During CNN’s Town Hall Tuesday night that featured the remaining three Republican candidates for the 2016 presidency, Anderson Cooper questioned Donald Trump for retweeting an “unflattering picture of (Heidi Cruz) next to a picture of your wife.”
Trump immediately responded by saying he “thought it was a nice picture of Heidi, I thought it was fine.” Which resulted in Cooper responding in awe, “come on!” Trump, “she’s a pretty woman.”
Cooper then took him to task: “You’re running for president of the United States.”
Trump childishly responds, “I didn’t start it”
Cooper replies, “Sir, with all due respect, that’s the argument of a 5-year-old”
Trump: I didn’t start it!
Cooper: Yea, the argument of a five year old, he started it!
Trump: Excuse me, you would say that. That’s the problem with our country.
Cooper: Every parent knows a kid who says, ‘He started it.’
Trump: No, no, no. That’s the problem. Exactly that thinking…
He went on to blame Cruz for starting the fight and even though Copper corrected him by saying it was a Super PAC that made the anti-Malania add, he refused to believe it and blamed the Romney people.
Trump: Romney is very embarrassed that he did so badly four years ago. The guy choked like a dog.”
And that, ladies and gentlemen is your front runner for the GOP 2016 presidential nomination!
President Obama on Thursday tore into the National Rifle Association (NRA) for skipping a live televised town hall on gun violence.
Obama said he accepted CNN’s invitation to the town hall because his support for gun control is “consistently mischaracterized” by gun-rights advocates like the NRA.
“There’s a reason why the NRA’s not here. They’re just down the street,” Obama said, growing visibly angry. “And since this is the main reason they exist, you’d think they be prepared to have a debate with the president.
The president said the NRA has declined multiple invitations to come to the White House or have a dialogue.
“I’m happy to meet with them,” he said.
Obama is in a pitched battle with gun-rights activists and Republicans over his executive orders designed to expand background checks for firearm purchases.
The president says the “common sense” measures could prevent mass shootings which have cast a cloud over his presidency. But Republicans have blasted the measures as an abuse of power and threatened to do all they can to block them.
“If you listen to the rhetoric, it is so over the top, so overheated,” Obama said, dismissing his opponents’ claims that his policies are an effort “to take away everybody’s guns.
The NRA on Wednesday said it would not attend the town hall event, which CNN said includes supporters and opponents of the president’s agenda.
“The National Rifle Association sees no reason to participate in a public relations spectacle orchestrated by the White House,” NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam told the network.
A number of high profile TV news anchors quietly met with Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson in hopes of securing an interview with him, CNN’s Brian Stelterreported Sunday.
Wilson fatally shot Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, in August, sparking months of protests. A grand jury in the St. Louis suburb is currently deliberating whether to indict Wilson over Brown’s death, and is expected to issue a decision in the near future.
Wilson has not given any interviews since the August shooting, and has not publicly commented on Brown’s death.
According to Stelter, the anchors who held off-the-record meetings with Wilson in hopes of booking his first interview include ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, CBS’ Scott Pelley, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon, and NBC’s Matt Lauer.
Watch the CNN report on the meetings above.
Cooper and Lemon confirmed the report in a series of tweets Sunday:
For the record, I met briefly with Darren Wilson a few days ago to see if he wanted to do an interview with me. That’s standard procedure
The image of a murder trial jury often times gives the image from 12 Angry Men, a group holed up, cut off from contact from the outside world, with the weight of life or death hanging over their heads as they decide the fate of the person on trial. However, in the case of the Zimmerman trial, the revelations are of steak dinners, fancy pedicures and trips to local museums, all on the taxpayer dime. The decision to pamper the jury was undertaken for a myriad of reasons. As one Florida attorney, Randy Reep, pointed out:
These women of course are not criminals, yet we took them from their families. While we did not say this then, now it is clear, half of the country is going to very vocally find fault with your dedicated effort. A Bloomin Onion at Outback would not adequately reimburse these women for the bitterness [some will level at them for their jury service.]
In a statement by the Sheriff’s office, this was elaborated upon:
Jurors watched television and movies, exercised at the hotel fitness center, and spent weekends being visited by family and friends.
