CNN’s Jake Taper declared in his opening monologue on State of the Union on Sunday that if President Donald Trump vetoed new bipartisan legislation imposing sanctions on Russia for allegedly interfering in the 2016 election, that would mean “siding with Putin.”
Congress, ignoring the White House’s appeals and reaching an agreement to slap new, sweeping sanctions on Russia for meddling in the presidential election. This, now, the first real test for President Trump on this issue. Is he willing to punish Vladimir Putin for that election interference, even though the White House has said it wants to move on from it. Is he really contemplating his first-ever veto of this bill, siding with Putin over the overwhelming sentiment of the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress?
Tapper added: “The White House specifically says it objects to a provision in the sanction bill that gives Congress the power to override the president should he choose to ease the sanction.”
The president has raised doubts over whether Russia has been proved to have interfered in the election, citing the Democratic National Committee’s refusal to turn over its hacked email server to investigators, among other reasons.
However, White House sources told the New York Times that he is unlikely to veto the measure, which passed with overwhelming support. The bill includes sanctions on North Korea and Iran as well as Russia.
In a 2003 article for the left-wing Salon.com headlined “The hyping of Saddam’s WMD,” Tapper took a critical look at the claims by members of the Bush administration — and Democrats with ambitions for higher office — that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.
“Bush allies and opponents alike have criticized the administration for overstating the urgency of the threat,” he wrote, adding: “Whether that escalation was based on new and possibly shoddy intelligence data, or the political needs at the time, is a matter for the committees to resolve.”
The issue of WMD — and faulty intelligence claims — were a repeated theme for Tapper in his writing for Salon.
Tapper expressed no such skepticism on Sunday as he cited intelligence reports on Russia’s efforts to intervene.
The Obama administration repeatedly tried to stop or slow new congressional sanctions on Iran. No one in the mainstream media dared suggest Obama was “siding with Iran,” though Obama made that accusation against critics of the Iran nuclear deal, whom he said were making “common cause” with “those hardliners chanting ‘Death to America’.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.