If a blind squirrel can occasionally find a nut, then so too can CNN occasionally find a shred of truth.
That idiom bore true Thursday morning when a CNN anchor — seriously, if you can believe it — actually held a Biden administration member’s feet to the fire over the White House’s constant demurring regarding the troubled Hunter Biden.
Ian Sams, special assistant to the president in the White House Counsel’s Office, appeared on Thursday’s edition of “CNN This Morning,” and he probably was expecting a string of softball questions.
He did not get that.
Far from it, in fact.
Sams and CNN host Phil Mattingly covered a wide spread of topics during the former’s 8-minute appearance, and while it started well enough, it ended in some mild controversy.
Take a look for yourself below:
“Republicans in the House are just rewinding the tape and running it again to try to score political points against the president instead of doing their actual jobs for the American people.”@IanSams46 responds to House GOP impeachment inquiry: pic.twitter.com/ls0md9HC6z
— CNN This Morning (@CNNThisMorning) December 14, 2023
Mattingly opened things up by mentioning the ongoing impeachment inquiries against President Joe Biden, which Sams vociferously denounced.
“These [House Republicans] have made up and moved the goal posts every step of the way of this investigation,” Sams said. “It’s all baseless. They’ve been investigating the president all year long.”
Moving goal posts to help spur impeachment proceedings? Is Sams talking about Democrats?
All joking aside, it’s rather laughable that Sams would dare suggest Republicans are cutting corners of these impeachment proceedings when a quartet of spurious, weaponized charges hang like the sword of Damocles over former President Donald Trump — the likely 2024 GOP presidential candidate and Biden’s chief political rival.
Mattingly, perhaps realizing the absurdity of these claims, finally pushed back a bit towards the end of the exchange when the topic of conversation moved to Hunter Biden’s legal woes, which the incumbent has been strongly linked to.
“In the statement that Hunter Biden made yesterday, he said, ‘Let me say this as clearly as I can: My father is not financially involved in my business,'” Mattingly said. “He was unequivocal about that.
“But that is an evolution of where the president had been during the campaign, where the White House had been at the start of the administration.
“‘Not involved financially’ in the business is very different than ‘never talked about the business’ or ‘not been involved in the business at all.’ Was that an intentional point of clarity, do you think?”
“I actually dispute the whole premise of that question,” Sams responded.
“Why?” Mattingly asked.
“It’s one of Jim Jordan’s favorite little shiny objects is to try and take a semantic thing and make an argument that is somehow far afield from what they’re actually focusing on,” Sams said.
The White House spokesman continued: “We’ve been extremely clear, over and over again, for years, and nothing has changed. The president was not in business with his son. Period.
“[Republicans] are trying to make up all sorts of allegations …”
It’s at this point that Mattingly couldn’t hold his tongue any longer.
“Ian, with respect, I’m not citing Jim Jordan here,” the CNN correspondent said. “I was in some of the White House press briefings where it was said explicitly the president did not talk to his son about business dealings.
“That is very clearly not the case, and I think the statement from the White House has changed … over the course of the last several months. It’s what the president said on the campaign trail, as well.
“I’m not saying this is like an impeachable offense or some grand indictment, but it is a fact that the president said one thing that ended up being not true.”
Mattingly almost stuck the landing (impeach Biden, please) but his point was rock solid: Quit trying to make this a semantics game and answer the dang question.
“Again, I dispute that that’s true,” Sams said in one of the weakest defenses ever presented on national television. “That is not true. The truth is that he wasn’t in business with his son. The Republicans have been, for years, trying to make arguments that he was somehow wrapped up in all this.”
“Again, I’m not saying he was in business with his son,” Mattingly tried to interject.
“Over and over again, those [allegations] have been refuted,” Sams continued, before again accusing Republicans of engaging in “semantics games.”
Sams then stressed that all of these allegations are false and based on non-truths, before Mattingly finally relented and let Sams go.
Look, it would’ve been nicer to see Mattingly use that spine he just sprouted a bit more forcefully, but his point remains: Democrats can deflect and blame Republicans as much as they want … But they’re not actually answering any of these salacious questions that are actively weighing down the president’s re-election hopes.
There is a big, massive, glaring difference between “never discussing business” and “not being in business.” Democrats are clearly hoping that their blind sheep will be stupid enough to take that rather massive semantic difference at face value.
If CNN, of all entities, can see that ruse for what it is, that’s bad, bad news for the Biden administration.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.