CNN Anchor Phil Mattingly Grills White House Spox For Responses To Impeachment Claims One-By-One


CNN anchor Phil Mattingly grilled White House Spokesman for Investigations Ian Sams for responses to a raft of GOP claims undergirding the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.

On Tuesday, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy announced he was calling for the launch of an impeachment inquiry without a vote of the full House, in the face of a membership that can’t provide sufficient support to prevail in such a vote.

The White House immediately went on the offensive, withSams putting out a statement and a sprawling memo, and making the rounds on cable news.

That media tour included Wednesday morning’s edition of CNN This Morning, during which co-anchor Mattingly went through several of what Sams calls “the 7 key lies” in his memo, and got the White House refutation for each of them:

PHIL MATTINGLY: To that point, you know what they’re impeaching him for. Republicans have been clear that they don’t have a lot of Republican moderates have been clear they haven’t seen direct evidence yet. I want to tick through some of the things that Speaker McCarthy laid out as the rationale for why he decided to go this route. The idea that there are, “there was a trusted FBI informant that provided information about alleged bribes to the Biden family.”.

What’s your response to that allegation?

IAN SAMS: Well, what’s interesting about that is that the source of this alleged bribe told the Congress during President Trump’s first impeachment that that’s not true, that he had never asked President Biden of anything. So the very source of this so-called allegation has already refuted it, and that’s come out as part of the years of Republican investigations targeting the president, baselessly. Going after him without any evidence just to try to score political points that they’ve been doing for almost half a decade now. And I think that the question that we need to focus on here is, is this really what the Congress should be focused on? The American people have needs. They need their leaders in Washington to be focused on them. That’s what the president’s doing. You see that with him talking about our investment to to take on cancer research today.

PHIL MATTINGLY: I understand…


IAN SAMS: …but when it comes to the bribe. You know, these are allegations that they’ve been making without merit for months. But I think.

PHIL MATTINGLY: The point I’m trying to make here is to show any proof, if this is this has been your position for a long time. And I think, you know, I’ve covered the policy side of this White House quite a bit over the course of the last several years. I understand that. But I kind of want to tick through these to have you respond. (Yes, sure) this is the basis of it. You know, the idea of bank records, one of the things you laid out, “bank records show that nearly 20 million in payments were directed to Biden family members and associates. The Treasury Department has more than 150 transactions involving the Biden family and business associates that are flagged as suspicious activity.” Anything in there to respond to in terms of how it links to the president?

IAN SAMS: Sure. The Washington Post fact checked that and found it false. The members of the House Oversight Committee who actually reviewed those reports at Treasury have stated that there was no tie to President Biden. So yet again, they’ve had access to these documents and they’ve over and over again turned up no tie to the president, and that’s from their own members.

PHIL MATTINGLY: The idea of “there has been special treatment of the president’s family’s been afforded special treatment by the Biden administration as it relates to Hunter Biden’s plea deal,” and that eventually fell apart and where it stood.

IAN SAMS: Yeah, I mean, the president’s been very clear about this since before he even took office, that the Justice Department in his administration is independent. He has not been involved in that case. He has not talked to anybody about that case. But don’t take his word for it. Take the words of the GOP’s own witnesses in the House who testified in an open hearing that neither Attorney General Garland nor President Biden interfered in this case. And so their own witnesses, their own investigations, not only are they not turning up evidence of the allegations, they claim, they’re actively refuting the allegations that the speaker is leaning on to launch this baseless impeachment.

PHIL MATTINGLY: Ian, one of the other allegations is that the president was present at some of the meetings between Hunter Biden and his business associates. Why was the president at those meetings, on those phone calls?

IAN SAMS: Well, again, I think this is part of the right wing’s misinformation machine to try to confuse people about what the truth is. The truth is that the president, as he has said publicly for years, calls his family every day to check in. He calls his son every day to check in. He calls his other family members to check in to see how they’re doing. He loves them. There’s a they’re a tight knit family. And what the GOP’s own witness testified in this case is that that’s exactly what the president was doing. He was checking in with Hunter during a particularly hard time, I might add, a time where the family was going through Hunter’s brother, Beau’s illness. And, of course, the president checks in with his son and talks to him. But again, that witness testified no business dealings of Hunter Biden’s or anyone’s was discussed in these conversations. And so, again, they’re trying to make this sort of strange connection when their own investigation has disproven these claims.

Watch above via CNN This Morning.

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