Carl Bernstein: Barr Is Trying To "Deliver Evidence This Has All Been A Deep State Conspiracy, Like Donald Trump Alleges"


Watergate journalist and CNN political analyst Carl Bernstein asserted that President Donald Trump was experiencing "an unraveling" in response to "evidence of the President's corruption" in a whistleblower complaint.

"We are seeing both in real-time, with the President's remarks and also through documentary evidence, his corruption," Bernstein told CNN's Brooke Baldwin on Thursday.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN: In a critical moment for the Trump presidency after a whistleblower complaint alleges the President tried to get a foreign power to interfere with an election, and the White House tried covering that up.

With me now, CNN Political Analyst Carl Bernstein. He of course won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on President Nixon's Watergate scandal and Carl, let me add to all of the flurry of news today that "The New York Times" is also now reporting that the President wants to know who spoke with this whistleblower and then in front of this audience this morning, he threatened you know, officials, U.S. diplomats, you know, reminding them whoever did talk is a spy and then mentioned treason and what the penalty for treason is. Your response, sir?

CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Today is a historic day because we are seeing both in real-time with the President's remarks, and also through documentary evidence his corruption, certainly in terms of what he has tried to do to undermine the free electoral process in this country. We see his temperament in an extreme, perhaps even greater than we've ever seen before. In terms of his remarks, talking about treason and executing people.

And remember the other day, he was talking about the electric chair that must have been on his mind for the past few days. So we're watching tooth, an unraveling in front of us both factually and also temperamentally in terms of the conduct of the President of the United States.

And why? Well, partly because the President of the United States recognizes that there is in this whistleblower's documents, terrible evidence of the President's corruption, of his willingness to undermine the free electoral system in this country to involve foreign powers in our election, and also to try and get involved at the President's behest or with the Attorney General's connivance, the Attorney General who is trying meanwhile, to bring about proof that there is a deep state conspiracy that led to the Mueller investigation.

That's what some of these comments in the whistleblower's remarks are about.

BALDWIN: Let's get to that.

BERNSTEIN: Some of what the President is talking about, when he is saying, oh, I want you to talk to Barr. Barr is trying to deliver and I have this as do other reporters from other sources to deliver evidence that perhaps this has all been a deep state conspiracy, just like Donald Trump alleges.

BALDWIN: Well, let's get to this criminal complaint, which we have

all read today. And so starting really with the cover up, right, the quote, "Senior White House officials had intervened to lock down all records of the phone call." And that White House officials were quote, "Directed by White House lawyers to remove the electronic transcript from the computer system." So the cover up. When you first read that, Carl, what did you think?

BERNSTEIN: Well, I got some texts from people in Washington saying, are these like the Nixon tapes that were never intended to see the light of day?

BALDWIN: What did you say?

BERNSTEIN: That gave the President's corruption -- I haven't answered the texts yet. And I think we don't know --

BALDWIN: Tell us what you think, everyone wants to know. You're Mr. Watergate, you uncovered --

BERNSTEIN: No, no, no, no. Let's take a very cold look at this. These are clearly documents that the President does not want exposed, and which according to the whistleblower and other witnesses, demonstrate the President's cover up, as well as his actions per se in these Ukraine phone calls.

So there are definitely some parallels here. They are not tape recordings, but they are about apparently, a secret system of classification, a secret system of keeping the President's actions and words from other witnesses.

And so when the President sits here, somewhat out of control, not sitting in his statements about treason, et cetera. Then we are reminded again, of what -- read Bob Woodward's book, my colleague, Bob Woodward.

There is a reason that people around this President whether it is Mattis, McMaster, others, Tillerson, believe to their bones, that this President of the United States is not capable of handling national security events, that he is a danger to the national security of the United States. And that's where this is about.

Whether it is purposeful his undermining of our national security, or whether it is because he is incapable of making the distinction between as President undermining our national security and his own and his family's personal interests, political interest, everything before, as in the election, free election, the real security of this of this country. We are seeing it on full blown color TV right in front of us. And now we have this roadmap.

And if there's a real question about how the Democrats are going to handle this, because this deserves the most sober, grave consideration of all the people in this country, of the press. It's not a time for hysteria. But it's a time of crisis.

This is a real crisis because of the conduct of the President of the United States, not the conduct of the press, not the conduct of Hillary Clinton, not the conduct of a deep state, not the conduct of the people in the NSC, who look many of us who are reporters contact with people in the NSC bureaucracy and elsewhere who have heard tales from the inside about this President's inability to recognize the national security interests of the United States and to undermine them in the way that this whistleblower has pointed out.

And the whistleblower has given the names apparently of others who have witnessed the President undermining our national security.

BALDWIN: Some extraordinary day, extraordinary week. Carl Bernstein, appreciate your voice in all of this. Thank you very much.

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