In an interview with CBS News broadcast on Sunday, Democratic presidential candidate Eric Swalwell suggested that President Donald Trump acts like a spoiled child.
The California Democrat appeared on Face The Nation to discuss the latest developments pertaining to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election interference.
While other Democrats in the race have focused on policy issues, largely ignoring the Trump-Russia saga, Swalwell has made this the core issue of his campaign, so it comes as no surprise that his discussion with host Margaret Brennan centered on the allegations that Donald Trump works for — or with — the Russian government.
Brennan kicked off the discussion by asking Swalwell whether it was appropriate for Democrat Steve Cohen to eat Kentucky Fried Chicken in Congress, in what was an apparent attempt to mock the no-show Attorney General William Barr.
The Democrats have taken aim at Barr, accusing him of acting as Donald Trump’s personal attorney. Clearly frustrated by the way he has been treated, Barr refused to appear before the House Judiciary Committee.
Swalwell defended his colleague’s behavior, stating that the Democrats want to “highlight that America was attacked by the Russians in 2016.” According to the Democrat, Barr should have complied with the committee’s requests because the American people need to be “protected” from foreign attacks.
Echoing the sentiment expressed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats, Swalwell accused Barr of lying, and mischaracterizing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report.
Rep. @ericswalwell on AG Barr: “The basic function of a government is to protect its people from a foreign attack and we needed the attorney general to come to Congress…and he chose not to show up and there's gonna be consequences for that.” https://t.co/iXp4zSaNfm pic.twitter.com/gqslKShf66
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) May 5, 2019
Acknowledging that Mueller wrote in his report about “sweeping and systematic” interference by the Kremlin, host Margaret Brennan reminded her guest that Mueller found no Trump-Russia conspiracy, failing to establish coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. She then asked the California Democrat whether he still believes that Trump works for the Russian government.
The California Congressman stuttered, saying that it is “hard to draw a conclusion about conspiracy,” since the Mueller team did not investigate Trump’s financial dealings enough.
“No, actually I- I- I think I should have been louder, considering the top of your show and you talked about the phone call between Vladimir Putin and the president, at the president’s request,” Swalwell said, referring to a Friday phone call between Trump and Putin.
“I think he acts on their behalf,” he added.
Rep. Eric Swalwell says he believes Trump acts on Russia's behalf and points out that Trump didn't discuss election interference in his recent call with Putin: "I think 10 years from now we are going to look at what happened this week and we're going to say, are you kidding me?" pic.twitter.com/BvvjvZKTu6
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 5, 2019
Even though he still claims that Trump works for Russia, Swalwell thinks that the president should not be impeached, at least not yet. According to the congressman, Attorney General William Barr should be impeached first.
The presidential candidate then moved on from impeachment, suggesting that President Trump is acting like a spoiled child.
“When my son misbehaves, we take a toy away,” Swalwell began, suggesting that the president needs to be shown that there are consequences for his actions.
“We have a really bad kid at the White House and unless we start showing that there are consequences for their actions, he’s only going to get worse,” he said.
“Bob Mueller should not testify,” President Trump said on Twitter, setting up another possible confrontation with Democrats over the Russia inquiry https://t.co/sOvm6Cd2Ee
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 5, 2019
Democratic presidential candidate Eric Swalwell concluded the interview by reminding CBS News’s viewers that he will — if he manages to win the presidency — impose new sanctions on Russia on the first day in office.
The Democrat would also “go on a global affirmation tour” to ensure American allies that Russia will be kept in check.