A cable news discussion that was already off the rails went into straight-up batshit crazy ‘Did he just say that?’ mode on Tuesday night when a CNN political commentator went full birther.
Of course, that commentator was none other than Corey Lewandowski, the former Trump campaign manager who got himself a network pundit job days after Donald Trump fired him. And the discussion happened on Don Lemon’s broadcast, to no one’s surprise.
On the same day that network president Jeff Zucker praised the Lewandowski hire in response to media critics lambasting the move, the pugnacious GOP operative decided to make mincemeat of CNN’s little remaining credibility. During a panel discussion about President Obama’s recent comments about Donald Trump’s temperament and Republicans’ support of him, Lewandowski revived Trump’s birther attacks on POTUS.
Speaking to Lemon, the ex(?)-Trump staffer said that Obama should not get involved in partisan politics, at least not in the environment of his Tuesday remarks. Sure, he can campaign for Hillary Clinton, but he shouldn’t insert himself otherwise. After noting that this now makes him fair game for a Trump attack, contributor Angela Rye pointed out that the real estate mogul has been going after Obama for years.
In response to Rye bringing up Trump’s birther allegations and demand for Obama’s Harvard transcripts, Lewandowski decided now was as good a time as any to ask where those pesky transcripts were.
From Media Matters’ transcript of the segment:
LEWANDOWSKI: Did he ever release his transcripts from Harvard?
RYE: By the way, tell me about those tax returns, while you’re at it.
LEWANDOWSKI: Well you raised the issue, I’m just asking. You raised the issue, did he ever release his transcripts or his admission to Harvard University? You raised the issue, so just “yes,” or “no.”
RYE: Corey? Just a moment, I’m going to Beyonce you. Boy, bye. You just so out of line right now, tell your candidate to release his tax returns.
LEWANDOWSKI: Don’t raise the issue if you don’t want to address it.
RYE: Two words, tax returns. Tax returns.
LEWANDOWSKI: Harvard University transcripts. You raised the issue, did he ever release them?
LEMON: OK, let me ask you something. Let me ask you something — What is the importance of Barack Obama’s Harvard transcript?
LEWANDOWSKI: It’s not, she brought the issue up.
LEMON: I’m asking you, how is — hold on. How is it germane to the election, and the American people?
LEWANDOWSKI: Look, The only reason it’s germane is because she brought the issue up, and said Donald Trump raised the issue of his Harvard transcripts. And I just simply said “have those transcripts ever been released?” And the question was “did he get in as a U.S. citizen, or was he brought in to Harvard University as a citizen who wasn’t from this country?”
Both Rye and fellow panelist Bakari Sellers blew up in disbelief, with Sellers just repeating “no” about a dozen times.
This seemed like the perfect way to end Trump’s day, honestly. In less than 24 hours, we saw the former reality TV star kick a baby out of his rally, talk shit about a city he held a rally in the previous day, his campaign spokesperson blame Obama for Capt. Humayun Khan’s 2004 death, Trump and Bill O’Reilly have a white resentment dance-off, numerous Republicans endorse Hillary Clinton and campaign manager Paul Manafort having to dismiss reports that his staff is suicidal.
So, yeah, Corey going birther fits right in.