News & Politics

Chris Cuomo's CNN Meltdown Over Trump Pardoning 'Criminals' Deserves Its Own Laugh Track

Chris Cuomo's CNN Meltdown Over Trump Pardoning 'Criminals' Deserves Its Own Laugh Track
Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Judging by Chris Cuomo’s comical stage-directed meltdown on CNN Wednesday night, you’d have thought President Trump had pardoned unrepentant terrorists, people who’d aided the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, traitors, or entire armies of  bad actors. Note: he didn’t.

Cuomo’s TDS-infused rant about the president’s recent moves, including the newest pardons, was delivered with his typically unhinged, I’ll-jump-over-the-desk-and-strangle-you style. Cuomo didn’t need stage lighting—his for-the-cameras incandescent fauxrage was enough to show the rant for what it was: just another Wednesday-night Olbermann-lite monologue. The only thing missing was a “You, sir … ”

Cuomo intoned that President Trump’s latest round of 29 full pardons was “the most toxic tally of pardons we have ever seen.” He said that the pardons gave Americans a Christmas gift of “ultimate clarity about this outgoing president.”

Sure, Chris.

Trump didn’t commute the sentences of seven people who materially helped Iran – the largest state sponsor of terrorism, maker of American GI-killing IEDs – to advance technology for its weapons systems. President Obama did that. Trump didn’t pardon WikiLeaks traitor Chelsea Manning. Embezzlers, drug dealers, bootleggers, gamblers, and gun runners found a friend in Obama.

Trump didn’t free Puerto Rican terrorists so his wife could get votes in a key constituency in a state she’d never lived in. Bill Clinton did that. Jimmy Carter pardoned 200,000 men who fled for parts unknown (mostly Canada) to escape from serving in the military.

Before he left to go to his Mar-a-Lago Christmas, President Trump pardoned another 29 people. His list of pardons included a victim of sex-trafficking and a police officer sentenced to ten years in prison for ordering her K-9 partner to take down a burglary suspect who needed ten stitches in the aftermath.

But Trump also pardoned his former campaign executive, Paul Manafort, who was pressed into service in 2016 at the GOP nominating convention. Trump also pardoned his long-time friend, Roger Stone. Both of them were prosecuted during the Mueller Trump-Russia probe, which turned out to be a Seinfeldesque investigation about nothing. Or, more accurately, an investigation bore of a conspiracy to frame Donald Trump based on fraudulent oppo-research memos from the Hillary Clinton campaign.

A White House statement said, “As a result of blatant prosecutorial overreach, Mr. Manafort has endured years of unfair treatment and is one of the most prominent victims of what has been revealed to be perhaps the greatest witch hunt in American history.”

Manafort was prosecuted for tax fraud among other charges and could have spent decades in federal prison. He was allowed to leave federal prison to home confinement because of COVID.

He thanked the president in a series of tweets.

Mr. President, my family & I humbly thank you for the Presidential Pardon you bestowed on me. Words cannot fully convey how grateful we are.

History will record that your Presidency accomplished more in 4 years than any of your modern-day predecessors.
You truly did “Make America Great Again.” God Bless you & your family. I wish you a Merry Christmas & many good wishes for the coming years.

About Stone’s pardon, the White House statement obliquely mentioned the jury forewoman who told the judge she was unbiased, but according to her social media accounts, had it out for all Trump associates.

Due to prosecutorial misconduct by Special Counsel Mueller’s team, Mr. Stone was treated very unfairly.  He was subjected to a pre-dawn raid of his home, which the media conveniently captured on camera.  Mr. Stone also faced potential political bias at his jury trial. Pardoning him will help to right the injustices he faced at the hands of the Mueller investigation.

Cuomo took the president to task for pardoning people who were criminals.

Law and order? The pro-law enforcement president? Give me a break. He just undid the hard work of law enforcement who made the cases against these crooks.

By definition, if they hadn’t done bad things they wouldn’t have needed a pardon. Just putting that out there for ol’ Chris. But sure, Trump’s “toxic tally of pardons” is the “worst we have ever seen.”

There are a lot of beltway insiders who don’t like Manafort or his pardon, but he has served time for some of the things his former colleague Tony Podesta has done. Podesta’s party affiliation is Democrat.

And there have been worse people who were pardoned. The seven people who helped the world’s largest state-sponsor of terrorism, Iran, come to mind. Obama freed them in a prisoner exchange. Clinton’s freeing of the FALN terrorists so Hillary could park her carpetbag under a hotel bed in New York and run for the U.S. Senate ranks up there if you’re keeping track of odious pardons. Marc Rich sold weapons to Iran and was pardoned by Bill Clinton. Clinton pardoned his goofy brother. Andrew Johnson pardoned the entire Confederate Army in the name of national unity.

Trump pardoned his son-in-law Jared Kushner’s dad, Charles Kushner, for “preparing false tax returns, witness retaliation, and making false statements to the Federal Election Commission.” His dad, a huge Democrat donor, served his time.

The Kushners’ experience with the federal penal system has informed Jared’s push for criminal justice reform and expansion of the First Step Act, the fruits of which have freed hundreds of people whose names you don’t know.

They were criminals once, too, Chris Cuomo. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t need pardons. Hope this clears things up for you.

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