On CNN, new pro-Trump contributor confirms he is contractually forbidden from criticizing Trump
Cable networks are still hiring contributors for Trump-related commentary who are legally forbidden from criticizing him
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From the August 23 edition of CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront:
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POPPY HARLOW (GUEST HOST): Paul Manafort was convicted by a jury of his peers of some pretty horrible things, right? Of defrauding American taxpayers, and the president still called him a good guy who he feels bad for. Isn't that bringing the swamp right along with you?
ROB ASTORINO (CNN CONTRIBUTOR): Well, I think what he meant there, and maybe I'll do a Trump translation, he worked with him, he helped him, and so he thinks he's a good guy. He should have said, comma, who did a bad thing, and you can't excuse what he did.
HARLOW: OK, I just need to know, that you work on the Trump 2020 advisory committee, and therefore you have signed an NDA that includes a non-disparagement clause --
ASTORINO: Which --
HARLOW: So you can't -- you can't really tell me, then, if -- I mean, you really don't believe the president's own words, "he's a good guy," about Paul Manafort?
ASTORINO: Are you talking about Paul Manafort?
ASTORINO: No, I -- look, I've known people, have you ever met somebody that you knew well, or knew, or worked with --
HARLOW: That became a convicted felon? No.
ASTORINO: Who did something -- who did something wrong? Yeah. Who did something wrong.
HARLOW: That became a convicted felon? No, nor would I say after the fact that [they] defrauded the American people, they're a good person.
ASTORINO: They could be a good person who did a bad thing. I think we can make that distinction. And there are bad people who do bad things.