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Kurtz: Forgive me, trump-self-forgiveness discussion is hypothetical
‘MediaBuzz’ host Howard Kurtz weighs in at debate in the media, the President of Trump’s tweets, that he could forgive yourself, but don’t have to.
It was a media outburst about Rudy Giuliani and his last round of TV appearances, turning on his answers to the hypothetical questions, which are always dangerous.
I thought the journalistic reaction was overheated a little bit. But then President Trump took it a step further, yesterday. So it is clearly an aggressive strategy to attack the Müller-investigation and claim are wide-reaching powers for the President to resist and effort to interview or subpoena to him.
How much is saber-rattling and how much is active resistance is difficult to determine. But it has ramped up the rhetoric, clearly the press is up in arms.
On ABC’s “This week,” George Stephanopoulos, Rudy Giuliani asked to forgive if the President has the power to themselves.
“He’s not, but probably, he said,” Giuliani. “He has no intention of pardoning himself.”
Chuck Todd asked the same question on “Meet the Press.” “Well, it is said to happen,” Giuliani. “So it’s a hypothetical point. I think the presidential power, there is nothing that the boundaries of the presidential power of pardon a Federal crime not a state crime. President Trump is not going to do.”
This didn’t seem particularly inflammatory responses, but the press was on fire with “TRUMP FORGIVE,” the headlines COULD be, although his lawyer said that it didn’t happen
Now Rudy had distracted it completely to answer a hypothetical, not worth it, but the former Prosecutor enjoys the to-and-fro.
The other part of the Sunday dealt with the Trump team memo, Bob Mueller, had claimed the New York Times, that the President commit obstruction of justice, because he fire anyone in the Executive branch. So, the lawyers argued, he could testify to blow off a Miller subpoena.
Not to say Giuliani so far: “I look at the disability part of the reasoning this way, he did not hinder it. And we can win on the facts. So, he wants to testify. Every lawyer he has, including this always does not want to testify to their customers.”
Giuliani also quoted a former DOJ opinion that a seat can not be charged at the end of President.
But what’s really the locks, an additional interview with the Huffington Post, has been opened.
“If he’s James Comey, shot he would be indicted the next day,” Giuliani said. “Charge him with, and then you can do what you want to do to him.”
Okay, he is really in the breach. It was, of course, an analogy to an extreme example, but Giuliani allowed the President, critics say, to demand his people, he had the right to commit murder.
“Literally, out of a tyrant’s playbook,” Joe Scarborough said.
(On his new show to prime time, CNN’s Chris Cuomo asked Giuliani whether he repented of it, makes the eye-popping comment about the shooting Comey. Giuliani laughed, said, was that the hypothetical question he was asked and called the idea “completely ridiculous.”)
And then the President took to Twitter.
Citing “numerous scholars,” Trump said: “I have the absolute right, FORGIVE me, but why should I do that when I have done nothing wrong?”
Of course, the story does not escalate—well, it was just Rudy in talk shows and the President followed up with this:
“The appointment of the Special Counsel is absolutely UNCONSTITUTIONAL! In spite of that, we play the game, because I, unlike the Democrats who did nothing wrong!”
I see no evidence of a breach of the Constitution. Trump’s own Deputy attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, was appointed Müller in the context of the existing DOJ proceedings and has said he remains in his area of responsibility.
There used to be a debate on the constitutionality of the old independent Council law, but Congress, more than a decade ago.
So, why are trump and Giuliani to do it? My theory is that the President knows this kind of language the media drives her crazy, warranty cancellations and debates. This creates partisan warfare, the almost, the underlying problems drowned out—is he guilty of anything?—and many people tune out the high-decibel rhetoric.
Trump has the constitutional right to do that. To work whether it is politically, is another question.
Howard Kurtz is a Fox News analyst and host of “MediaBuzz” (Sundays 11 p.m.). He is the author of “media madness: Donald Trump, the press, and The war for the truth.” You can follow him at @Howard Kurtz. Click here for more information on Howard Kurtz.