It's amazing acting Department of Homeland Security Chief Ken Cuccinelli had time to do an interview with CNN's Brianna Keilar, since you would think he'd be preoccupied with finding his missing spine.
Keilar played a clip of Donald Trump from 2015, in which he said he thought the Confederate Flag should be retired, and "put in a museum," and that he would take it down. Then she asked Cuccinelli to reconcile that clearly expressed sentiment with the 2020 Trump administration's passionate embrace and protectiveness of all things Confederate, now that so many more people are coming to the same conclusion as 2015 Trump reached.
The Cooch hemmed and hawed, claimed Trump was asked about South Carolina, he never said he was gonna DO it as president, States Rights, blah blah. Keilar pushed back, saying it sounded like he was speaking generally, and asked why Trump was so critical of NASCAR for banning the Confederate flag if the administration was allegedly neutral.
Strap in for some epic gaslighting.
KEILAR: I didn't hear "essentially." Sounds like you're taking liberties.
CUCCINELLI: You heard what you wanted to hear.
KEILAR: I heard words that I'm following.
CUCCINELLI: You're the one taking liberties with it. So, he hasn't changed any position that I'm aware of in terms of this. And, basically, as I view it, he hasn't taken a position about what the federal government should do about whether it's nascar, or South Carolina, or any other states' display or use of the Confederate flag. And I think he has been pretty consistent in keeping the federal government out of those questions.
Isn't that cute? I love how he tells her she is (1) making up words she did not hear, and (2) Trump has NOT changed his position from what he said in that 2015 video. It gets better, though. He tries to argue that the Confederate flag does not represent disdain for the federal government. The man who, as Keilar points out, is from VIRGINIA, tries to argue that the Confederate flag does not "strike at the very heart of the federal government."
Keilar continues to ask The Cooch to state Trump's position on the Confederate flag. Give her points for perseverence.
KEILAR: I'm not talking about ordering.
CUCCINELLI: As a president of the federal government.
KEILAR: I'm not talking about him ordering anything, just taking a position as to whether he personally agrees with it. And he can't.
CUCCINELLI: Well, you're asking me to — I'm a lawyer — to commit hearsay. You want me to tell you his personal position.
KEILAR: I asked you what YOU thought, and you also would not commit.
CUCCINELLI: Let me finish. Let me finish. He gave a personal position in the answer to the 2015 question that you played. I'm not aware of him addressing his personal view other than that anywhere else. I'll let his answer stand. It's not for me to, you know, say anything else about his personal views.
KEILAR: What about yours?
CUCCINELLI: You played the only version of it that I've heard.
KEILAR: What's your view?
CUCCINELLI: I work for an administration right now that has kept the federal government out of these questions and respected the states' ability and the position to address these questions and people who know my history know I respect the states' role vis-a-vis the federal government. So, there's no reason I would take any issue with leaving these things to the states.
In other words, "Ya got me, lady." He said what he said in 2015 to help himself get elected, now he wishes it were ACTUALLY 1864, and Ken Cuccinelli wants nothing to do with this interview, especially if he has to give an actual opinion of his own. "There's no reason I would take any issue..." with (insert most general possible statement here.)
Keilar wasn't about to let him get away with THAT, so she cornered him with this beauty:
CUCCINELLI: You can have all the curiosity you like. My position is that states and local governments where this is an issue ought to address it inside their polity at their level. This is not for the federal government to tell others how to deal with that issue in their state or in their city.
What a complete douche. He knows he's been outsmarted, and he just folds his arms and says "I'm not gonna tell you and you can't make me." God forbid Cuccinelli should say anything that might (1) make his boss mad, or (2) display an ounce of conviction.