Senator Tom Cotton joined me this morning:
HH: I am joined now by United States Senator Tom Cotton from Arkansas. Good morning, Senator. I just want to give you the floor for your commentary on the New Yorker piece and the reaction in the Senate yesterday.
TC: Hugh, the New Yorker piece, written by two reporters, one, Jane Mayer, a tin foil hat conspiracy theorist who has spent most of her life slandering Clarence Thomas without any evidence, and Ronan Farrow, who has had a run of recent reporting until this story, and unfortunately, has badly undermined his credibility by teaming up with Jane Mayer in publishing a story that is so thinly-sourced, that contains no evidence whatsoever, that undermines by the New York Times’ own reporting. I mean, the New York Times said that this story did not meet their standards. Hugh, whenever you have a story that makes a Republican look bad and the New York Times won’t run it because it doesn’t meet their standards, that’s a pretty weak story.
HH: Yeah, and I believe it has blown up in their hands. And I like the Leader’s comments, and I know that tomorrow’s hearing, or Thursday’s hearing will matter a great deal. But at this point, I am hoping that every member of the caucus is aware that McCarthyism is loose in the land and that it’s just got to be snuffed out.
TC: Yeah, so Hugh, no, the Democrats and the media have spent a lot of the last couple of years talking about undermining basic democratic norms. They should look in the mirror. Talk about undermining basic democratic norms of due process and the presumption of innocence. These are things that go back 800 years to the Magna Carta. And the Democrats, like Mazie Hirono or Richard Blumenthal or other senators are essentially saying that Brett Kavanaugh is guilty simply because he faces an allegation, allegations in the New Yorker article, that are completely unsupported by any evidence and that by the accuser’s own admission only came to her after she spent six days working with a former elected Democrat and her lawyer, and allegations from Ms. Ford that are disputed by the four people she claims were in the house at the time what she said happened, happened. Now she’ll have a chance to present her case on Thursday. But some of the statements by my Democratic colleagues truly not just resemble McCarthyism, they resemble the kind of Stalinist show trials you saw in the Soviet Union, that merely making an accusation is enough if it’s in the greater interests of the party and the state, as Mazie Hirono essentially said on Jake Tapper’s show on Sunday.
HH: Speaking of the Soviet Union, I want to switch while we have time. Yesterday, Tommy Vietor, who is one of the kiddy corps of keystone cops that ran Obama White House foreign policy, tweeted out that “the S-300 sale is a game-changer for which Israeli and U.S. planes flying over Syria, which makes this weak-ass statement surprising,” referring to a statement by Senator Bolton critical of the sale. “Maybe say please next time,” to which I responded “400,000 Syrians would agree with you, Tommy, if they had not been murdered in a genocide that progressed in the face of invisible ink red lines and carried out in part by the jayvees and their evil counterparts,” to which Tommy —and he calls himself Tommy— wrote back, “The war has been raging since Trump took office, Hugh. He’s done nothing about it besides disable a runway for a few hours and lock out all refugees,” to which I responded “I think the jayvees are off the field thanks to the American military and strategy adopted by @RealDonaldTrump. Not many American sailors seized by Iranians, either, since January of ’17. New red lines are really red, not invisible.” His parting shot? “Very cool to attack the Navy for no reason. Thanks for reminding me that you’re not a serious person, Hugh. Good luck with the continued destruction of the GOP brand.”
I can handle Tommy Vietor, Tom Cotton. I’m curious about the S-300’s that launched this. What did you make of the National Security Advisor’s statement yesterday?
TC: Hugh, I’ll leave it to you to fight with the Obama Bros and all the interns and the van drivers or whatever they did on his campaigns and at the White House.
TC: It’s right, unfortunately, that almost half a million people died on Obama’s watch. And I think if I’m not mistaken, you had John Kerry on your show a couple of weeks ago, the Secretary of State, not an intern or a bus/van driver at the White House, who essentially admitted that President Obama choked on Syria.
HH: Yes, he did.
TC: …and made a very bad decision. And I obviously have a lot of disagreements with John Kerry, but I’d give his word on that, the Secretary of State’s, a little more credence than an intern at the White House.
HH: But what about this air defense? Do we have to get rid of it?
TC: So those, that is a serious air defense system, Hugh, however American and Israeli technology is plainly superior to Russian technology in this case. And as you saw last week, Russians and Syrians can’t even deconflict their own airspace. They’re shooting each other’s planes out of the sky. We don’t have to respond directly for that. There’s many different levers that we can pull to make Russia realize that there’s a cost for putting those kind of air defense systems in Syria. And I’m confident that the president and the administration will pull some of those levers if Russia moves forward with it.
HH: It was quite a show yesterday with the Secretary of State and Ambassador Bolton and Nikki Haley. I just think we are very well-represented at UNGA this week. Last 30 seconds to you, Senator Cotton.
TC: Yes, we have an outstanding national security team led by Secretary Pompeo on the diplomatic front. And I thought they did very well at the U.N. General Assembly, and I look forward to seeing the president’s speech as well.
HH: Senator Tom Cotton, always a pleasure. Has Arkansas worked on its punt return defense, yet, Senator?
TC: Yeah, we need to improve in a lot of areas, Hugh. I think even the Cleveland Browns could beat us.
HH: We did. We would. We’re on the rise. Thank you, Senator Cotton.
End of interview.