Editor’s note: Each Sunday, the chattering class fills American airwaves with the thoughts and opinions of Washington’s most powerful Swamp-dwellers. Often these interviews make headlines and inform the public about what to expect in the coming week. If you want to stay informed but don’t have the time to devote to all the political punditry, there is hope. Liberty Nation author Kelli Ballard sifts through the shows for you and presents the high and lowlights in this weekly column.
Surprise, surprise: It was impeachment, all the time and everywhere, on the Sunday political programs. The impeachment hearings dominated as issues that concern the American people again took a back seat. And a Democrat from Florida turned out to be the maker of headlines.
This Week With George Stephanopoulos — ABC
Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) made it quite clear that Democrats have no intention of waiting to see if there will be testimony forthcoming from National Security Advisor John Bolton or White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, two senior officials who may have insider information. When asked why the Dems plan to plow ahead – devil be damned — Deming said:
“As you well know, they have not been willing to obey lawful subpoenas that have been issued. And, look, we’re not going to play any games with them, the American people are not going to, I think, tolerate any games. If they’re serious about obeying lawful subpoenas, then they need to respond to the request for documents and then obey those lawful subpoenas.”
Not too long after Deming issued this statement, lawyers for the president held up an enormous stop sign. White House counsel Pat A. Cipollone wrote Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) the following: “we do not intend to participate in your Wednesday hearing.” The primary reason is that President Trump will be in London for the NATO Summit. Future appearances before the committee, however, were not ruled out.
Meet the Press — NBC
Once the gold standard in Sunday-morning political talk shows, NBC’s program hosted by former Democratic operative Chuck Todd welcomed Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) to the hot seat. Check these nasty tidbits:
Todd: “Simply uttering this conflation on Ukraine and Russia, the inference is you’re doing the president’s dirty work here. Do you accept that criticism?”
Kennedy: “Russia was very aggressive, and they’re much more sophisticated. But the fact that Russia was so aggressive does not exclude the fact that [Ukraine] President [Petro] Poroshenko actively worked for Secretary Clinton.”
Todd: “You realize the only other person selling this argument outside the United States is this man, Vladimir Putin,” as a picture of Putin appeared on the screen.
The entire Todd-Kennedy brouhaha can be found here.
Face the Nation — CBS
Pundits on the right like to refer to this program lovingly as Fake the Nation. Margaret Brennan is the only female to host one of the major Sunday political programs (although former host John Dickerson is filling in for her while she’s on maternity leave). FTN’s big guest this week was Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), who’s struggling mightily to hold on to his run for the presidency.
Booker’s stammering answer to this question by Dickerson tells you all you need to know about the Booker for President campaign:
Dickerson: “Is your campaign facing a do-or-die moment in terms of getting on the debate stage—“
Booker: It- it- it is facing one of those moments where — and people have responded to this before, that if you want me in this race, if you want my voice and my message, which is resonating, then- then I need help. We need people to go to corybooker.com and contribute so that we can do what I see a lot of the billionaires in the race now doing, which is just running non-stop ads to boost their- their poll numbers. I’m not taking corporate PAC money. I’m not taking a lot of the money — I’m- I’m running on individual contributions, and that’s what we’re going to need to keep doing.”
CNN’s State of the Union featured another Democratic presidential aspirant, but, alas, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) had little of interest to say. Fox News Sunday welcomed Reps. Doug Collins (R-GA) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY). Nothing worth noting from Chris Wallace’s show this week.
Read more from Kelli Ballard.