CNN's Jake Tapper calls out Trump aide’s lies and misdirection on Trump Russia scandal
Tapper: “Why does President Trump continue to second guess the assertions being made by his own intelligence chiefs?”
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From the July 13 editon of CNN's The Lead with Jake Tapper:
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JAKE TAPPER (HOST): We'll get to the ceasefire in a second. I do want to ask you last year the Obama administration seized the diplomatic compounds in Maryland and New York of the Russians because in the view of the national security apparatus, the compounds were being used for intelligence-related purposes that might have plausibly connected to the interference campaign by the Russian government. The Trump administration is considering returning those compounds to Russia. Why?
SEBASTIAN GORKA: Well, look, because we, we want to give collaboration, cooperation, a chance. The fact is we may not share the same philosophy, we may not share the same type of statesman view of the world, but the fact is there are some issues of common concern. And if we see good faith, remember, more than 400,000 people have been killed in Syria. That is horrific. If we can see acts of good faith come out of the Kremlin with regards to things such as a ceasefire, then perhaps there is a chance for what [Secretary of State] Rex Tillerson wants to see happen which is an improvement in relations between our two capitals.
TAPPER: I guess one of the issues that a lot of people on Capitol Hill, Republicans as well as Democrats, are wondering about is why the possibility of a reward when there is still this issue, this cloud of Russia's election interference hanging over the relationship, as you know, leading Trump administration intelligence officials were recently asked before the Senate Intelligence Committee if Russia interfered in the U.S. Election. They were asked as a basic yes or no question, here's their response.
TAPPER: Those aren't Obama holdovers, that's President Trump's intelligence officials, yet President Trump a few days ago said quote, "Nobody really knows for sure who interfered in the election." Why does President Trump continue to second guess the assertions being made by his own intelligence chiefs?
GORKA: Jake, I'd ask you the question, do you wish us to have bad or deteriorating relations with the nuclear power that is the Russian Federation? In who's interest is that?
TAPPER: Well it's not really up to me but --
GORKA: I'm curious, I'm curious.
TAPPER: Well, we don't dole out rewards to countries, the United States doesn't dole out rewards to countries just because they possess a nuclear weapon. We're not going to reward China. We're not going to reward Pakistan.
TAPPER: So you don't think it's weak at all to let Russia go after having interfered in the 2016 election with no punishment at all?
GORKA: The last thing you could say about Donald J. Trump after the last 25 weeks is that he's weak. Look at what we've done in Afghanistan --
TAPPER: So what's the punishment?