CNN guest and former Bush official defends Trump's sexist tweet attacking Mika Brzezinski
CNN's Keith Boykin to Pete Seat: "I'm sick of having to go on television every week and talk about the stupidity because people like you continue to defend this. ... Stand up and have some courage for a change"
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From the June 29 edition of CNN's At This Hour:
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PETE SEAT: Well, like the first lady spokesperson said, like Sarah Huckabee Sanders said earlier today, President Trump is a fighter. We knew this during the campaign. When he feels under attack, he comes out and fights back. This is partly what the American people wanted him to do. They knew this going in, that he is a fighter, and you see this all the time. People are questioning his mental fitness for the job on networks all across the spectrum. People are saying that he should be physically harmed, these so-called celebrities making comments like that all the time. The guy is under a lot of pressure and he's fighting back.
KATE BOLDUAN (HOST): Yeah, but do you think it's okay? Do you think this is as -- I mean, I can list out the number of Republicans who said this, that this is beneath the dignity of the office. Do you agree with [Sen.] Ben Sasse [(R-NE)]?
SEAT: They're not the words that I would have chosen to use but I understand where the president's coming from when the media is constantly, constantly, constantly attacking him, and quite frankly, we need to point out, you mentioned, I am here in the great state of Indiana. Most people watching this in the heartland just don't care. They're not following the Twitter back and forth, like Paul Ryan said. They're focused on the substance of what we need to do to get the country back on track.
KEITH BOYKIN: Pete, Pete, Pete.
BOLDUAN: Go ahead, Keith.
BOYKIN: Pete, this is ridiculous. This is absolutely absurd that you are not condemning this petty, vindictive, sexist attack from the president of the United States against a female journalist. You of all people know that if this had been another person, a Democrat, a Barack Obama who said something like this, Republicans would be condemning this type of behavior. How much longer will Republicans allow Donald Trump's childish behavior, his petty vindictiveness to consume our country's politics? This has to end. And the only way it ends is if people like you, who call yourselves respectable Republicans, have the courage to stand up and say something about it. Yes, I'm glad that finally Paul Ryan had the courage to say it's inappropriate, but that's not enough. And Ben Sasse and Lindsey Graham, they keep condemning the comments the that Trump is making but they stand behind Donald Trump as their leader. Melania Trump said she was going to fight against cyberbullying. Well Donald Trump is the chief cyberbully in our country and she needs to stand up to her husband today and look him in the face and say, "Cut it out." This is shameful, it is disgraceful, he's making a mockery of our country and of the presidency and the White House.
BOLDUAN: Kate, I'm going to get you in, but Pete, I need you to respond to that.
SEAT: Yeah, well I would ask you, Keith, when are you going to have the courage to admit that the policies your party has supported are the reason why Donald Trump is president of the United States? The fact that Obamacare has failed --
BOYKIN: That is not answering the question.
BOLDUAN: Let me jump in. Let me jump in.
BOULDAN: I know you can hear me. Stop talking. Listen to me, you guys. Here's the problem. As I said with David Chalian, the reason that policy isn't being discussed right now and a key policy thing that the president cares about is because of the president's tweeting. The president's not talking about policy. And that's why, Pete, that seems a lot of Republicans have felt compelled to to come out, that they -- people in the heartland caring about it or not, members of Congress care about it. They wanted to come out and speak out against it. Lindsey Graham, Ben Sasse, [Sen.] Susan Collins [(R-ME)]. I mean, isn't just calling something right, right, something wrong, wrong? Isn't there some value to that?
SEAT: You're choosing what to focus on again. I don't hear Hoosiers focusing on this. I don't hear Americans focusing on this.
BOYKIN: The president is tweeting about it. The president is tweeting about it. We're not supposed to focus on what the president is talking about? The president is tweeting about it. How can you say the media is focusing on it when the president of the United States is talking about this this morning? He's not talking about health care, he's not talking about sanctuary cities, he's not talking about immigration, he's talking about Mika Brzezinski and saying she's bleeding from a face-lift. That's unacceptable behavior from the president of the United States and I'm quite frankly sick of it. I'm sick of having to go on television every week and talk about the stupidity because people like you continue to defend this. It's unacceptable, it's un-American. Stand up and have some courage for a change.