Dan Rather: What Mueller Knows Will Make Cohen/Manafort "Pale By Comparison," "Stay Tuned"

|

Dan Rather warned Wednesday night that if you think Tuesday was a shock with the Cohen guilty plea and Manafort's conviction, then "stay tuned." The former news anchor said other things Mueller is working on will "make yesterday pale by comparison."

"Always keeping in mind that Mueller knows so much more than he has shown," Rather said in an interview with CNN's Don Lemon. "If you think [Cohen guilty plea, Manafort conviction] was a shock to our democratic system, just stay tuned. Because the other things Mueller is working on, and sooner or later we'll find out what they are, is going to make yesterday pale by comparison."

"I think the evidence abounds," he added.





Rather said on Wednesday's CNN Tonight that he doesn't think Trump is crazy at all, just increasingly cornered.

"So we are in an ocean the likes of which no one has been on. And the head winds right now are against Donald Trump," he said. "I know his former aide, Omarosa, thinks he is crazy as a bull bat. I don't subscribe to that. I don't think he is crazy at all. I do think that he is increasingly cornered and people who get being in a corner frequently can't think as straight as they otherwise do. And the pressure is on Donald Trump now. Things changed dramatically yesterday. It was reminiscent of March 1974 when I think nine of President Nixon's close aides were indicted and fired."

He also said that there is "honor and integrity" in impeachment.

"When impeachment was being considered for President Clinton, and as you know, orders of impeachment, word against him, he won the trial in the Senate, but Lindsey Graham said that impeachment is about the honor and integrity of the President. If you apply that to the present situation, if what we're talking about is the honor and integrity of the President, this is a situation Donald Trump in the end may not win," he said.

DAN RATHER: The stakes for the upcoming mid-terms are now even higher as Democrats are openly discussing impeachment proceedings, should they gain control of the House and Republicans are dodging the questions. That is a lot to get to in one hour. But I want to bring in now a man who can makes sense of all this, he knows about a White House under siege, he has reported on it and live through it, Dan Rather, the host of AXS TV's "The Big Interview." Thank you very much.

DAN RATHER, HOST, AXS TV'S THE BIG INTERVIEW: Thank you, Don, for having me. Grateful to be here.

LEMON: That was a lot. I mean, before, you know, we get to the stuff that, you know, we had ready for you. What do you think? Is this madness? I've never seen this much in my --

RATHER: Well, it is a kind of madness. What goes through my mind, eventually the last 24 to 48 hours, with Cohen and Manafort, is President Abraham Lincoln had his team of rivals. Trump has his block of felons. That is what it is. He surrounded, he had drowned himself what turns out to be felons.

There's never been anything like this in American history. Watergate in the mid-1970s is the closest thing we've had with this. But the importance difference with Watergate, Watergate, it consisted of crimes of Americans committing crimes against Americans. At the core of this investigation, which we're not nearly at the end of it, is a foreign power trying to affect and possibly affecting our election. That is a very big difference.

LEMON: I've heard the term criminal enterprise a lot, over the last day or so, especially with Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort. Do you think that is befitting with what happened with campaign or what the Trump --

RATHER: Well, I wouldn't use the phrase myself, but I can't argue with anyone who does. Given the record. Look at how many people have either pled guilty or in Manafort's case, been found guilty. So we are in an ocean the likes of which no one has been on. And the head winds right now are against Donald Trump. I know his former aide, Omarosa, thinks he is crazy as a bull bat. I don't subscribe to that. I don't think he is crazy at all.

I do think that he is increasingly cornered and people who get being in a corner frequently can't think as straight as they otherwise do. And the pressure is on Donald Trump now. Things changed dramatically yesterday. It was reminiscent of March 1974 when I think nine of President Nixon's close aides were indicted and fired.

That is the closest we've had, but again, you can't use Watergate as a complete template, because of the allegation of Russian influence in our election.

LEMON: Yes, and also, it was whether or not he is going to face any ramifications, or whatever he faces, the Congress was different then.

