Lindsey Graham says the Trump administration needs to apologize for the 'terrible joke' about his friend John McCain
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) "can be criticized for any political decision he's ever made or any vote he's ever cast," said McCain's longtime friend, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on CBS News Sunday, "but he's an American hero. And I think most Americans would like to see the Trump administration do better in situations like this. It doesn't hurt you at all to do the right thing and to be big."
Graham was referring to the news that a Trump administration aide, Kelly Sadler, joked that McCain's view of CIA director nominee Gina Haspel "doesn't matter, because he's dying anyway." "It's [a] pretty disgusting thing to say," Graham said on Face the Nation. "If it was a joke, it was a terrible joke. I just wish somebody from the White House would tell the country that was inappropriate — that's not who we are in the Trump administration."
President Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, could have made additional payments to other women beyond the $130,000 he paid adult film star Stormy Daniels to buy her silence about an alleged affair with the president, Trump's new personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said Sunday on ABC News.
"I have no knowledge of that. But I would think if it was necessary, yes," Giuliani said. He sought to cast Cohen's behavior as normal lawyerly stuff from which Trump was to some extent removed. Cohen "made payments for the president — or he conducted business for the president," Giuliani continued, "which means he had legal fees, moneys laid out, and expenditures — which I have on my bills to my clients."
Watch an excerpt of Giuliani's comments below. Bonnie Kristian
Did Michael Cohen make payments to other women on behalf of the president? Rudy Giuliani tells @GStephanopoulos: “I have no knowledge of that, but I would think if it was necessary, yes." https://t.co/R6JsMQN9yM pic.twitter.com/Ol0Hpb0Xp9
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) May 6, 2018
"Mr. Trump is compiling a record that increases the likelihood that few will believe him during a genuine crisis," the Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote in the Journal's Friday edition, like, "say, a dispute over speaking with special counsel Robert Mueller or a nuclear showdown with Kim Jong Un. Mr. Trump should worry that Americans will stop believing anything he says."
Presented with this quote in the context of the Stormy Daniels payment scandal by CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway resolutely denied the Trump administration has a credibility problem. "As the counselor to the president, aren't you concerned about this?" Tapper asked. "I'm concerned you're not listening to the news I just broke," Conway shot back, "which is that [President Trump's] 'no' refers to when the [$130,000] payment [to adult film star Stormy Daniels] occurred."
In Conway's telling, the president did not know about the payment his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, made to Daniels at the time it was made, so "when the president said 'no' on Air Force One" in April, "he's saying he didn't know about it when the payment occurred. He found out about it after the fact." Trump's new personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said on television last week Trump "knew the general arrangement." Giuliani later walked back those comments.
Watch an excerpt of Conway's interview below. Bonnie Kristian
President Trump can exert executive privilege to ignore a subpoena from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, Trump's new personal attorney Rudy Giuliani said Sunday on ABC's This Week. "We don't have to" comply with a Mueller subpoena, Giuliani said, because Trump is "the president of the United States" and his legal team "can assert the same privilege that other presidents have."
Giuliani also indicated Trump might invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination if he did meet with Mueller. Though invoking the Fifth Amendment is not an admission of guilt, Trump himself has repeatedly claimed the innocent do not use this right.
For his part, the president has repeatedly expressed an interest in talking with the special counsel, even against his lawyers' wishes. "Nothing I want to do more, because we did nothing wrong," Trump said Friday of a Mueller interview. Watch two excerpts of Giuliani's comments below. Bonnie Kristian
Pres. Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani tells @GStephanopoulos “we don’t have to” comply with a potential subpoena from the special counsel, adding “He's the President of the United States. We can assert the same privileges other presidents have.” https://t.co/R6JsMQN9yM pic.twitter.com/RX6MLYeQ2e
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) May 6, 2018
Giuliani can't be confident Trump won't invoke the Fifth Amendment if he speaks with Mueller.
"I've got a client who wants to testify... I hope we get a chance to tell him the risk that he's taking." (via ABC) pic.twitter.com/b21MZv336L
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 6, 2018
Todd's first topic was the Friday report from Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, a document that concluded Trump's campaign did not collude with Russia in 2016. "This strikes me as a political document," Comey said of the report, one that "wrecked the committee, and it damaged relationships with the FISA Court, the intelligence communities. It's just a wreck."
Soon, the conversation turned to the other Russia probe, the one headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Asked whether Trump should grant Mueller an interview, Comey hedged. "That's a great question," he said. "That's one only [Trump] can answer and his lawyers can answer. It would be important for a lawyer and client, especially this client, to have a real hard conversation about that."
Todd pressed Comey as to whether he personally, as a former prosecutor, would consider Trump a trustworthy interviewee. "I have serious doubts about his credibility," Comey replied, adding that his doubts would persist regardless of whether Trump were under oath.
Watch the full interview below. Bonnie Kristian
Kellyanne Conway bristles over questions about her husband's tweets: 'It's fascinating to me that CNN would go there'
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway's husband, George Conway, does not seem to share his wife's boundless enthusiasm for defending President Trump. He has repeatedly tweeted critiques of the president, going after Trump's Twitter habits, his staff turnover, and, most recently, his understanding of the law.
When Conway appeared on CNN's State of the Union Sunday, this was not a topic she wanted to discuss. "It's fascinating to me that CNN would go there, but it's very good for the whole world to have just witnessed ... that it's now fair game how people's spouses and significant others may differ with them," Conway told host Dana Bash.
Bash protested the question was not intended to be critical and had nothing to do with Conway's gender, only her husband's high profile as a conservative lawyer. "Oh, of course it was [critical]," Conway replied. "It was meant to harass and embarrass," she continued, labeling the exchange a "cross the Rubicon moment."
Watch a clip of the interview below. Bonnie Kristian
— Axios (@axios) April 22, 2018
Leaving or attempting to change the nuclear deal will undermine U.S. diplomacy, Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, warned in a press conference in New York Saturday.
"That's a very dangerous message to send to people of Iran but also to the people of the world," he said, "that you should never come to an agreement with the United States, because at the end of the day the operating principle of the United States is, 'What's mine is mine; what's yours is negotiable.'"
Zarif made similar comments in a CBS interview Sunday, arguing that exiting the deal "will lead to U.S. isolation in the international community" because it will show "the United States is not a reliable partner," and that "the length or the duration of any agreement would depend on the duration of the presidency."
President Trump faces a May 12 deadline to decide whether to maintain the agreement. Watch the full CBS interview below. Bonnie Kristian
The United States' "work in Syria is not done," U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Fox News Sunday. "We're not going to leave until we know we have accomplished [U.S. goals]," she continued. "Be very clear, if we leave — when we leave — it will be because we know that everything is moving forward."
Haley listed three goals to be achieved in Syria: no use of chemical weapons in a manner that could harm U.S. interests, complete defeat of the Islamic State, and limiting Iranian influence in Syria. She argued a chemical weapons attack could happen in the United States "if we're not smart."
In an appearance on CBS, she announced new "Russian sanctions will be coming down," likely Sunday or Monday. These new sanctions "will go directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related to [Syrian President Bashar al-Assad] and chemical weapons use," she said. "I think everyone knows that we sent a strong message, and our hope is that they listen to it."
Watch the full Fox interview below. Bonnie Kristian