The journalists, hosts and guests on CNN may not be doctors, but that doesn't stop them from speculating about Trump's mental stability and whether "roid rage" prompted his erratic behavior. New Day invited a noted Trump critic, Miles Taylor, to attack the President. This continues a long and promised trend of former Trump staffers appearing to denounce the President.
This time it was to complain about Trump "edging on" the perpetrators of the foiled attempt to kidnap the Governor of Michigan. Taylor also commented on the President’s mental state: “I'm quoting people around him who say they feel like he's got roid rage, because it's believed he was on steroids for a while to beat back the virus. And he's--- in their eyes--- few other ways to explain this sort of erratic behavior that the President is undertaking.”
Details came out on Thursday afternoon detailing a group’s attempted kidnapping attempt of the Governor of Michigan. Typically, the media has a duty to report on important events that are happening and to inform the American people. They have regularly been attacking the President for lack of details in fact.
Almost immediately the leftist network began to bash the President for his supposed role in the plot, parroting attacks laid out by the Governor soon after the incident was revealed.
Co-host Alisyn Camerota teed up Taylor: “President Trump reacted overnight. He tried to claim that he does not tolerate any, quote, extreme violence, but why, then, has extremism increased on his watch?”
Taylor took it even further: “So what you're seeing is the President arming these volatile groups with justification for violence. And I would go even further, Alisyn, and say that the President's tweets are helping to fuel terror.”
Political Correspondent Abby Phillip commented how these groups are feeding off of the President’s statements, bringing up specifically the comment made during the first presidential debate. She gave no evidence during the segment to back up the claims. The broadcast showed its full intentions by immediately transitioning to the President’s mental state. The media has rejoiced on commenting on the President not being fit for duty because of the mental impacts of the coronavirus. They are taking cues from Nancy Pelosi who brought up this point in her Thursday press conference.
John Berman remarked, “I'm not a doctor, but I have been a political reporter for years and the decisions and the things the President has done yesterday and today are just politically bizarre. They're just bizarre and counter-productive and you would think politically destructive.”
Taylor began quoting unnamed sources who are apparently very concerned about the President’s mental state because of the steroids that were used to treat his COVID-19 symptoms. CNN ignored the differing opinions on the impact of the medication in favor of attacking the President and continuing the Democratic Party’s narratives.
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A transcript of the October 9 coverage is included below:
7:00 AM ET
ALISYN CAMEROTA: We have new details this morning about the alleged domestic terror plot to kidnap the democratic governor of Michigan and spark another civil war. 13 people connected to extremist and far-right groups have been charged. We have new information about the actions they were in the middle of to pull off this plan. President Trump reacted overnight. He tried to claim that he does not tolerate any, quote, extreme violence, but why, then, has extremism increased on his watch? President Trump also again attacked governor Gretchen Whitmer, the victim of the alleged plot. You'll remember in April, the President called on his Twitter followers to, quote, liberate Michigan, after Whitmer imposed coronavirus restrictions. That tweet coincided with armed protesters taking to the state capitol in Lansing. I mean, just look at how armed to the teeth those folks were. We have more pictures to show you. Governor Whitmer also told CNN that she asked the White House to tamp down its inflammatory rhetoric after she started receiving threats, but Attorney General Bill Barr claimed to congress that he had not heard anything about that.
JOHN BERMAN: … First, though, this alleged domestic terror plot to kidnap a sitting U.S. Governor. Our Sara Sidner live in grand Rapids, Michigan. Sara, that is quite a headline.
CAMEROTA: … Joining us now, CNN Political Correspondent Abby Phillip and CNN contributor Miles Taylor. He served as Chief of Staff at the Department of Homeland Security under the Trump administration. He has since endorsed Joe Biden. Miles, I want to start with you. You know, the President and the Press Secretary often say, we're against violent extremism. But in your experience, Miles. The description that Sara just gave us of all of the things that this group was alleged to have been doing, it sounds like the same things when we report ISIS or Al Qaeda, the practicing the explosives, the doing combat drills, all of that stuff. In your experience, did you see more of that activity or was it growing during your time during the Trump administration?
MILES TAYLOR [CNN Contributor]: Well, Alisyn, it's a great question. And I think that reporting that we just heard this morning is chilling. It raises two red flags in my view. Clearly, the domestic terrorism threat is on the rise. The Department of Homeland Security just released the first-ever homeland threat assessment, which said that domestic terrorist groups are really starting to surge in this country. It's a big concern. But this shouldn't be news to us, Alisyn. This is something that for years we flagged for the White House. But the White House was really disinterested. In fact, I would go as far as to say that the white house buried its head in the sand when for the first few years of this administration we flagged the severity of the threat. And they were worried and the President was worried that by talking about this issue, we would alienate people that he saw as his supporters. That's red flag number one, obviously. Red flag number two, and as y'all have covered this morning, the President's rhetoric is being hijacked by these groups and is being weaponized by these groups to justify their activity. We, of course, have seen him frequently talk about fellow public officials as traitors and as potentially treasonous. And then, of course, the President actively tweeted that supporters should help liberate Michigan from his -- liberate Michigan from, you know, this governor. So what you're seeing is the President arming these volatile groups with justification for violence. And I would go even further, Alisyn, and say that the President's tweets are helping to fuel terror. And I can't believe we have to say that about the commander in chief, but really, his tweets are helping to fuel terror. And as evidence to buttress that, I spoke to a senior FBI official this week who indicated that they believe that their case loads are growing, in large part because of the President's rhetoric and the volatile rhetoric in our political process right now. That's an alarming data point and certainly this type of case wouldn't have happened in my view if we hadn't seen this rhetoric over the past few years.
