CNN “State of the Union” host Dana Bash and Republican Rep. Jim Jordan collided and it was not pretty.
The interaction happened on Sunday when the two went to war over the indictment of former President Donald Trump.
“The indictment does say, as I mentioned, the documents included U.S. defense, nuclear capabilities, potential U.S. vulnerabilities to a military attack. They were kept in unsecure areas, like a bathroom, a ballroom, a bedroom,” the host said to start the interview.
“And the indictment says that Donald Trump lied to lawyers, his own lawyers, which resulted in false statements to the FBI, so that he could keep those documents. Is all of that, any of that acceptable to you?” she said.
“Dana, the standard is clear. The standard is Navy v. Egan, a 1988 case, unanimous decision from the courts, from the court, that — Justice Blackmun wrote the opinion. And it said the president’s ability to classify and control access to national security information flows from the Constitution. He decides. He alone decides. He said he declassified this material. He can put it wherever he wants. He can handle it however he wants. That’s the law,” Jordan said.
“That’s the standard. And Jack Smith can do all this 37 different counts and whatever he wants to do, but that doesn’t change the standard. The standard that the Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, said was that he can classify and he can control access. He has the sole authority,” he said.
“In this indictment, he states on at least one occasion that he did not declassify the information. When he’s showing a document to somebody who doesn’t have a security clearance, I might add, he says explicitly that it is classified. He didn’t declassify it,” the host said.
“Dana, he has said time and time again he’s declassified all this material,” Jordan said.
“This is — this is the most political thing I have ever seen. They have been out to get President — they’re going to — they’re indicting President Trump on Tuesday for having material that he declassified that was protected by the Secret Service,” the representative said as he rebuffed attempts by the host to interrupt him.
“And the people who are doing it is the administration, the Justice Department from his opponent in the upcoming presidential election,” the representative said.
“This is as political as it gets. And, frankly, Dana, it’s part of a pattern. We have seen it time and time again with the president over the last seven years. They try one thing. Then they try another. They have continued to go after him. And I think anyone with common sense can see that,” he said.
“OK, this is a very detailed indictment. A couple of things that you just said,” the host said. “Number one, the Secret Service, they are charged with protecting the president. They didn’t even know, according to the indictment, that those documents were there. So, that — that wasn’t their job.
“Number two, do you have evidence that the president, when he was president, now former president, actually declassified these documents before he took them?” she said.
“I go on the president’s word, and he said he did. And the Supreme Court said that’s what counts. So, we can have all the — all the things Jack Smith wants to say, but everyone sees this for the political operation it is. The standard is the standard. I didn’t set the standard. The Constitution and Supreme Court did. And they did it in a unanimous fashion, and it was an opinion written by Justice Blackmun,” the representative said.
“So that’s the standard. That’s the fact. Jack Smith can write whatever he wants. But this is a — this is so political. In 2016 — I mean, every election, we have now seen this, Dana. 2016, it was a dossier that they used. They knew it was false. They used it to go get a warrant to spy on his campaign. 2018, it was the Mueller investigation,” he said as she continued to attempt to interrupt him.
“2020, they suppressed the Biden laptop story with the 51 former intel officials. 2022, they raided his home 91 days before an election. And now they’re indicting him before the 2024 presidential race. Every single election, they have done something,” he said.