Vance, CNN’s Blitzer tangle over Trump’s ‘fascist state’ remark

Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio) and CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer tangled Friday over former President Trump’s remarks that the U.S. is a “fascist state.”

Vance, during his Friday appearance on CNN, deflected multiple times when pressed by Blitzer on whether the U.S. is a fascist state.

Blitzer asked the question because of a remark Trump had made about his trial in which he said “we are living in a fascist state.”

Throughout the appearance, Vance slammed Trump’s hush money proceedings in New York as a “sham” trial, characterizing it as “politics masquerading as justice.”

Vance, one of the bevy of elected officials in consideration to be Trump’s vice presidential pick, was repeatedly asked by Blitzer whether he thought the U.S. was a fascist state.

Eventually, Vance said if the case in New York was applied in all 50 states, it could be considered “fascism.”

That prompted Blitzer to again ask: “Is the United States a fascist state?”

Vance responded by saying he served in Iraq, and Blitzer followed up by asking, “Were you outraged when he said that?”

“I am outraged at this entire proceeding,” Vance said, before the CNN anchor said the former president is calling the U.S. a fascist state and asked if Vance was “OK with that.”

Blitzer interrupted Vance three more times before the senator said: “I think this is disgraceful. I don’t care what you call it. This legal proceeding is disgraceful.”

“What about Trump calling our country a fascist state,” Blitzer asked again, to which Vance responded that New York was trying to throw Trump in prison for a “paperwork violation.”

Trump was convicted Thursday on all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to conceal an alleged affair. The former president’s sentencing was set for July 11, four days before the Republican National Convention.

“Of course he’s going to be frustrated, and he has every right to be; I don’t care what you call this, but this is not the America that I know and love,” Vance said Friday.

The two continued their back-and-forth, arguing over the merits of the case and the stance some moderate Republicans, like former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, took right before the conviction was handed down — with Vance reiterating his full support for the former president.

After asking Vance if he wants to be Trump’s vice president, Blitzer once again asked the senator, “But you don’t believe we live in a fascist state?”

“I think that what happened in New York, if you applied it across all 50 states, would be the definition of fascism,” Vance said. “Throwing your political opponents in jail. Thank God. It only happened in New York and not the rest of the country.”

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.