Former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu trounced CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota in a combative debate about whether there was anything troubling so far publicly documented in the investigation into Russian collusion and meddling into the election. The exchange happened on CNN Tuesday.
"Your comfort level, with all of this?" Camerota asked the former governor in regards to recent reports about Jared Kushner asking for a "backdoor" channel to Russia.
"My comfort level?" Sununu responded. "The only discomfort I have is when folks in the media try to create a veniality without having the courage to specifically tell me what the veniality that I should be concerned about is."
"I don't have, I have not identified a veniality - have you?" he asked.
"Well, you should be concerned if there was collusion," Camerota responded, "and that's what..."
"I don't, I don't see any evidence of collusion, do you?" he interrupted.
"Nope," she answered.
"OK, well that should end your reporting right there," he demanded. "You should put an exclamation point after your 'no'!"
"Understood," Camerota responded testily, "but we're at the beginning of the investigation, so..."
"You're seven months into the investigation! Seven months!" he exclaimed.
"Not exactly, [Special Counsel] Robert Mueller has just taken over," she explained, "Robert Mueller has just taken over."
"A new investigation!" he laughed.
"Well, no I mean, look, that's not exactly fair, governor," Camerota protested, "because as you know, Congress was calling for a special counsel to do this to handle this, so that it gets away from all the partisan bickering, so it's just starting in that regard."
"Can I ask a question," he inquired, "if Mueller comes out and says that my version is correct and yours isn't, how much crow are you going to eat?"
"Governor, I don't have a version of events," she snapped.
"Of course you do!" he laughed. "The whole half hour I listened to is a version."
"Governor, we're asking questions of these sources," she explained, "of the people who know attempting to see where the investigation is, the investigation isn't complete."
"Without identifying a veniality that should be investigated," he pointed out.
"Governor," she said, "we appreciate your perspective that there's nothing to see here and that the investigation, I dunno, silly?"
"Politically motivated by folks trying to rationalize a horribly run Democratic presidential campaign," Sununu concluded.
The media spotlight has focused on President Trump's son-in-law and top aide, Jared Kushner, over a report from the Washington Post that he sought a "back door" channel of communications with the Russian government in December 2016. Some critics of the Trump administration have claimed that if true, the report would constitute espionage on the part of Kushner, while defenders of the president have said there was nothing unusual in the request.