STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Cuomo slams Trump's response to NYT op-ed

Chris Cuomo weighs in on President Trump's response to this week's political news, including the blistering New York Times op-ed penned by an anonymous senior official in the Trump administration.

Posted: Sep 6, 2018 10:36 PM
Updated: Sep 6, 2018 10:51 PM

What do you do when your boss is dangerously unstable, often clueless and, oh yes ... the President of the United States?

One senior administration official resolved that question Wednesday by unburdening himself -- or herself -- on the op-ed page of The New York Times, describing a "resistance" within the upper echelons of the Trump administration that has acted to protect the country from an unmoored President.

The author suggested that Trump-appointed Cabinet members even discussed the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment, declaring him unfit and removing him from office. Instead, the author said, they resolved to rein in the volcanic President from the inside.

The timing of the piece, coming a day after excerpts were released from Bob Woodward's new investigative tome, "Fear: Trump in the White House," deepened the portrait of an ignorant and amoral President whose escalator isn't stopping at every floor.

The question I keep asking is: What exactly was its intended purpose?

Was it to embolden a GOP-led Congress, currently in the President's thrall, to provide greater oversight?

Was it to warn voters that he's an erratic and dangerous dolt in advance of the critical midterm elections, with the expectation that a Democratic Congress will provide the oversight the Republicans have not?

Was this merely the work of someone who, after nearly two years in the White House of Horrors, felt the need to unburden himself -- or herself -- and bear witness to the disturbing things they had seen.

Or was it meant to defend the honor of those, like the author, who have decided to stay, despite deep misgivings and fears about the President? This, it seems, is the most logical and understandable explanation for taking this extraordinary step.

But if your resolve is to stay inside and quietly work to help rein in Trump's excesses, wouldn't it have been more effective to suffer in silence a while longer rather than poking an already raging bear?

The essay predictably infuriated Trump and his supporters. "TREASON?" the President thundered through his favorite medium, as his aides launched their own witch hunt to identify the offender in their midst. (Good luck with that. Like "Murder on the Orient Express," the list of suspects is voluminous.)

The President also hurled yet another assault at one of his favorite targets, the Times, for publishing the piece, going so far as to suggest the renegade author was the paper's fictitious invention.

Of course, the Times editors know the identity of the author and, as with any unnamed source, ran the piece only after judging him or her credible. This wasn't treason or fakery. It was journalism.

The high-ranking whistleblower also came in for criticism from some opponents of the President for hiding behind anonymity instead of quitting and for failing to act on the 25th Amendment (instead of "whisper" about it, as the op-ed writer put it), which could be invoked to remove an unhinged commander in chief.

We shouldn't minimize the fear the author shared about tearing the country apart by precipitously triggering a rare provision of the Constitution to strip an elected President of his authority -- despite the risk of a reckless Trump.

As Trump's fire and fury grows, we may be headed for a reckoning in open proceedings before the courts and the Congress. Most important, there will be a reckoning at the polls this November and two years from now. An act of the Cabinet behind closed doors to decommission Trump -- if this was truly considered -- would have been greeted by his supporters as a bloodless coup. On this, I am sympathetic with the whistleblower's concern.

The Times piece was stunning and, like so much in the world of Trump, wholly unprecedented. The observations of the anonymous author certainly ring true. They are consistent with Woodward's findings about the President's erratic behavior and plenty of other reporting that has been done about it over the past two years.

Yet, at the end of the day, I still find myself wondering: If the game plan is to stay in place and continue to act as a guardrail, why write the piece at all?

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 143879

Reported Deaths: 3676
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto956999
Hinds9541193
Harrison6825105
Jackson6068116
Rankin523796
Lee480294
Madison4602102
Forrest367185
Jones344687
Lauderdale3343142
Lafayette313347
Washington3088106
Lamar281849
Bolivar237883
Oktibbeha237760
Lowndes228362
Neshoba2171113
Panola211047
Marshall207247
Leflore200789
Pontotoc193227
Monroe189577
Sunflower189554
Lincoln183964
Warren172157
Tate163349
Union160125
Pike160058
Copiah158840
Yazoo150638
Scott149929
Coahoma147342
Itawamba145533
Alcorn143724
Simpson143553
Pearl River142967
Prentiss139526
Grenada136344
Adams135948
Leake131643
Holmes124461
George121623
Tippah120930
Covington117234
Winston115824
Wayne115722
Hancock114137
Marion110746
Attala106233
Tishomingo106042
Newton102829
Chickasaw102332
Tallahatchie94727
Clarke88253
Clay86726
Jasper81121
Walthall74328
Stone72314
Montgomery71925
Calhoun71213
Carroll70514
Lawrence69914
Noxubee69017
Smith68616
Yalobusha67926
Perry65225
Tunica59519
Greene58422
Claiborne57416
Jefferson Davis54117
Humphreys52518
Amite50814
Benton48217
Quitman4786
Webster41614
Kemper40815
Wilkinson38422
Jefferson34011
Franklin3185
Sharkey30617
Choctaw3057
Issaquena1114
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 234080

Reported Deaths: 3459
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson30620491
Mobile19306358
Tuscaloosa12501148
Madison12410146
Montgomery12040232
Shelby980576
Baldwin826984
Lee753964
Morgan618247
Calhoun5997113
Etowah590564
Marshall581953
Houston507038
DeKalb463535
Cullman412636
Limestone404544
St. Clair398455
Elmore393961
Lauderdale382953
Walker349096
Talladega335942
Colbert296341
Jackson291924
Blount276336
Autauga263439
Franklin244833
Coffee233415
Dale226654
Dallas220231
Russell21803
Chilton216937
Covington212533
Escambia194431
Tallapoosa169290
Chambers168048
Pike155514
Clarke155419
Marion134535
Winston123723
Lawrence122436
Geneva11748
Marengo116924
Barbour116110
Pickens115318
Bibb114217
Butler113741
Randolph99821
Cherokee98924
Hale91631
Washington90018
Clay89423
Fayette84416
Henry8426
Lowndes78729
Monroe76811
Cleburne74414
Crenshaw70330
Macon70020
Bullock69019
Conecuh66814
Perry6686
Lamar6267
Wilcox62418
Sumter55322
Choctaw41713
Greene40217
Coosa3074
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
34° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 34°
Columbus
Clear
31° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 31°
Oxford
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 34°
Starkville
Clear
28° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 28°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather