Anderson Cooper opened his show Anderson Cooper 360° this evening by talking about Andrew Puzder’s withdraw from consideration as labor secretary. He introduced CNN correspondent Phil Mattingly to dig further into the situation. Cooper asked him what was behind Puzder’s decision to withdraw.
“Officially, there was frustration with the process. There was disappointment with the attacks he has been facing. The reality — he didn’t have the votes,” Mattingly answered, adding that there were as many as four GOP senators who were firmly against him.
When it came down to it, the numbers just didn’t add up. Senior GOP officials told the White House it was time to withdraw the nomination, and that’s why Andrew Puzder will not be the next labor secretary.
“What specific issue created the opposition among Republicans?” Cooper asked.
“There were so many. And you don’t see this very often with a nominee, but over the course of 48 hours, I’ve talked to multiple Republican senators and most every single one had a different issue,” Mattingly answered, adding that Puzder’s hiring of an undocumented immigrant didn’t sit well with some Republicans.
Mattingly also discussed allegations of domestic abuse — something the Huffington Post picked up on as well.
“A 27-year-old episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show featuring the ex-wife of labor secretary nominee Andrew Puzder discussing domestic violence has been obtained by Politico. The episode, titled ‘High Class Battered Women,’ aired in 1990.”
The article adds that Lisa Fierstein, who used a pseudonym and wore a wig and dark glasses, told viewers that her ex-husband threatened to get revenge after she went public with claims of abuse.
After talking about the video, Mattingly told Anderson Cooper that there was also a blitz by labor groups from the outside really putting a lot of pressure and it was not just on the Democrats.
“The idea of a Trump nominee would be sunk with only 51 Republicans needed to put the nomination through — it seemed like an impossibility,” Mattingly claimed.
Soon, Anderson Cooper moved onto the Michael Flynn controversy. He noted that Flynn is off the hook with the FBI, but his access to classified information has been suspended and is pending a review.
CNN Justice Correspondent Pamela Brown then delved further into Michael Flynn’s situation.
“For now, Michael Flynn is off the hook with the FBI. We’re learning that the FBI is not expecting to pursue charges against Donald Trump’s former embattled national security adviser…They don’t believe he was intentionally misleading about his phone call to the Russian ambassador,” Brown informed, adding there is still an ongoing broader FBI investigation and that other Donald Trump aides had talked to Russia as well.
When Cooper asked Brown why Trump aides where talking to Russia, Brown said that the intent of the communications between people close to Trump and the Russians is not completely clear. She said there is a concern that Trump’s aides were collaborating over the release of damaging information about the Hillary Clinton campaign.
“Just to be clear, we don’t know what the nature of these conversations were — whether it was about ongoing business deals that people in Trump’s administration may have had. Is that what it was?” Cooper asked, trying to get more specifics.
Brown said that it could be something beyond that, but — for now — it’s difficult to prove. Then, Senior White House Correspondent Jim Acosta was introduced and talked about Vice President Mike Pence being kept in the dark about the situation regarding Michael Flynn for weeks.
What do you make of the situation regarding Andrew Puzder and Michael Flynn? Do you think Anderson Cooper is being objective when covering events surrounding these two? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
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