On Sunday’s episode of This WeekAnchor George Stephanopoulos continued obsessing over Donald Trump during his interview with Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton.
Following up on an issue raised in the previous segment with White House press secretary Jen Psaki over whether Russian President Vladimir Putin is mentally stable, Stephanopoulos asked Cotton if he agreed with Senator Marco Rubio that “something is off” about Putin.
Cotton didn’t take the bait, responding that he wouldn’t “play psychologist from 7,000 miles away.” Cotton turned the conversation back to the topic that mattered: “Ms. Psaki stated that all of us made the same mistake in interpreting Vladimir Putin through the lense global norms. George, that was not my mistake. I have always seen Vladimir Putin as a ruthless dictator who wants to reassemble the greater Russian empire.”
It appeared that the host was confused when this question was answered:
This is a mistake that you’ve not made, and it isn’t true. Your opposition to Vladimir Putin has been strong. Donald Trump, leader of your party cannot say the same. He condemned the invasion at last night’s meeting. However, he did not forget to praise Putin for his intelligence. He had earlier praised Putin for being very smart. He described him to be savvy. He said that NATO and the U.S. were dumb. Do you agree to decry such dishonesty from your leader?
“George, you’ve heard what I have to say about Vladimir Putin. That he is a ruthless dictator who’s launched a naked unprovoked war of aggression” Cotton responded.
The Senator also reminded Stephanopoulos and viewers watching at home that former President Trump was the one who supplied weapons to Ukraine: “Thankfully the Ukrainian army has anti-tank missiles that President Obama would not supply. This is because we supplied them last time the Republicans were in Washington. That’s why it’s so urgent that we continue to supply those weapons to Ukraine.”
Appearing to get angrier that Cotton wouldn’t play his game, Stephanopoulos demanded to know why he wouldn’t “condemn Donald Trump for those comments?”
Cotton calmly, but firmly let Stephanopoulos know that “if you want to know what Donald Trump thinks about Vladimir Putin or any other topic I would encourage you to invite him on your show. They can speak for themselves. They can speak for themselves.”
Stephanopoulos continued to be unhappy with this answer. He asked Cotton for his third opinion on Trump.
A senior Republican Party member. Donald Trump leads the Republican Party. Last night, he said that he was considering running for president. Fox News asked him whether he had any message for Vladimir Putin. He said that he didn’t. Why can’t you condemn that? I feel quite confident that If Barack Obama or Joe Biden said something like that, you’d be the first to criticize.
In case Stephanopoulos didn’t hear his answer the last time, he calmly repeated: “Again, George. If you want to talk to the former President about his views or his message, you can have him on your show.”
Stephanopoulos opted to change topics, asking Cotton about Ukraine’s crisis. He then continued asking Cotton questions about Trump and this time asked him whether he would vote for Donald Trump in 2024.
Cotton replied that he’s “not worried about this fall’s election right now, much less an election two years from now.” Reiterating that he’s “focused on the naked war of aggression that Vladimir Putin has launched in Ukraine,” Cotton urged that “right now there’s not a moment to lose. We can worry about electoral politics down the road.”
Undeterred, Stephanopoulos followed up one last time before ending the interview: “President Trump was out there talking about it last night. I simply don’t understand why you can’t condemn his praise of Vladimir Putin.”
“George again, I don’t speak on behalf of other politicians. All of them can speak for themselves. My message is to you. It was clear whether Barack Obama was President or whether Donald Trump had been President. And now, it’s unclear whether Joe Biden has ever been President. That Vladimir Putin has been a ruthless dictator for years.” Cotton said.
Is George Stephanopoulos aware that Trump is unable to change the Ukraine situation? It’s clear the media cannot stop obsessing over Trump. Even in times of international crises.
The interview, which was extremely biased, was possible because Fisher Investments & Vicks. The information of both is linked.
Click expand to read the transcript.
ABC’s This Week
Eastern Time: 9:30:09
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS : This morning, Vladimir Putin announced that he had placed his nuclear force on a high alert. Jen Psaki was the one who I spoke with. Are Vladimir Putin acting rationally? It is it mental there, or like Senator Rubio stated something is wrong right now?
SENATOR TOM COTTON: George, I’m not going to play psychologist from 7,000 miles away. It isn’t surprising that Vladimir Putin spoke Monday night. The exact same arguments were made about Ukraine by Putin in an essay last year. This is why I have been pushing the government to seriously consider the threats Putin poses to Ukraine’s stability and international peace. He imposed these sanctions several months and weeks before he began sending missiles, weapons, and ammunition to Ukraine.
Ms. Psaki claimed that everyone made the error of seeing Vladimir Putin only through international norms. George, that was not my mistake. Vladimir Putin is a brutal dictator, who desires to rebuild the Russian Empire. That’s what I always saw. And he took the imperial ambitions he’s always had and what he perceived as hesitancy and indecision on the part of the west and went for the jugular earlier this week. George is proud of the courage and determination displayed by the Ukrainian people. The Ukrainian people continue to stiffen leaders from the west. They need our support and the continued supply of weapons to help them fight back.
STEPHANOPOULOS – You have never committed that error, and it’s true. You have been staunch in opposition to Vladimir Putin. Donald Trump, leader of your party cannot say the same. He finally condemned the invasion last night. However, he did not forget to praise Putin for his intelligence. He had earlier praised Putin for being very smart. He described him to be savvy. He said that NATO and the U.S. were dumb. Is your party prepared to reject such rhetoric?
COTTON: George, you’ve heard what I have to say about Vladimir Putin. That he is a ruthless dictator who’s launched a naked unprovoked war of aggression. The Ukrainian army is equipped with anti-tank weapons that Obama wouldn’t supply. We did provide them last time Republicans were at Washington’s helm. It is urgent we supply weapons to Ukraine.
STEPHANOPOULOS – Why don’t you criticize Donald Trump for his comments?
COTTON: George – If you’d like to hear what Donald Trump has to say about Vladimir Putin, or other topics, I encourage you to have him join your program. I’m not speaking on behalf of any other politicians. They speak for their constituents. Arkansans are my voice. These are the people I spoke to this week, who were shocked by the events in Ukraine. They want me to go to Washington right away to stand up for those courageous Ukrainians.
STEPHANOPOULOS : You are a senior Republican Party member. Donald Trump leads the Republican Party. Last night, he said that he was considering running for president. Fox News asked him whether he had any message for Vladimir Putin. He said that he didn’t. Why can’t you condemn that? I feel quite confident that If Barack Obama or Joe Biden said something like that, you’d be the first to criticize.
COTTON: Again, George. You can interview the ex-President about his thoughts and his message on your program. Vladimir Putin has my message. He must flee Ukraine, or he will face his moms and teenage sons drinking molotov cocktails. There will always be grandpas and grandparents with AK47s. Arkansas wants me to convey that message.
STEPHANOPOULOS – Can you vote for Donald Trump if he runs again?
COTTON: George. I don’t worry about the election in this fall, or even two years later. Focused on Vladimir Putin’s naked aggression in Ukraine, I am now. There is no time to lose. We have the option to look ahead at electoral politics.
STEPHANOPOULOS. President Trump spoke about it last night. His praise for Vladimir Putin is something I don’t get.
COTTON: George again, I don’t speak on behalf of other politicians. All of them can speak for themselves. My message is to you. It was clear to me that Barack Obama was President. Vladimir Putin, a cruel dictator over the years. The threat has been ignored by too many. This is why we are seeing the pictures of Ukraine right now. We need to stop this aggression and support the Ukrainians in every way possible.