RATHER: Well, exactly. And I find people forget this. That during the Nixon Watergate period, widespread criminal conspiracy, led by the President himself. That both Houses of Congress were in the hands of the Democrats. Whatever situation. Now just the opposite. And someone else said earlier this evening, and I agree with it. That the only chance that the Republican Party, the GOP Senators and the majority house members, are going to split with Trump is if he tries on fire Mueller. If he doesn't do that, they are going to stick with him through thick and thin.

LEMON: At their own peril? Or do you think even at the end it will be OK with them, because they're getting their agendas across and they are getting, you know, who they want to be.

RATHER: Unless something changes dramatically, I think that is it. And by the way, Don, Lindsey Graham, Senator, South Carolina, a very smart guy, good sense of humor. As a matter of fact, I know him a little bit and like him, but back at the time when impeachment was being considered for President Clinton, and as you know, orders of impeachment, word against him, he won the trial in the senate, but Lindsey Graham said that impeachment is about the honor and integrity of the President. If you apply that to the present situation, if what we're talking about is the honor and integrity of the President, this is a situation Donald Trump in the end may not win.

LEMON: This is something that you tweeted earlier today. OK? Dan Rather says, one has a sense of the GOP leaders holding on to Donald Trump for deer political life have no idea where this wild horror show of a ride is heading. Can this get even worse? Undoubtedly. How bad can it get? No one save Trump and likely Mueller's team really knows. So, I mean that is pretty pro boding about what may come.

RATHER: Well, I think probing is the proper attitude to have to it. Always keeping in mind that Mueller knows so much more than he has shown. If you think yesterday was a shock to our democratic system, just stay tuned. Because the other things Mueller is working on, and sooner or later we'll find out what they are, is going to make yesterday pale by comparison.

LEMON: Do you think so?

RATHER: I think the evidence abounds.

LEMON: Because yesterday, the President's fixer and attorney implicated the President in a crime.

RATHER: The President in effect became an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal case. And what you had, you have a conspiracy to defraud the American voter. A criminal conspiracy for the American voters to win the election campaign. This is, to say serious, understates it. And I come back to, Mueller is digging away, he has been digging away. There is still a long way to go with this. Anybody that thinks yesterday was sort of the high mark, they're kidding themselves.

We have to be prepared as a people and I want to preach about it. We, as the people stay steady and depend on the checks and balances. I mean, give that jury credit to Manafort case and give the federal prosecutors in the case, you know, the federal prosecutors with a hostile judge presented a case that got convictions. The jury did their job. They started, they deliberated and came back with guilty verdicts. It is a reminder, you know of President John Adams once said, that our jury system is both the lungs and the heart of our Democratic system. We have a reminder that is in the Manafort trial.

LEMON: I was trying to look at -- did you guys -- did you know the date on this, (inaudible) 1973, I'm not exactly sure what it is, but this is October of 1973. Because you were, you tweeted about how things would undoubtedly get worse and this is a flash back, this is your reporting during Watergate. The Saturday night massacre, 1973, October. Here it is. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RATHER: In breath taking succession tonight, the following historic events occurred. The President of the United States demanded that had the Attorney General Fire Special Prosecutor, Archibald Cox. The Attorney General, Elliott Richardson refused and resigned. The President then ordered the assistant Attorney General to William Ruckelshaus to fire the special prosecutor. Ruckelshaus refused. The President immediately fired Ruckelshaus. So solicitor general, Robert Bork was quickly named acting Attorney General. Bork was ordered to fire special prosecutor Cox. He did.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: We discussed your reporting then before and you're anchoring then before. You said it is surreal, but that is -- now we're living through this. It is an indication that yes, things can always get worse.

RATHER: Yes. Particularly when we are in and see clear we are in. We're in a kind of political theater of the absurd now. And we should expect things at least for a while to get worse before they get better. By the way I am sorry to play that clip, I have more hair --

LEMON: I was going to say, who was the guy with all that hair back then?

RATHER: And a better color.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: It's always pleasure.

RATHER: Don, thank you very much.

Comment
Show comments Hide Comments

Latest Political Videos

Video Archives