CNN’s Don Lemon called John Kasich, the former Ohio governor, a Trump “apologist” for arguing that there was no “clear quid pro quo” in the conversation between Trump and the president of Ukraine.
The discussion: Kasich, a CNN contributor, agreed Monday there should be an inquiry into allegations against Trump following the submission of the whistleblower’s complaint, but argued it is also “incumbent on the Democrats to lay out a very strong case.”
“The case has got to be so clear about how wrong this is so that people who are reasonable Republicans” will agree, Kasich told Lemon, according to BizPac Review.
“Maybe it’s incumbent upon the politicians, the people who are actually leaders, to tell the people exactly what’s going on instead of having the president and his apologists shape a message that is not true, because anybody with half a brain who read that transcript knows exactly what the president was saying,” Lemon responded.
“It is obvious. It’s not nebulous. It’s not, ‘Well, maybe he meant that.’ You know exactly what he meant. All you have to do is read it,” Lemon added.
“Wait, wait, wait, you can’t say stuff like that,” Kasich said, adding: “You can’t say that.”
“John, did you read the transcript?” Lemon asked.
“Yeah, I read the transcript. Of course, I did!” Kasich replied.
“Well, were you confused by what it meant?” Lemon asked.
Kasich agreed that there should be an investigation into the allegations but said he “did not see a clear quid pro quo.”
Lemon pressed by saying, “John, if you asked me to do something, if you said, ‘Don, I need something from you’ and I said to you, ‘John, yes, but I need you to do me a favor though,’ what does that mean?” but Kasich pushed back, prompting Lemon to suggest he is a Trump apologist.
“Then you’re doing exactly what the apologists are doing,” Lemon said.
“People disagree with the transcript and they’re honest people,” Kasich responded as Lemon continued to talk over him.
“You’re not helping people understand the problem, then you are part of the problem,” Lemon said.
“I’m suggesting to you that if you have an impeachment that doesn’t bring the Republicans or some semblance of Republicans along, and this is done strictly along party line votes, that is going to end up not helping this country,” Kasich argued. “That’s my view.”