During an interview on CNN on Thursday, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) stunned hosts Jim Sciutto and Poppy Harlow by refusing to say whether he thought President Donald Trump should be allowed to do anything he wants to win the 2020 election, and arguing that even he if does it in order to win it’s not an impeachable offense.
The hosts asked Barrasso what he made of Trump lawyer Alan Dershowitz’s now-infamous argument that the president shouldn’t be impeached for shaking down a foreign government to win help with his election on the grounds that he believes getting reelected is in the public interest.
“What’s your reaction to that extremely expansive definition of presidential power?” Sciutto asked him. “Do you reject that argument?”
“What I’m saying is, presidents have specific powers under the Constitution, I listened to Dershowitz make that case yesterday, and what he is saying is even if the case is proven by the House, it still doesn’t rise to the level of impeachment,” Barrasso replied.
Sciutto, however, pressed him to answer the question.
“You don’t want to say yes or no on whether the President, if he deems reelection in the national interest, can do anything he deems necessary to get elected?” he asked.
“Every President believes his or her election is in the national interest,” he replied, and then pivoted to attacking former President Barack Obama.
Watch the video below.
.@jimsciutto: “You don't want to say yes or no on whether the President, if he deems reelection in the national interest, can do anything he deems necessary to get elected?”
@SenJohnBarrasso: “Every President believes his or her election is in the national interest.” pic.twitter.com/rdCS70UTxF
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) January 30, 2020
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