06 November 2019 06:32
Even if you're a critic or straight up hate the Trump family, you have to give credit where credit is due. At the very least, Donald Trump Jr. not only has the guts to go on opposition networks to be interviewed, but he's also apparently not afraid to call out said critics on air--even if they're a senator. Trump Jr. went on "CBS This Morning" on Tuesday to be interviewed about his new book, "Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us." As the interview was coming to a close, and just after co-host Tony Dokoupil condescendingly asked Trump Jr. to "say something nice" on Twitter concerning his appearance on the show, fellow co-host Gayle King asked President Donald Trump's son a very interesting question. "Who is your favorite Democrat?" King asked. "Mitt Romney, Gayle," Trump began.
Here's video of the end of Trump Jr.'s "CBS This Morning" interview: It's no secret that Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) is not a particularly big fan of President Trump and vice-versa, so it should come as no surprise that a Trump would use a national audience to disparage the longtime politician by calling him a member of the opposite party that he represents. As of this writing, Romney hasn't responded on either of his Twitter accounts, nor his Facebook account. Donald Trump Jr. joked on Tuesday his "favorite Democrat" is Mitt Romney, Utah's Republican senator. Romney has been a vocal critic of Trump Jr.'s father, President Donald Trump. "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King asked Trump Jr., "Who is your favorite Democrat?" He paused before responding, "Mitt Romney, Gayle.
The whistleblower is a recurring villain in the president's messaging as the actual testimony against him piles up; now here's Romney sticking up for the guy, insisting that he be protected from retaliation (which is why we have whistleblower laws, supposedly). The legal question that continues to float through all debates over the whistleblower is whether Trump has a right to confront the witnesses against him. Why isn't Trump entitled to that protection when the person pointing a finger at him is anonymous? Trump *would* have the right to cross-examine the whistleblower, White allows — if the whistleblower were a witness, which he isn't (yet), and if this were a criminal proceeding, which it isn't, and if we were at the trial stage, which we aren't. /5 Moreover, even if impeachment is "criminal" in nature, the House's impeachment power is preliminary and pre-trial; it's the Senate that holds what is comparable to a criminal trial.
/11 There are exceptions we've discussed before — a criminal defendant is entitled to discover the identity of an informant, and call them as a witness, if they can establish a specific need for the defense. — PerhapsSoHat (@Popehat) November 5, 2019 Things could get interesting during the Senate trial, as Trump will likely argue that knowing who the whistleblower is does in fact constitute a key part of his defense. Therefore, there might be a defense argument that cross-examining him is important even if there's no direct evidence from the whistleblower himself that ends up informing the House's articles of impeachment. And I wonder how nervous Senate Republicans would be to see Trump complicate their otherwise straightforward defense of him with conspiracy theorizing. McConnell and his caucus will want to argue, simply, that Trump had a legitimate public purpose for his quid pro quo and, even if he didn't, that what he's guilty of isn't so dire as to warrant removal. He'll want revenge on the whistleblower for causing him this trouble and so he'll try to drag him out into the public light knowing that the guy will be threatened every day for the rest of his life once he is. Even if his attempt to call the whistleblower to testify is defeated by Roberts, Trump can then start screaming that the process is rigged, yadda yadda, shortly before the Senate votes to acquit him anyway. Anyway, it can't be a coincidence that Republican efforts to unmask the whistleblower are getting more febrile the less important the whistleblower becomes to the case against Trump. Bill Taylor, Alex Vindman, Tim Morrison, and now even Gordon Sondland have testified to the truth of the claim in the whistleblower complaint that there was an attempt to pressure Ukraine to investigate Burisma. The whistleblower complaint is tantamount to a tip to police that's now been confirmed by eyewitness testimony; in a criminal investigation, the public wouldn't care the slightest bit about a tipster's identity or motive provided that his tip was borne out by evidence that can be used in court. But impeachment isn't a criminal investigation, as White noted. It's politics, and it serves Trump's political interest to make the increasingly irrelevant whistleblower a greater focus of his messaging as the actual testimony before the House becomes harder to rebut. It's a useful distraction from his own behavior towards Ukraine. If nothing else, turning the whistleblower into America's greatest villain puts firsthand witnesses on notice of the sort of demagoguery and intimidation they'll face afterward if they testify at trial. Donald Trump Jr. took a swipe at one of his father's most prominent critics on Tuesday, joking that Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, was actually a Democrat. His comments by the president's eldest son came after CBS host Gayle King asked him to name his "favorite" Democrat. At first, Trump Jr. hesitated to answer but he eventually called out Romney as King ended the segment. "Mitt Romney, Gayle, Mitt Romney's my favorite Democrat," Trump Jr. said. "No," King responded before wagging her finger at him. Trump Jr.'s jab came after a series of barbs between President Trump and Romney, the Republican presidential nominee in 2012. FRANK MINITER: MITT ROMNEY ACTS LIKE A CHILD IN USING A FAKE NAME ON TWITTER TO SECRETLY CRITICIZE TRUMP In October, Romney accused the president of displaying "appalling" behavior by calling for China and Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. "When the only American citizen President Trump singles out for China's investigation is his political opponent in the midst of the Democratic nomination process, it strains credulity to suggest that it is anything other than politically motivated," Romney tweeted. He added: "By all appearances, the President's brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and to Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden is wrong and appalling." Rudy Giuliani, the president's attorney, responded to Romney by accusing him of being "bitter" about Trump. "Look, Mitt, Trump did what you couldn't do. Trump has an ability to relate to people--you don't," GIuliani said at the end of September. Trump, for his part, has called Romney a "pompous a--." "If Mitt worked this hard on Obama, he could have won.