Ari Melber Fights Back Laughter As GOP Rep Defends Trump’s Surrender To Russia

In an interview with MSNBC’s Ari Melber on Wednesday, GOP Rep. Bill Johnson of Ohio said – with a straight face – that the president clearly “has great confidence in our intelligence agencies.”

Congressman Johnson’s comments come days after Trump stood next to Vladimir Putin and sided with Russia over his own country. It also comes hours after Trump said Russia isn’t still targeting the United States.

In the interview with Melber, the Republican added that he buys into Trump’s latest spin job that he mistakenly used the word “would” instead of “wouldn’t” when answering whether he believed, as the U.S. intelligence community does, that Russia was behind the 2016 election interference.

The MSNBC host fought back laughter and then quickly shut down Rep. Johnson’s absurd comments.


Transcript of the exchange:

JOHNSON: Well, I think the president made it very clear he has great confidence in our intelligence agencies, Ari. He clarified that. He also clarified that he made a mistake during that press conference in using the word “would” instead of “wouldn’t.” I personally would rather us, rather than focus —

MELBER: So you’re on board with the would/wouldn’t thing? That’s testing a lot of people’s ability to give him the benefit of the doubt. As you know it wasn’t just “would” and “wouldn’t.” I’ll put up on the screen for your analysis, over 21 times as president Donald Trump has either denied or undercut our own intelligence agencies on Russian meddling. And he’s done it again this week. So at what point does that record beyond “would” and “wouldn’t” concern you if you are a believer in what the intelligence agencies have found?

Republicans need to stand up

Many leaders on both sides of the aisle were quick to condemn Trump for surrendering to Russia on live television. From Mitt Romney to John McCain, the backlash was swift and harsh.

The response to Trump’s performance in Helsinki was so bad, in fact, that he even felt the need to walk it back, even though his walk back made things much worse.

Still, there are some Republican lawmakers who continue to stand by Trump as he sells the farm to Russia. Rep. Bill Johnson of Ohio proved that he is one of them.

Come November, voters would be wise to remember who remained silent – or, worse, who applauded – as the president sold out his own country to the Russians.