Hold on a second. The Sheriff’s office did not take them away from their families, they had access to them over the weekend! However, they were carefully monitored to prevent jury tampering at least, right? To verify this statement, AI’s own Dr. Mark Bear contacted them, telling us:
Just verified with Heather Smith, from the Seminole Country Sheriff’s Office at 407-474-6259. She states, “Generally speaking, jurors serving on the Zimmerman trial were afforded two hours of visiting privileges with family of friends each weekend.” I asked what she meant by generally speaking,” and she states, “there were more opportunities afforded jurors but not all took advantage.”
So, these visits were unsupervised. WFTV has dug into these visits, and what they found calls into question the verdict. As WFTV’s legal analyst, Bill Sheaffer, points out:
It only takes two seconds for an inappropriate comment to be made to a juror by a family member inadvertently or otherwise to possibly affect the verdict, how they look at the case.
The potential book was always intended to be a respectful observation of the trial from my and my husband’s perspectives…
Her husband holding a perspective strong enough to write a book on the subject, given unsupervised access during the trial to his wife on the jury. Juror B37 has also admitted that the decision was reached with information not presented at the trial itself.
This is a siren bell warning of jury tampering. And this is but one juror, how much was discussed with the other jurors. The failure to supervise has now resulted in a potential legal nightmare for the state of Florida, which can be held liable for failing to properly ensure an untampered jury. Add to it the money that juror B37 could anticipate from such a book deal, which would be worth far more if given a not-guilty verdict than otherwise, and we are looking at a potential post-trial jury payoff negotiated through the husband.
And the concerns over Juror B37 are far older than that apparent after the trial. In watching her jury interview, one finds a very concerning pattern. As discussed by legal expert Gail Brashers-Krug, a former federal prosecutor and law professor and who is currently a criminal defense attorney in Iowa:
She really wants to be a juror. She seems to be going out of her way to minimize the disruptive effect of a multiweek trial on her life. Jurors rarely do that. She is also taking pains to avoid saying anything particularly sympathetic to either side. Both sides tend to be very skeptical of jurors who are particularly eager to serve on high-profile cases. Often they have their own agendas, or are attention-seekers.
We find a juror with their own agenda, who managed to sneak her way onto the jury, with unsupervised access to an element harboring their own viewpoint and opinion, and who aimed to profit off of a non-guilty verdict. She had the means, by having access to her husband unsupervised. She had the motive, by profiting off of a book deal. And she had the opportunity by being on the jury in the first place.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper landed the first “exclusive” interview with one of the six women who sat on the George Zimmerman murder trial jury for the last month. Seated in darkness and identified only as Juror B-37, the woman told Cooper is “seems like it’s been years” since the trial began and shared which moments of the proceedings had the biggest impact on her.
Speaking about the opening statements, the juror called defense attorney Don West‘s knock-knock joke “horrible.” She said, “nobody got it. I didn’t get it until later, and then I thought about it, and I’m like, I guess that could have been funny, but not in the context he told it.” She told Cooper that in general she found the witnesses to be “credible” and said when it came to the 911 call audio of the screams, she believed those who said it was Zimmerman’s voice “because of the evidence that he was the one that had gotten beaten.” All but one of the six jurors agreed with that assessment. “I don’t think there was a doubt,” she said, “that everybody else thought it was George’s voice.”
If there was one witness who the juror didn’t find entirely credible it was Trayvon Martin‘s friend Rachel Jeantel. “I didn’t think it was credible, but I felt sorry for her. She didn’t ask to be in this place. She wanted to go. She didn’t want to be any part of this case. I think she felt inadequate toward everyone because of her education and her communication skills. I just felt sadness for her.” She added, “she was embarrassed by being there, because of her education and her communication skills, that she just wasn’t a good witness.”
Cooper asked the juror specifically about Jeantel’s “creepy-ass cracker” statement that drew wide attention during the trial. She said she thought it was “probably the truth” and that “Trayvon probably said that” but said she didn’t “think it’s really racial. I think it’s just every day life. the type of life that they live, and how they’re living, in the environment that they’re living in.” (Emphasis are mine)
Watch part 1 of Cooper’s interview below, via CNN:
In the second part of the interview, the juror told Cooper she thought Zimmerman’s “heart was in the right place” on the night he shot and killed Martin and the only thing he is guilty of is “not using good judgement.” She said she thought he had “every right so carry a gun,” adding, “I think it’s everyone’s right to carry a gun.”
