CNN’s Alisyn Camerota pressed former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu to weigh in on the alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government during last year’s election.
And Sununu’s response, broadcast live on Monday morning, was classic.
Presidential advisor Jared Kushner “meeting with a major Russian banker of a massive bank that has connections to Vladimir Putin, nothing to see there?” Camerota questioned.
“Well, tell me what you think is there to see, and I’ll comment on it,” Sununu responded.
“What do you think would be the motivation?” she shot back.
“I don’t think there’s anything there, so you’re implying …” Sununu said as Camerota cut him off.
“So why would they do it?” she said. “So why would they meet?”
“Because, during the 10 weeks (between the election and the president takes office) everybody is trying to meet somebody who is going to be in the administration – everybody who is involved in business, everybody who is involved in politics.” said Sununu, who also served as chief of staff for George H.W. Bush between 1989 and 1991. “I can’t tell you how many people tried to meet with me when I was named chief of staff …”
“And did you meet with a Russian banker when everyone tried to meet with you?” Camerota questioned.
“No, but I had breakfast with the vice president at the Russian embassy and a lot of folks there started talking to me,” Sununu said.
Camerota then wandered into a world of what-ifs, but Sununu refused to play along.
“Would you have carved out time to meet with a Russian banker with ties to Vladimir Putin if he asked?” she questioned.
Sununu pointed out that Putin was not the man in charge during his tenure at the White House, then explained how ridiculous CNN is getting with its coverage of the alleged Trump-Russia conspiracies.
“Look, you’re asking hypotheticals on top of hypotheticals,” he said.
“I’m trying to gauge your comfort level with all of this,” Camerota said.
“The only discomfort I have is with folks in the media trying to create a venality without having the courage to specifically tell me what the venality I should be concerned about is,” Sununu shot back. “I have not identified a venality. Have you?”
“Well, you should be concerned if there was collusion,” Camerota said.
Then Sununu pointed out the obvious.
“I don’t see any evidence of collusion. Do you?” Sununu asked flatly.
“Nope,” Camerota responded.
“That should end your reporting, right there,” Sununu said.
“But we’re at the beginning of the investigation,” Camerota said.
“You’re seven months into the investigation,” Sununu corrected.
Camerota attempted to suggest the investigation “is just starting” because former FBI investigator Robert Mueller was only assigned to the case as special counsel in late May.
Sununu cut to the chase.
“Can I ask you something?” he questioned. “If Mueller comes out and says that my version is correct and yours isn’t, how much crow are you going to eat?”
“Governor, I don’t have a version of events,” Camerota responded.
“Of course you do, the half hour I listened to you is a version,” Sununu said.
“Governor, we are asking questions of these sources of people who know attempting to see where the investigation is,” Camerota said as Sununu laughed out loud.
“Without identifying a venality that should be investigated,” Sununu said, cutting Camerota off.
“Governor, we appreciate your perspective that there’s nothing to see here and that the investigation is, I don’t know, silly?” the host replied.
“Politically motivated by folks trying to rationalize a horribly run Democratic presidential campaign,” Sununu corrected.