BERMAN: Miles, talk to me more about what you just said, that you spoke to someone on the inside, a senior FBI official, who says that things are bad and getting worse. And talk more about it given that we're, what, 25 days, 26 days now before an election? What are you hearing about the concerns for the next two, three weeks?
TAYLOR: That's a great question, John. And I want to jump back to what Alisyn said about ISIS. I remember this all too well. I started off as a counterterrorism analysis, post-9/11. And certainly, the rise of ISIS from 2015 onward was one of the bigger concerns we've seen in the social media age of terrorism spreading virally. Now we're seeing very similar things happening here in the United States, where domestic terrorism seems to be starting to spread virally in the way that we saw that happen overseas with ISIS. Now, how does that impact us here at home? The FBI official I spoke to this week indicated that right now, in the lead up to the election, they are having to stand up robust task forces to track the growing caseloads in this space and they are concerned. And they are concerned about the post-election period. And they are concerned that if the President doesn't check his words, they may be put in a very difficult position of having to take down more cases like I we just saw in Michigan.
CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh Abby, I wish we could do an entire segment on the good police work, the outstanding police work that brought this down. This is what the FBI has been doing for years, quietly doing these investigations, infiltrating these groups. They do it quietly, despite the fact that the morale is down and all of that stuff in this, you know, very hot environment that we're having, but they did it. And they, you know, broke up what was this impending, it sounds like, alleged attack. They were planning it. They were doing things this Wednesday. They were planning to -- they were scouting bridges to plant explosives under. And you know, Abby, I mean, the President often says that he, you know, stands against extremism. But they hear a dog whistle. It's impossible to know what the President really means, because he says so many different things at all times. But they hear a dog whistle. And they've said as much.
ABBY PHILLIP: Yeah, and, you know, the President says that he condemns, you know, all kinds of violence and then he proceeds to say, but it's really the far left that is responsible for all of the problems that we're seeing and it's not on the right. He often says things like that. And I think that that really gives away the game here. The President is not fully aware of what is really going on. What his own FBI says is going on, which is that these extremist groups -- and I think that we should really start to take them out of this sort of left/right paradigm, but these extremist groups are growing in strength. They are feeding off of his rhetoric on issues like the coronavirus and on issues like the election, and they need to be dealt with in a serious manner, and not viewed as some kind of -- part of some kind of political battle that he is waging against his opponents. For President Trump, this is always about who supports him and who doesn't. It is a problem that the President believes that he can't full-throatedly condemn certain groups of people, because they might support him. That in and of itself is an indication that he is in the wrong place on this issue. And it needs to be taken out of politics, because as you can see from what happened in Michigan, this is a life-or-death situation. It's not just about Gretchen Whitmer individually, it's also about the people in the Michigan -- you know, state capitol. The people who live in that state who might have been put in danger by these kinds of threats. And clearly, President Trump doesn't take it seriously, because he wants to make the case against antifa and against the left. And doesn't want to deal with a serious domestic terror problem that is growing in this country.
JOHN BERMAN: I want to turn completely now to other developments taking place in Washington. Namely, some of the words and actions the President has taken over the last 24 hours. He pulled out of the Presidential debate that was scheduled for next week. And now he's trying to get back in to a debate. The Biden team has since rescheduled and is doing something else. He pulled out of stimulus talks. He's trying to get back in. He's saying that he's cleared to go speak in public to rallies tomorrow night, but he hasn't received a negative test yet for coronavirus. So I'm not a doctor, you know, I am a political reporter. Let me play you what one doctor told our Jake Tapper, Dr. Rick Bright, who had been a government doctor until last week, who had been a whistle-blower about the administration's pandemic response. This is how he assesses things.
RICK BRIGHT [Fmr. Director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority]: You know what we're missing in this whole situation is transparency about really how sick the President is. We don't really have the truth about when he was infected, what stage of infection he's in. I don't think we know all of the various treatments he was given and what combination and what dosage. It's very dangerous. He's in charge of a lot of things and makes a lot of important decisions for our country and for the world, actually. If he's not in the right, sound mind to make those decisions rationally, he can be very reckless for our country and for the world.
BERMAN: So, Miles, as I said, I'm not a doctor, but I have been a political reporter for years and the decisions and the things the President has done yesterday and today are just politically bizarre. They're just bizarre and counter-productive and you would think politically destructive. Again, you still talk to people on the inside. What are you hearing about what's going on? What are you hearing about this bizarre debate strategy?
TAYLOR: John, there are people in the white house to tell me they feel like the President is absolutely flailing. I'm quoting people around him who say they feel like he's got roid rage, because it's believed he was on steroids for a while to beat back the virus. And he's in their eyes, few other ways to explain this sort of erratic behavior that the President is undertaking. I think what we're seeing with the debates, is that the President, under the surface, if you can call it this, he's embarrassed. His administration's failure to put the coronavirus back in the box is the reason that the commission on Presidential debates had to propose a virtual head-to-head debate format. And the President's failure to directly protect his own people at the center of government is the reason this decision had to be made. Think about it right now, John. The joint chiefs of the United States of America are quarantined because of this President's failure to protect his own people in government. And I think history will record this as a pivotal moment when a storied democratic tradition couldn't be continued per usual because of that failure of the administration to address the challenge. You know, when we saw the President at Walter reed, of course, do his victory lap the other day with supporters, secret service agents in the car, that was a stunning demonstration of his disregard for the security and safety of his own people. In fact, if I had been Secretary of Homeland Security, I would have called the President of the United States after that episode and said, you cannot do this to my people, I will not accept this happening to my workforce, because of course the secret service reports to the department of homeland security. Those kind of things should be happening and the people around him should be holding him accountable. And I think they're not.
BERMAN: No evidence that they are. Thank you both for being with us this morning.