When Cooper asked if the juror thought Zimmerman “really felt his life was in danger” she responded. “I do. I really do.” When he asked if she thought Martin “threw the first punch,” she said, “I think he did.” Despite those assertions she admitted that among she and the other jurors, “nobody knew exactly what happened.”
She reiterated that she did not think race played a role in the case. “I think if there was another person, Spanish, white, Asian, if they came in the same situation where Trayvon was,” she said, “I think George would have reacted the exact same way.” The juror hedged a bit when Cooper asked her whether she would feel comfortable having Zimmerman on “neighborhood watch” in her community saying it would be OK “as long as he didn’t go too far.” She eventually said she thought he’d “learned his lesson” and after the trial “would be more responsible than anyone else on the planet right now.”
Watch part 2 of Cooper’s interview below, via CNN:
Jeantel, who created a media firestorm with her highly-polarizing testimony towards the beginning of the trial, appeared on Piers Morgan Live alongside her attorney. She described her reaction to Zimmerman’s acquittal as “disappointed, upset and angry” and called the jury’s assessment of what happened “just B.S.”
Asked about what Trayvon Martin was like as a friend, Jeantel described him as a “calm, chill, loving person” and said she never saw him get “aggressive” or “lose his temper.” She said that the defense’s attempts to portray Martin as a “thug” were unfounded and defended his relatively mild drug use. “Weed don’t make him go crazy,” she said, “it just makes him go hungry.”
Jeantel also responded to the massive mockery she received in social media for the way she speaks, explaining that she was born with an under-bite that has made it difficult for her to speak clearly. When Morgan asked if she’d been bullied for her condition, she simply responded, “Look at me,” to laughter from the studio audience.
Morgan attempted to get Jeantel to offer her opinion of defense attorney Don West, who many claimed was condescending towards her when she was on the stand. Jeantel shook her head, declining to say anything bad about the man given her “Christian” upbringing.
Watch part 1 of Morgan’s interview below, via CNN:
In the second part of his interview with Jeantel, Morgan turned to the “creepy-ass cracker” commentshe made and the major impact it had on the tenor of the case. She explained that the term is actually spelled “cracka” and defined it as “people who are acting like they’re police.” She said that if Zimmerman had calmly approached Martin and introduced himself, her friend would have politely said what he was doing there and nothing more would have happened.
Unlike the juror, Jeantel did think Zimmerman was racially motivated. “It was racial,” she said. “Let’s be honest, racial. If Trayvon was white and he had a hoodie on, would that happen?” She said she “had a feeling it was going to be not guilty” not because of the racial makeup of the jury, but because of the way the testimony went.
Jeantel insisted that Martin was “creeped out” and believed Zimmerman was following him, even worrying that he might be a “rapist.” She asked, “For every boy or every man who’s not that kind of way, seeing a grown man following them, would they be creeped out?”
Watch part 2 of Morgan’s interview below, via CNN:
Fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner — wanted in connection with a deadly shooting rampage in Southern California — wrote a rambling manifesto referencing a number of TV hosts and journalists.
In the document attributed to Dorner, the man accused of killing three people promises to “bring unconventional and asymmetrical warfare to those in LAPD uniform whether on or off duty” and also praises several journalists:
Chris Matthews, Joe Scarborough, Pat Harvey, Brian Williams, Soledad Obrien, Wolf Blitzer, Meredith Viera, Tavis Smiley, and Anderson Cooper, keep up the great work and follow Cronkite’s lead. I hold many of you in the same regard as Tom Brokaw and the late Peter Jennings. Cooper, stop nagging and berating your guest, they’re your (guest). Mr. Scarborough, we met at McGuire’s pub in P-cola in 2002 when I was stationed there. It was an honor conversing with you about politics, family, and life.
