Donald Trump campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson was repeatedly pressed by CNN host Wolf Blitzer Tuesday over the real estate mogul’s conflicting positions on the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton.
Blitzer played Pierson a 2007 video clip of Trump calling the impeachment “nonsense” and asked Pierson to respond.
“As a private citizen, when you are talking about someone you know and you are a friend with, that’s something you would say,” she said.
“At the time, he said it was nonsense,” Blitzer replied. “The whole impeachment process. He said, in that same interview — you know what else he said? He said the then-president of the United States, George W. Bush, he should be impeached for getting the U.S. involved in the war in Iraq.”
“But Wolf, you and I both know, as a private citizen you are not privy to a lot of the information you might be as a journalist or as someone might be as a sitting politician,” Pierson argued.
“But all the information we knew then in 2007, we’ve known that,” Blitzer countered. “We’ve known what happened in 1993, ’94, ’95, ’98.”
“But you don’t know what Mr. Trump knew at that time,” Pierson said. “You can project that onto him. But not everyone sits down and watches cable news 24/7 either. Mr. Trump was very busy building an empire.”
That argument didn’t quell Blitzer’s line of inquiry and he continued to press Pierson.
“In 2007 when I interviewed him, they said they tried to impeach him which was ‘nonsense.’ Does he still believe that? That it was ‘nonsense’ to try to impeach then-President Bill Clinton?” the CNN host asked.
“No, he actually brings that up and mentions that Bill Clinton was impeached because that’s extremely important because this is the same individual that we’re talking about putting back into the White House,” Pierson said.
“So what is his position now? Was it appropriate to impeach him?” Blitzer pressed.
“Well, back then, again according to the information he had at the time and as a friend, as a private citizen, he thought it was nonsense,” Pierson said. “At this point in time, yes. He lied. Everybody knows that now.”
“But everybody — in 2007 when he said that we all knew what happened during the impeachment process. We all knew what happened—,” Blitzer noted before Pierson interjected.
“But again, he was also a friend and a private citizen just defending a friend,” the Trump spokeswoman claimed.
“You know, it seems to me that in 2007 he knew what happened in 1998, 1999, during the impeachment process. Right? The whole world was watching it live on TV. … It’s not like anything new came out between 1998, 1999 and 2007,” Blitzer shot back.
“But the fact remains that he was a private citizen as well as a friend just defending a friend,” Pierson insisted. “That doesn’t change no matter what happened prior to ’97 or after. Today, he acknowledges that yes, this was definitely a problem and we are looking at putting the same man back into the White House.”
“But the point is the information doesn’t change if you are a private citizen saying something in 2007—,” Blitzer countered.
“But the way you respond does,” Pierson said.
“What do you mean the way you respond?” Blitzer asked.
“Because if you’re a friend—,” Pierson said before being cut off by Blitzer.
“Did he not mean it in 2007 when he said impeachment was ‘nonsense’?” the CNN host asked.
“They were friends, Wolf. Absolutely,” Pierson said.
“So he now means it? It wasn’t nonsense?” Blitzer continued to press. “Is that what you’re saying. That because he’s a politician now he says something different than when he was a private citizen?”
“He’s being honest. He’s being honest,” Pierson said.
“When is he being honest? In 2007 when he said it was ‘nonsense’ or is he being honest now?” Blitzer asked.
“When you are being a friend and a private citizen, you defend your friend. That’s what he did,” Pierson reiterated. “Today, it is a problem because Bill Clinton was impeached for lying under oath for doing things inappropriate with an intern at the White House. Is it the same person we are going to put in the White House again? I don’t think so. The criticism is there because it’s really simple. At that time, he was a friend.”
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