pulling no punches
July 13, 2017

White House senior aide Sebastian Gorka came out swinging Wednesday night in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper. Gorka started out by denying CNN's descriptions of a "crisis" and "a bunker mentality" in the White House following the release of Donald Trump Jr.'s emails confirming he'd met with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer during the presidential election in the hopes of securing compromising information about Hillary Clinton. "I actually work in the West Wing. I work in the White House. It is absolutely nothing of the kind," Gorka said.

Gorka then switched to offense, laying into CNN for pushing "fake news." "I'm sad to see CNN fall to this. I know you want salacious, sensational coverage for your ratings so your corporate sponsors and owners will have more money but that's not media. That's not reportage. It's just fake news," Gorka said.

Cooper refused to bite. "I'm just going to ignore the insults because I don't think it really gets us anywhere," Cooper said. He then turned back to the news, asking about President Trump's tweet claiming that when the "Fake Media" uses anonymous sources, "often times those sources are made up." Cooper asked whether that still stood, considering Trump's son recently verified anonymously sourced reporting when he published his own emails.

But Gorka wasn't done attacking CNN, bringing up a correction the network once had to make. Cooper agreed CNN's "reporting was wrong" and noted it was corrected, before trying once again to get back to the topic of Trump Jr.'s emails and the president's recent Twitter attack on anonymous sources.

Gorka responded by lauding Trump Jr.'s "transparency" and slamming the "fake news industrial complex" for giving the Russia story "legs."

Watch the exchange below. Becca Stanek

May 9, 2017

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) just let America know what she really thinks about Rep. Raul Labrador's (R-Idaho) recent claim that "nobody dies because they don't have access to health care." In an interview with progressive podcast Pod Save America, released Monday, Harris declared that Labrador's statement just "doesn't make sense on a fundamental level." "This guy, this congressman, you might as well say, 'Well, people don't starve because they don't have food,'" Harris said. "What the f--k is that?"

In Harris' opinion, the battle over health care as Republicans fight to repeal and replace ObamaCare is "an issue of values." Harris accused Republicans of viewing health care as "a privilege and not a right." "If you can pay for it, you can get it," she said, explaining her view of Republicans' stance.

Harris dismissed Republicans' "happy talk" as "not true," suggesting that what's really happening is that "these folks are playing politics with public health." "If the Republicans want people to lose their health care, then the Republicans need to lose their job," Harris said.

Listen to the interview below, starting around the 42:30 mark. Becca Stanek

November 29, 2016

Incoming Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) didn't mince words Tuesday in a response to President-elect Donald Trump's appointment of Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), a vocal critic of the Affordable Care Act, as secretary of health and human services. "Nominating Congressman Price to be the HHS secretary is akin to asking the fox to guard the hen house," Schumer said in a statement.

Schumer said Price, who is also in favor of privatizing Medicare, "has proven to be far out of the mainstream of what Americans want when it comes to Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, and Planned Parenthood." "Thanks to those three programs, millions of American seniors, families, people with disabilities, and women have access to quality, affordable health care," Schumer said in the statement.

Schumer has been clear about his opposition to House Speaker Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) proposal to privatize Medicare, and he has already vowed Republicans will "rue the day" they attempt to abolish ObamaCare. Becca Stanek

November 21, 2016

After repeatedly criticizing Hillary Clinton throughout the presidential election for her track record of giving paid speeches, President-elect Donald Trump is now considering a man for his Cabinet who made $16 million in one year alone off of paid speeches and consulting work. Morning Joe co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough were quick to point out the irony on Monday's show, citing The New York Times' report that former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani delivered 108 speeches in 11 countries in 2006. Notably, one of the groups Giuliani gave speeches to, an Iranian-opposition group called MEK, was considered a terrorist organization until Clinton became secretary of state.

"Is Donald Trump going to call Rudy Giuliani 'Crooked Rudy' now?" Scarborough asked, referencing Trump's nickname for Clinton. Maybe, seeing as how Trump "often seeks out" Scarborough for guidance, as The New York Times reports.

"I think you ought to call him 'Rudy Out Front,'" Brzezinski said. "Because he's always out in front of the president-elect, always out in front embarrassing him, always out in front talking about everything he's been offered."

Since Trump's election, Giuliani has been a rumored contender for attorney general or secretary of state.

Watch the Morning Joe co-hosts ponder the Giuliani revelations below. Becca Stanek

June 14, 2016

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi promised to go after anyone who harms the gay community to "the fullest extent of the law" after Sunday's deadly shooting at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando. On Tuesday, CNN's Anderson Cooper called B.S.

"Do you really think you're a champion of the gay community?" Cooper asked Bondi, reminding her that she had previously argued that gay marriage could "impose significant public harm." He told her gay people he spoke to in Orlando thought she was a "hypocrite."

Bondi maintained that she was just defending the opinion of a majority of Floridians, as well as the state's constitution, by upholding that position in court. She then repeatedly tried to return to talking about the victims of the Orlando shooting, but Cooper refused to let his question go.

"I will say I have never really seen you talk about gay and lesbians and transgender people in a positive way until now," Cooper said. "I read your Twitter history for the last year and you were tweeting about, you know, National Dog Month and National Shelter dog appreciation day or adopt a shelter dog day. It is Gay Pride Month. You never even tweeted about Gay Pride Month."

Watch the entirety of Cooper's brutal interrogation below. Becca Stanek

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