Hostin, Navarro Defend Menendez from Ouster Calls, Fetterman Pushes Back

News & Politics

Things took an interesting turn on Friday’s edition of ABC’s The View in the wake of Republican Congressman George Santos (NY) getting ousted from the House in a bipartisan vote. While the liberal ladies generally cheered Santos’s ouster, lines were drawn when the corruption allegations against Democratic Senator Bob Menendez (NJ) were thrown into the mix. Co-hosts Ana Navarro and Sunny Hostin found themselves in the minority opinion, that he should remain a senator until after his trial. But they also found themselves in conflict with their guest, Senator John Fetterman (D-PA).

Co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin was the first to throw Menendez into the conversation while they were gleefully celebrating Santos getting kicked out. “If you’re under federal investigation whether Donald Trump, Bob Menendez, George Santos, you should step aside, But, of course, no one does that,” she said.

Navarro, a close friend of Menendez, couldn’t help but immediately jump in to suggest that Santos was somehow worse, despite Menendez allegedly working as a foreign agent for Egypt. She touted Democrats for not rushing to oust her friend and suggested that he could beat the indictment (Click “expand”):

NAVARRO: I think Democrats learned a lesson with Al Franken.

HOSTIN: Al Franken.

NAVARRO: Right? That they all moved indi –

FARAH GRIFFIN: Well, this is far more serious.

NAVARRO: Right. But the difference is that Bob Menendez was indicted once before, and beat the indictment. And so if he had been expelled, you know, so I think that’s something that can be debated certainly, but that’s the precedent that Bob Menendez has.

“Look, I’m very angry at everything that Bob Menendez did, but I think there’s a difference between Santos and Menendez,” she tried to downplay Menendez’s alleged corruption.

Co-host Sara Haines quickly confronted Navarro to point out the real difference between the two. She argued that while Santos was “feckless,” he had “no power” compared to Menendez who allegedly used and abused his committee chairmanship to benefit his Egyptian clients. “He needs to step aside,” she added.

When the story of Menendez getting indicted first broke, Navarro admitted that she had brought her “wealthy clients” to meet Menendez many times.

In the past, racist and anti-Semitic Hostin had treated federal indictments as “guilty” rulings and bragged about federal prosecutors having a high success rate. But with Menendez, she wrote it off by scoffing: “You can indict a ham sandwich.”

When Fetterman joined them later in the show, they kicked off the second round of questions with the Santos news and his calls to oust Menendez. Fetterman made the same point Haines did in that the Senate Democrat was a bigger concern and that the Senate needed to follow the House’s example.

“I think the more important picture is that we have a colleague in the Senate that actually did much more sinister and serious kind of things: Senator Menendez. He needs to go. And if you are going to expel Santos, how can you allow somebody like Menendez to remain in the Senate?” he asked.

He quipped that Santos’s lies were kind of “funny” while Menendez was acting as “a senator for Egypt, not New Jersey.”

Hostin spoke up again in defense of the allegedly corrupt Democrat asking Fetterman: “Are you, though, uncomfortable with the fact that there hasn’t been an adjudication, that while he’s been charged, there hasn’t been a conviction?”

“[H]e has the right for his day in court and all that, but he doesn’t have the right to have those kind of votes and things [in the Senate]. That’s not a right,” he shot her down.

The transcript is below. Click “expand” to read:

ABC’s The View
December 1, 2023
11:18:11 a.m. Eastern

(…)

ALYSSA FARH GRIFFIN: If you’re under federal investigation whether Donald Trump, Bob Menendez, George Santos, you should step aside, But, of course, no one does that.

ANA NAVARRO: I think Democrats learned a lesson – on that point, though. I think Democrats learned a lesson with Al Franken.

SUNNY HOSTIN: Al Franken

NAVARRO: Right? That they all moved indi –

FARAH GRIFFIN: Well, this is far more serious.

NAVARRO: Right. But the difference is that Bob Menendez was indicted once before, and beat the indictment. And so if he had been expelled, you know, so I think that’s something that can be debated certainly, but that’s the precedent that Bob Menendez has.

Look, I’m very angry at everything that Bob Menendez did, but I think there’s a difference between Santos and Menendez.

SARA HAINES: I’ll just jump in there. Yeah, I think the difference is George Santos is feckless. He has no power, never did anything. I do think Senator Menendez will be a problem and I think due process, he needs to step aside.

HOSTIN: I would — an — you can indict a ham sandwich. I think he needs to go to trial.

HAINES: Have you?

HOSTIN: I have done so.

[Laughter]

(…)

11:36:20 a.m. Eastern

JOY BEHAR: And you’ve also been calling to get rid of Menendez, I know. But first before we talk about that, what’s your reaction to the expulsion?

SEN. JOHN FETTERMAN (D-PA): Well, it’s like — I’m not surprised. But to me, I think the more important picture is that we have a colleague in the Senate that actually did much more sinister and serious kind of things: Senator Menendez. He needs to go. And if you are going to expel Santos, how can you allow somebody like Menendez to remain in the Senate?

And, you know, Santos’s kind of lies were almost funny and, like, he landed on the moon and that kind of stuff. Whereas, you know, I think, you know, Menendez, I think is really a senator for Egypt, not New Jersey. So, I really think he needs to go, and especially it’s kind of strange that if Santos is not allowed to remain in the House, you know, someone like that —

SUNNY HOSTIN: Are you, though, uncomfortable with the fact that there hasn’t been an adjudication, that while he’s been charged, there hasn’t been a conviction?

BEHAR: Menendez.

BEHAR: With Menendez.

FETTERMAN: I am, I am, and it’s like he has the right for his day in court and all that, but he doesn’t have the right to have those kind of votes and things that — that’s not a right. And I think we need to make that kind of decision to send him out.

(…)

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