Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) told ABC that President Trump’s “vile, vulgar” attacks via twitter on the intelligence community is lowering the “dialogue in our democracy” to a “venial, sort of guttural level.”
Partial transcript as follows:
MCCAIN: Senator, Bob Mueller is a long-time Republican but Trump tweeted that 13 out of the 17 members were registered Democrats. Six of them donated to Hillary Clinton. Don’t you think the optics are difficult?
BOOKER: I haven’t fact checked that this morning. I heard “The New York Times” question that fact. I’ve never seen this in any—in business, when I was the mayor. You just don’t see executives heckling and maligning law enforcement the way that this president seems to be comfortable to do. And so for him to be active, this is part of a larger pattern of Donald Trump going after the intelligence agencies, the FBI. This is unacceptable in America.
MCCAIN: You don’t think it’s fair game if there are Democrats that donated to Hillary?
BOOKER I don’t think it’s fair game for him to be doing what he’s doing, which is trying to undermine the integrity of agencies by doing all this picking at them. This is so un-presidential of him, but more importantly, it’s exactly what the Russians want, us to be going after our sacred institutions, whether they’re the press or the public. What we see right now is a president going after continuously, in a vile, vulgar way, institutions in our country and people who are trying to serve our nation and keep us safe.
MCCAIN: Does it concern you if they’re leaking though? That’s the accusation right now and even for people like me, obviously I’ve always had the upmost respect for the CIA and FBI, but if there’s leaking that’s a problem.
BOOKER: There’s an inspector general report that he could have waited for, let the authorities of the process, let the due process happen. Why is he always on Twitter tormenting people, bullying people in ways that we tell children not to do? It’s the worst type of behavior, and it’s having a consequence on even the dialogue in our democracy He really brings it down to a venial, sort of guttural level. You saw this with Bush, John McCain is somebody who does this all the time, people elevating the dialogue in our country, talking in a more honorable way. This is a guy that for the year-plus he’s been in office and even before that, he’s demeaning and degrading people, heckling folks and really showing the worst, in my opinion, of American conversation and not trying to bring it up to a higher level.