Tuesday on CNN’s “New Day,” former chief of staff to President George H. W. Bush and former Gov. John H. Sununu (R-NH) pushed back against CNN’s coverage of the Trump-Russia investigation in an interview with co-host Alisyn Camerota.
Partial transcript as follows:
CAMEROTA: Is there anything about the Russian — investigation connected to the Trump campaign that troubles you?
SUNUNU: Yeah, but the reporting that’s taking place and the exaggeration of the venality and the suggestion — look, it’s now seven months since the election, and to this day, no one has cited a single piece of evidence. In your last segment, you guys were patting yourselves on the back because you said Clapper had passed the responsibility off to the FBI. But you forget that in the last weeks of the administration, Obama allowed all his intelligence agencies to share their information. And there is no question in my mind that when that happen since Clapper’s group had originated this, that anything the FBI had would have gone back to Clapper. So it is nice for Capper to try and wash his hands of it by throwing it in the FBI’s lap, but he had access in those days to whatever the FBI had. There is nothing there.
CAMEROTA: So Jared Kushner, meeting with a major Russian banker of a massive bank that has connections to Vladimir Putin, nothing to see there?
SUNUNU: Well tell me what you think is to see there and I’ll comment on it.
CAMEROTA: What do you think would be the motivation?
SUNUNU: I don’t think there’s anything there. So you’re implying —
CAMEROTA: Why would they meet?
SUNUNU: Because during the ten weeks everybody is trying to meet somebody who is going to be in the administration — everybody who’s involved in business, everybody who is involved in politics. I can’t tell you how many people tried to meet with me between the time I was named chief of staff…
CAMEROTA: Did you meet with a Russian banker?
SUNUNU: No but I had breakfast with the vice president at the Russian embassy and but a lot of folks there started talking to me.
CAMEROTA: Would you have carved out time to meet with a Russian banker with ties to Vladimir Putin if he asked?
SUNUNU: I’m not even sure what would have happened. First of all, Putin wasn’t there. Look, you’re asking hypotheticals on hypotheticals.
CAMEROTA: I’m trying to actually take your temperature. I’m trying to gauge your comfort level with all of this.
SUNUNU: My comfort level? 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 venality I should be concerned about is. I don’t have — I don’t have venality. Do you?
CAMEROTA: You should be concerned if there was collusion.
SUNUNU: I don’t see any evidence of collusion. Do you?
SUNUNU: Okay. So that should end your reporting right there. You should put an explanation point after your no.
CAMEROTA: I understand. But we’re at the beginning of the investigation.
SUNUNU: You’re seven months into the investigation.
CAMEROTA: Not exactly. Robert Mueller has just taken over.
SUNUNU: So it is a new investigation?
CAMEROTA: No Look that’s not exactly fair, Governor.
SUNUNU: The Obama investigation went on for the last…
CAMEROTA: To do this, to handling this so it gets away from all the partisan bickering. It is just starting in that regard.
SUNUNU: Can I ask a question? If Mueller comes out and says that my version is correct and yours isn’t, how much crow are you going to eat?
CAMEROTA: Governor, I don’t have a version of events.
SUNUNU: Of course you do.
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN