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Chris Cuomo Calls Out ‘Trump Triple Step’ on Shifting Justifications for Soleimani Airstrike: ‘Lie, Deny, Defy’

CNN host Chris Cuomo called out the “Trump triple step” of constantly shifting explanations and responses about the SU airstrike that killed Qasem Soleimani, noting that the evolution has followed President Donald Trump’s repeated, historical pattern of “lie, deny, defy.”

In his Monday show’s “Closing Argument” segment, Cuomo dissected the White House messaging on the killing, walking viewers step by step through the crumbling logic being offered up.

“The Trump triple step, is in full effect, once again. What is it? Lie, deny, defy,” Cuomo explained. “Take Iran. It was “imminent” because Iran is bad and this guy was a terrorist. But why imminent? Crickets. No proof. Period. Then, the president denies that fact. And says it was about the embassy that they hit in the past and four more. Something his inner circle can’t back up.”

He then played a clip of Trump Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s appearance on Sunday’s Face the Nation, where he clearly backed away from the president’s unsubstantiated claim of a threat to four, unnamed US embassies, a claim that the State Department cannot confirm either.

“Embarrassing,” Cuomo added, shaking his head in reaction to the clip. “Then comes where we are now. Defy. Who cares about the rules in Congress and the Constitution. Look at this,” he said, before flashing onscreen this Trump tweet from Monday morning.

When [then Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton talked about whether it was a protest or planned hit that took down Benghazi after the fact. Trump folks went nuts,” Cuomo pointed out. “Now you say, the president says, there were American lives hanging in the balance and this choice had to be done. No respect for the legal standard for use of force and that matters. We hear nothing from his defenders. This toxic Triple Lindy that he does matters to him most of all, I argue to you. Why? His demagoguery demands that he sow division at all times. He needs to do this so much that I have a bet. I bet this president can’t go 21 days, that’s hoow long we have until the Iowa caucus, without lying, denying the obvious, about a mistake by him, or defying a norm for his own gain.”

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