Carl Bernstein said President Trump may have made a "somewhat mortal" self-inflicted blow at his joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Bernstein said Tuesday that Trump is "bleeding badly in front of all of us" while we watch a "horrible spectacle play out" in which we don't know if we can trust the loyalty of the president.
In an interview with CNN, Bernstein called Trump a "rogue president" with no regard for the rule of law and a spectacular ignorance of history. Bernstein also said that there is "no evidence" that there wasn't collusion which makes Trump's attacks on special counsel Mueller "so important."
"There is no evidence in fact that there wasn't collusion, and that's why his attacks on the Mueller investigation are so important to understand what's going on here, including his conduct of foreign policy and going right into the lap in Helsinki of Vladimir Putin," the veteran reporter said.
Transcript, via CNN:
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: With me now, CNN political analyst Carl Bernstein, one of the famed reporters that broke the White House story wide open. I spoke with Senator Bill Nelson who said he is not buying the President's whole I meant to say wouldn't instead of would with regard to meddling. Are you buying it?
CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: There's nothing credible that the President has been saying for the last two days, but really one of the things the President said recently twice is that he is a "stable genius." What we watched yesterday and what we watched today is not a stable genius. And what happened today that's so extraordinary is that finally leaders of the Republican party on Capitol Hill who have marched lock step with this President finally said today that the President of the United States, of their party, that he cannot be entrusted with the national security of the United States. That's what Ryan and McConnell were saying today. We are in a place that is absolutely unique in the history of the country in that the President of the United States, his loyalty to his country is being questioned by serious people of both parties and the leadership of his party today said, you know he can't be trusted. We have to assert ourselves. We've never seen anything like this in our history.
BALDWIN: Wow, for you to say. I'm going to come back to the Republicans here in a second, but to go further on what the President said a little bit in the White House. He said that he is now accepting our intelligence community conclusion that the Russian meddling, his word, took place, was an attack on our democracy, but then it seemed like a Trump ad lib, carl. If you caught it. It could be other people as well, and then reiterating that refrain, no collusion. So, he can't seem to --
BERNSTEIN: He said that before for momentarily that he accepts the idea that they, quote, meddled and then he goes on to his preposterous theories and says there's no collusion. Everybody agrees there's no collusion. Everybody doesn't agree there's no collusion. That's what Mueller is trying to find out, and one of the things that we know very well is that there was a meeting in Trump Tower attended by his son in which an attempt at collusion occurred. Prima facie, attempt at collusion. There is no evidence in fact that there wasn't collusion, and that's why his attacks on the Mueller investigation are so important to understand what's going on here, including his conduct of foreign policy and going right into the lap in Helsinki of Vladimir Putin.
He has said to the world on this trip that the world as we know it for the last 75 years, the post war world and all that we have held sacrosanct in terms of mutual security in the west, that all of that is out the window and I am going to have my own relationship with Vladimir Putin and you saw what kind of relationship that was yesterday. So, we now have a real national security emergency in this country in which it is clear to members of both parties and, indeed, the Republican party of leadership is terrified of Trump's base and going after them, but they are also terrified as dana and others have spoken with them, as have i, they are terrified of this President and his conduct of national security business.
BALDWIN: But what are they going to do about it? Carl, what can Republicans do about it?
BERNSTEIN: That I don't know. I don't know, and, in fact, this may define the Republican party in the United States for generations if they cannot figure out what to do about a rogue President who has no regard for the rule of law, who has no comprehension, it would seem, of our history. There is such spectacular ignorance of our history in this country and of the West and what happened after World War II. Vladimir Putin has taken armies and moved the borders in Europe, the most immutable aspect of post war democratic consensus about what our world is about in the West was violated by Vladimir Putin and this President has not called him on it.
So, we are in an extraordinary moment in which we will see how the wounds in the past couple of days that Trump has inflicted on himself, whether they may be somewhat mortal, be hard to imagine given what he's survived and thrived on so far, but he is bleeding badly in front of all of us. And we are watching a horrible spectacle play out in which we don't know exactly whether we can trust the loyalty of the President of the United States whether through incompetence, whether through incoherence or whether through nefarious relationships. We just don't know the answer.
BALDWIN: To use your word, extraordinary. When I was talking to dana bash a little while ago, she said one option for congress could be -- and, again, this would be an extraordinary step, but to subpoena a translator in that meeting if people want to know, what to demand transparency as to what was discussed between put continue and Trump Putin and Trump. We know that the secretary Pompeo hearing is happening next week. Do you think they will ever know what transpired between those two men?
BERNSTEIN: I think it's an impossible -- impossible to know definitively what occurred including what winks, body language and all the rest occurred. Can you imagine that here we are talking about whether or not the President of the United States can be trusted with a despot, a tyrannical murder rouse thug and the President of the United States we're unsure of perhaps whose side he's on or whether he's ambiguous whose side he's on. Yes, extraordinary, and at the same time we need to find out to the best of our abilities and the Republicans need to assist in this in what the hell happened in Helsinki.