Yesterday, CNN host Kate Bolduan had guests Amy Kremer and Paul Begala on to discuss President Trump’s claim that Trump Tower was wiretapped. Trump originally made this claim two days before this segment aired, so this had undoubtedly been hashed out before on CNN. But apparently, we needed another 9-minute long segment on this topic.
Midway through the segment, Paul Begala stepped in to turn the discussion from Trump’s allegations to another claim. “What we need is a credible, independent special prosecutor—two-thirds of the American people want—to get to the bottom of how Russia helped elect Donald Trump. That’s the real story.”
Later, at the end of the segment, Begala is given another chance to lay out his Trump/Russia conspiracy theory. “Here’s what we know,” Begala began. “We know that Russia hacked the Democrats. We know that Putin wanted Hillary to lose because he feared her. We know he favored Donald Trump.
“We know that Donald Trump took remarkably pro-Russian positions, even having his aides change the Republican platform to make it more pro-Russian. We know that Trump aides were in close touch with Russia, CNN says constant contact with Russia. Now we don’t know that there was any collusion but we know all of those things: That the Russians hacked, that they tried to tilt the election to Trump—by the way, Amy, you talked about the American people, they voted overwhelmingly against Donald Trump. Hillary won the popular vote overwhelmingly, but he was able to sneak in with the help of his friend Vladimir Putin.”
Finally, Kate Bolduan steps in. “Don’t even go there! Don’t even question the outcome of the election, Paul! Don’t even go there right now. Stop needling that. Stop poking the bear on that,” she says in apparent frustration. What’s odd is this isn’t really much different from what Begala had said earlier. Maybe Bolduan got a tip in her earpiece telling her to call it out this time?
In any case, it’s great that Bolduan finally said something because she’s right. There is no more evidence for Begala’s claim, i.e. Trump won thanks to his friend Putin, than there is for the claim about Trump Tower which this entire segment was intended to knock down. Given that Democratic partisans are eagerly spreading these bogus claims, it would be nice if CNN could devote more than this one outburst to pointing out they have no basis in fact.
Here’s the end of the clip. If you want the entire 9-minute segment it’s available here.