Cooper: Trump's witnesses problematic

CNN's Anderson Cooper points out the flaws in the eyewitness accounts the White House claims disprove President Trump's alleged misconduct by his accusers.

Posted: Dec 12, 2017 11:31 AM

On Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted.

"Despite thousands of hours wasted and many millions of dollars spent, the Democrats have been unable to show any collusion with Russia - so now they are moving on to the false accusations and fabricated stories of women who I don't know and/or have never met," he wrote. "FAKE NEWS!"

There are several things that just aren't true in that tweet. Here's a list:

1. Trump says that "the Democrats" have spent "millions of dollars" and "wasted" thousands of hours in an attempt to prove he colluded with the Russians during the 2016 campaign.

Not true. Special counsel Robert Mueller, a former Republican-appointed FBI director, was appointed to be special counsel by deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who works under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is a longtime Republican. And, yes, Sessions was nominated for that job by none other than Trump himself. Democrats have, without question, pushed the idea that the available evidence suggests collusion occurred. But Democrats don't control the Justice Department or the House and Senate. These investigations are all being led by either Republican appointees or Republican elected officials.

2. Trump says no collusion with Russia has been shown.

Trump has repeatedly insisted that there is no collusion. Which might well be true! But it isn't clear right now. It's more like unproven. No one -- not Mueller and not the congressional committees looking into the matter -- has said anything definitive about collusion. "The committee continues to look into all evidence to see if there was any hint of collusion," said Sen. Richard Burr, the Republican head of the Senate intelligence committee, in October. Mueller hasn't spoken publicly about the investigation at all.

3. Trump has said he doesn't know and has never met the women accusing him of sexual harassment.

This is provably false.

Summer Zervos, one of the accusers, was a contestant on the fifth season of "The Apprentice." Trump, obviously, met her. In fact, he's said he did! "I vaguely remember Ms. Zervos as one of the many contestants on The Apprentice over the years," Trump said.

In 2005, Natasha Stoynoff went to Mar-A-Lago to do a story for People magazine on Trump's marriage to Melania Trump on the one-year anniversary of their nuptials. She interviewed both Trumps. He clearly met her.

Then there is the fact that White House press secretary Sarah Sanders insisted during her briefing on Monday that "in terms of the specific eyewitness accounts (disputing the allegations) there have been multiple reports, and I'd be happy to provide them to you after the briefing has completed."

So, if Trump has never met these women and doesn't know them, how can there be "eyewitness accounts" that call into question the veracity of the accusations made against Trump?

Three inaccuracies. One tweet. This is the rule, not the exception for a President who is making 5.5 misleading or totally false statements every day he is in office, according to the Washington Post Fact Checker.

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