is this document. There's also the process of briefing. There's been lots of reports about how inclined towards his briefing the president is or isn't, but at the end of the day, he's the President of the United States, and there are soldiers and Marines overseas who are risking their lives and potentially have a bounty on their head put there by the -- by the Russian government. And the -- the fact that he didn't take the time to read the document is not an excuse for the fact that what comes next? What's -- that's my question, what comes next? He maybe didn't know it. He maybe didn't read the brief. But now he knows it. Now everyone knows it. What are we going to do about it?
BERMAN: I have to say, I've had the opportunity to speak with you a few times before. I don't remember hearing you sounding so dismayed or frustrated.
SPANBERGER: I -- that's probably a very true statement. I -- I am -- I am beyond words at times over this. The -- the role of the commander in chief of our entire intelligence community is to keep our nation, our service members, our infrastructure, our people, our citizens safe. And I -- I represent hundreds of thousands of Virginians, and I represent service members. I represent people whose family members are deployed. And the idea that they now have the added worry, not just that their family member is in the war zone, but they're in the war zone with a bounty on their head and we're not doing anything about it, the United States, and, in fact, we're inviting President Putin to try and pull him in closer with the G-7? It's -- it's just shameful. And it's so highly disappointing.
BERMAN: I want to read you some reporting from Carl Bernstein, legendary reporter, who overnight put out information that he has gathered over four months from top security officials and their concerns over the president's conversations with world leaders, particularly Vladimir Putin, which is relevant to this discussion. And Carl writes -- and let me put my glasses on to read this -- he says, in numerous calls with Putin that were described to CNN, Trep -- Trump left top national security aides and his chiefs -- chiefs of staff flabbergasted, less because of specific concessions he made than because of his manner. Inordinately solicitous of Putin's admiration and seemingly seeking his approval. So, take Carl's reporting in conjunction with what's going on right now regarding this intelligence, and what questions does that raise for you about the president's attitude towards Vladimir Putin?
SPANBERGER: I mean we've seen it time and time again. We saw it on the stage in Helsinki. We saw the most powerful man in the world, the President of the United States, take Russia's word over the word of our intelligence community. This -- this isn't the first time that we've seen something like this. But, at -- at -- at this point, the notion that on phone calls he wouldn't be aggressively pushing this issue or that -- and reporting is that there's been multiple iterations of what steps should be taken, what possible repercussions could the United States impose on Russia, and -- and we haven't taken those steps. We haven't seen any forward movement. You know, it's deeply, deeply worrying. Deeply worrying.