WATCH: Jay Sekulow Claims NBC Deceptively Edited Trump’s Comey Interview in Tense CNN Showdown
CNN’s Chris Cuomo interviewed Jay Sekulow — attorney for President Donald Trump — on Wednesday night, in a 27-minute marathon segment during which they tried to verbally outmuscle each other on everything from Jeff Sessions to the Russia investigations.
The conversation started with Sekulow fending questions about how the Senate Judiciary Committee will move forward in light of the sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. The embattled Supreme Court nominee became an afterthought, however, once Cuomo brought up Trump’s recurring feud with Sessions — which was restarted last night when the president said “I have no attorney general.”
Since Trump’s frustration with Sessions boils down to the latter’s recusal on Russia, Cuomo grilled Sekulow about how the president could really have been surprised with the AG’s decision. The conversation continued to escalate as they grappled over Rod Rosenstein and the timing of Trump’s choice to fire James Comey, apparently on the Deputy AG’s advice.
Eventually, the conversation pivoted to the interview Trump gave to NBC’s Lester Holt, in which he said that the Russia investigation was his leading motivation for firing the FBI director. As Cuomo argued, Trump “blew Rosenstein’s letter out of the water” by admitting he acted out of personal frustration with Comey’s investigations.
But Sekulow insisted that Trump didn’t actually say that, arguing (without any detail) that the unedited version of the interview shows a different soundbite than what was aired on NBC.
“You know that when there are interviews, there are edits and there is a longer transcript, and I will just tell you without disclosing any detail, that when you review the entire transcript, it is very clear as to what happened, and I’m not going to give you information on how we provided it, but in our professional discussions with the office of special counsel, we have addressed that on multiple occasions appropriately. And the evidence, when you look at the entire evidence…I’m not faulting anybody to run a clip, but to turn it into a federal case, we don’t think it’s right, we don’t think it’s constitutional and we think the entire transcript – without question – supports the president.”
The conversation continued with Cuomo and Sekulow arguing about why Trump hasn’t fired Sessions yet, and whether the president obstructed justice over the Russia probe at any point. Sekulow argued that there was no obstruction since Sessions and Robert Mueller still hold their positions, though Cuomo pushed back by noting the necessary context and various other legal factors that remain in play for the ongoing investigation.
Watch above, via CNN.
[Image via screengrab]
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