Willie Geist, you’re a talented and charismatic journalist. Stop with all the talk show shenanigans and get back to your core of reporting. Your future is brighter than most.
Revoke the citizenship of Fareed Zakaria and deport him. I’ve never heard a positive word about America or its interest from his mouth, ever. On the same day, give Piers Morgan an indefinite resident alien and Visa card.
Dorner also picks out dozens of celebrities and other figures in the document. The LAPD believes Dorner wrote the manifesto because of details in it that only he would know, The Associated Press reported on Thursday. A copy of the manifesto can be found at KTTV-Fox 11 News, the Fox owned-and-operated television station in Los Angeles.
And on Thursday, CNN reported that Dorner also sent a package to CNN’s Anderson Cooper. Inside the parcel was a hand labeled DVD with a post-it note reading in part “I never lie,” and a souvenir LAPD medallion shot through with bullet holes. The package arrived Feb. 1, but Cooper said it was not opened by him and he first learned of it today.
Very few news commentators actually call politicians out on their hypocrisy, their callousness toward humanity and their very transparent lies. Apparently, CNN‘s Anderson Cooper was one of the few who did, recently…
On Thursday, CNN host Anderson Cooper shone the spotlight on Republicans who voted against a U.N. treaty protecting people with disabilities, highlighting lawmakers who backed away from supporting the measure in response to conservative misinformation and opposition.
Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) featured prominently in Cooper’s “Keeping Them Honest” segment. He reported that Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS), formerly a co-sponsor of the motion to ratify the treaty, suddenly backed out even after meeting with former GOP Presidential candidate Bob Dole, a proponent of the measure.
The lawmakers declined an invitation to come onto the show to explain themselves, leaving Cooper to condemn their dishonesty:
COOPER: And keeping them honest, they used arguments that just frankly did not square with the facts. They weren’t true. […] We can only guess their motivations, and frankly, some of this is just so baffling that we’d be taking wild guesses, and we just don’t want to do that.
Watch Cooper’s full segment here:
Prominent conservative groups, rallied by Rick Santorum, denounced the treaty on the false premise that the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) would strip parents with disabled children of their rights. As a result of their efforts, though, the treaty failed by a mere five votes.
The Republicans who changed their votes have drawn widespread criticism from disabilities rights groups and Majority Leader Harry Reid has promised to bring the treaty up for a vote in the next session of Congress.
On Thursday, he turned to her recent crusade against rival presidential candidate Rick Perry, whom she has attacked repeatedly for mandating that young girls be given the HPV vaccine. Cooper playedfootage of Bachmann on the “Today” show, where the Minnesota Republican said that a woman told her the HPV vaccine gave her daughter “mental retardation.” He didn’t mince words when describing what he thought of Bachmann’s decision to relay that story, calling it “incredibly irresponsible.”
As Cooper (and manyothers) pointed out, the Centers for Disease Control has found that there is absolutely no evidence that the vaccine causes any kind of mental disability.
“Bachmann is spreading all-out falsehood here,” Cooper said. “A dangerous falsehood at that. And it is not the first time she’s done this by any stretch of the imagination.” He then played a series of clips of what he called “just flat-out factually incorrect statements.” After the clips played, he wondered if the misstatements would have any effect on her campaign.
GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert told a conservative talk show host earlier this week that having Nancy Pelosi’s face on golf balls would put “oomph” into your game, and joked with the host that he would help him find a sleeve of Pelosi-stamped balls.
Earlier this week, Politico reported that a fundraiser attended by House Speaker John Boehner had featured golf balls with Pelosi’s face stamped on them. After Boehner’s office denied the story, Politico retracted the claim.
Gohmert, however, appears not to have heard about the retraction. Here’s the exchange he had with conservative host Lars Larson on Tuesday:
LARSON: My producer is from Ohio. He noticed that John Boehner was apparently using Nancy Pelosi golf balls at a recent fundraiser, and my producer wants to get a whole sleeve of those things. He thinks it might make him hit better.
GOHMERT: [laughs] I’ll bet you it’ll put a little extra oomph in it. No kidding, yeah. Well, I’ll have to check on that. I’ll have to see where we get those.
The exchange was first flagged by TruthTicker.com, which posted audio: