WATCH: Robert Reich and Anderson Cooper Gang Up on Jeffrey Lord After Inane Trump Defense
CNN’s Anderson Cooper and former Clinton-era Labor Secretary Robert Reich got into a contentious argument with CNN contributor Jeffrey Lord on Monday night over President Donald Trump’s unreleased tax returns, leading an exasperated Cooper to finally blurt out, “Oh, c’mon, Jeffrey.”
Using the same argument he tried earlier in the evening with CNN’s Keith Boykin, Lord cited the record of former President Woodrow Wilson before stating that Trump—despite earlier promises to release his tax returns—now shouldn’t because they would be “politicized.”
To make his point, Lord asked Reich if he had released his returns while serving the Clinton administration.
“I’d like to ask Secretary Reich, you were the United States secretary of labor for four years. Did you release your tax returns to CNN and the New York Times and the wider world?” Lord asked.
“I released my tax returns, of course,” Reich shot back. “In fact, I released my tax returns, everybody—member of the cabinet and every president and vice president—is not only required to release their tax returns, but they’re also required to have an audit.”
“This is important, they’re required to have an audit,” Reich continued. “They choose to release the tax returns even though they have an audit—and that’s what’s so weird about Donald Trump.”
Reich then explained why it was important that Trump release his tax returns—audit or not.
“One of the main purposes is to reassure the public that a president is actually not only obeying the law but, at a time when the public is paying a lot in taxes, the public wants to make sure that their president is basically doing it right,” Reich lectured Lord. “And here we have Donald Trump, who comes into office with all kinds of clouds hanging over his head having to do with conflicts of interest and possible debt to Russian oligarchs and everything else, and he doesn’t release his tax returns for the first time in 40 years. And he says it’s because he’s having an audit?”
Lord once again returned to Reich not making his tax returns public.
“You’re trying to change the conversation, I know it’s a cute argument,” a clearly exasperated Cooper scolded Lord. “We’re talking about the president and why he’s lying or said one thing during the election and is now, y’know—I mean the audit excuse doesn’t hold water.”
“Anderson, I’m trying to illustrate that this is all about politics,” Lord replied. “Secretary Reich’s response proves this exactly.”
“I really have no idea what you’re talking about,” Reich shot back, only to have Lord invoke Woodrow Wilson, which led Cooper to step in again.
“Jeff, c’mon. Jeff, Jeff, stop,” Cooper said. “You know from Richard Nixon on, yes—”
“So what? So what?” Lord parried.
Reich tried once more to talk some sense into Lord, stating, “I think it would be in Donald Trump’s best interest to release his tax returns for the simple reason there is so much doubt, so much distrust. If he has nothing to hide, let it out there,” only to have a smirking Lord reply, “Among liberals.”
Watch the video below via CNN: