Rep. Raskin’s Press Conference Was a ‘Hot Mess’ CNN Analyst Says

Dem congressman holds press conference after State inspector general briefing

October 2, 2019

CNN counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd called Rep. Jamie Raskin’s (D., Md.) press conference a "hot mess."

Mudd criticized Raskin for sharing information from a briefing with State Department inspector general Steve Linick. He said that it was irresponsible for the Democratic congressman to talk about the documents without confirming their origin.

"Let me give you another interpretation," Mudd told host CNN's Jake Tapper. "The congressman put his foot in a cow pie and said isn't this cool. What a hot mess that was."

Raskin insinuated that the inspector general was sitting on devastating information that could support President Trump's impeachment.

"The inspector general was basically just saying, we're sitting on this packet of disinformation which came from some uncertain place," Raskin told reporters. "And again this is my interpretation of it. There may be misconduct by the secretary of state or other State Department employees in distributing this if they know where it comes from and they know that it does not have any authentic source in the White House."

Mudd questioned the validity of Raskin's information. He said it would be easy to supply misinformation that would attract attention even if it was false.

"They don't know where this stuff came from," Mudd said. "I could have sent it for all they know. He clearly hasn't reviewed it. He hasn’t had the time to review it so we don't know exactly what’s in there."

Linick briefed House and Senate senior committee staffers, providing them with documents Raskin described as a package of "conspiracy theories." 

Raskin said there could be a case of misconduct if the documents provided to them were distributed by the State Department. 

Linick described his request to meet with committee staff as an "urgent" matter. Mudd said Raskin was unable to clarify whether the meeting was urgent and that he shared nothing significant.

"He comes to us and says, despite the fact that he jumps out to a press conference 10 seconds later, it’s not clear whether this was such an urgent matter," Mudd said. "And he also says it’s not even clear this is relevant to the investigation we have underway. But we need to break to a press conference because we think he's going to say something significant. Let me cut to the chase, he didn't. That was a hot mess in my judgment."