On Tuesday, President Trump pardoned two Oregon ranchers serving time for arson on public lands, calling the punishments against Dwight and Steven Hammond "overzealous" and "unjust." The sentencing of the Hammonds was a primary inspiration for the 2016 armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon by scofflaw rancher Cliven Bundy's sons and supporters.
"Why does this seem like newfound religion for Trump in siding with the cattlemen?" CNN's Chris Cuomo asked Tuesday night. "Because it is. During the Oregon occupation, Donald Trump, at that time, sided with the government," telling The New York Times that "you cannot let people take over federal property" and "you have to be firm and you have to be strong." So why did the Trump White House side with the ranchers on Tuesday and slam the Obama administration for being firm and strong? he asked. "What's the formula" for Trump's executive clemency, including the controversial pardons of Joe Arpaio, Scooter Libby, and Dinesh D'Souza? "Obama bad, Trump good, and if you are angry and act on it, I will protect you, even if you break the law," Cuomo said. "The message is as obvious as it is ugly." Watch below. Peter Weber