CNN host Don Lemon snapped at Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Friday after the Democrat leader kept deflecting and obfuscating during a discussion about the classified documents scandal currently engulfing the White House.
The stunning back-and-forth exchange on “CNN This Morning” began with Lemon asking Schumer whether he believes that President Joe Biden and his staffers have been transparent about the scandal.
The Democrat responded by comparing President Joe Biden’s handling of this scandal to former President Donald Trump’s handling of the similar scandal that he’s facing.
“I think the Biden folks, as I said, cooperated with the prosecutorial authorities from day one, and Donald Trump didn’t,” he said.
Lemon then abruptly swooped in with an unexpected fact-check.
“This is our reporting: According to one justice official, the White House’s public statements earlier this week offered an incomplete narrative about the classified documents from Biden’s time as vice president. … The misleading statements created the impression that Biden’s team has something to hide. That doesn’t sound that much different than the former president,” he said.
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) January 15, 2023
Schumer responded by trying to deflect.
“Don, there’s now a special prosecutor. Let’s see what they have to say. We can have all the speculation and comment. Let’s see what they have to say, and let’s focus on doing things that help the American people,” he said.
Lemon then jumped back in with another devastating truth bomb.
“Senator, I have to say this: You seem much more measured about this than with the Trump documents. Because you called for transparency with the Trump documents. You wanted lawmakers to have access to the documents seized from the former president, his residence in Florida,” he noted.
The Democrat leader responded by claiming his statements concerning Biden and Trump have been “consistent.” This prompted fellow CNN host Poppy Harlow to interject with her own point.
“So you say the president has fully cooperated. And there’s no indication that he and the White House have not. But there is a real question about transparency and what the American people deserve. Let me just …,” she said before being cut off by Schumer.
“Bottom line is the prosecutors will get to the bottom of this, and let’s let them do it for God’s sake. I know you want to buzz around and all of that, but the bottom line is …,” he barked before being cut off himself.
“Let me buzz for a minute. Let me buzz for one minute and I promise we’ll get on to something else,” Harlow said, humoring Schumer’s disrespectful remark.
But Lemon wasn’t amused by it. Not at all.
“Hold on. It’s not just us buzzing. You’re the Democratic head of the Senate. This is a really important issue. It’s not just us buzzing around,” he said, slamming Schumer.
The Democrat leader responded by again trying to deflect.
“No … but now we have the law enforcement people who have the power to get all the facts out doing it. I support both. I think we should have a special prosecutor on each. I don’t mind you asking these questions, but my view is I’m not going to say anything. Let the special prosecutors do their job,” he said.
The attempt to change the topic didn’t work thanks to Harlow, who, unlike Lemon, kept prodding for a little longer.
. @SenSchumer completely controls the CNN morning crew, slinging mud at the GOP & pushes hard against @donlemon, Lemon quickly backs down.@PoppyHarlowCNN doesn’t & continues with her questions. Good job, Poppy.@kaitlancollins stays quiet and then thanks Schumer for answering.
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) January 13, 2023
“When this did come out, after CBS News’ reporting and the White House came out and acknowledged it, they only addressed the documents found on November 2nd but they knew at the time about the documents found on December 20th. And that’s what begs the question of full transparency,” Harlow said.
“And it’s not just us. The Washington Post editorial board this morning says the same thing, that if the president and this White House answered more questions directly like that exact timeline, that would, quote, promote trust and pre-empt this criticism. Would you like to see the White House do that today?” she added.
This time Schumer trotted out an excuse.
“Their obligation legally was to report things to the Archives the minute they discovered them. Unlike Trump, they did,” he said.
True, but as noted by Harlow, the administration hid the information from the media and the public, and that’s a problem that everybody seems to recognize except for the Biden administration and its congressional allies …
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