Mob movies?! CNN plays 'Godfather' clip to attack Trump on alleged Cohen intimidation

CNN isn't stopping at making generic accusations of witness intimidation against President Trump with respect to Michael Cohen's prospective congressional testimony. The network is instead doing so in, quite literally, the most dramatic terms. On "New Day" Thursday morning, CNN played a clip from "Godfather II" in which the mob, in order to intimidate a witness at a Senate hearing, has brought the witness's brother into the audience.

After the clip rolled, CNN commentator John Avlon broke out the old mob threat:

AVLON: I think what's happening between the President and Rudy invoking the father-in-law and the wife goes well beyond problematic. At least from a historic precedent standpoint, there is none. What the President of the United States and his lawyer are basically doing is saying, "Nice family you got there. Be a shame if anything happened to them."

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That was an allusion to the fact that President Trump and Rudy Giuliani have made reference to Michael Cohen's wife and father-in-law.

Here is a partial transcript.

CNN
New Day
1/24/19
7:19 am ET

JOHN BERMAN: You know what this reminds me of? I didn't go to law school, but I did see "Godfather II."

JOHN AVLON: I knew you were going there!

BERMAN: Because you're saying you don't specifically say I'm going to hurt the father-in-law --

ALISYN CAMEROTA: You say it would sure be bad if the father-in-law got hurt.

BERMAN: Or you just put the person in the audience like they did with Frankie Pentangeli's brother. Watch this.

[Godfather II clip]

SENATOR: Would you kindly identify for the committee the gentleman sitting to your left?

TOM HAGEN: I can answer that. His name is Vincenzo Pentangeli.

SENATOR: Is he related to the witness?

HAGEN: He is, I believe, his brother.

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BERMAN: All you do is you show the family member, you show that there might be a threat.

AVLON: I think what's happening between the President and Rudy invoking the father-in-law and the wife goes well beyond problematic. At least from a historic precedent standpoint, there is none. What the President of the United States and his lawyer are basically doing is saying, "Nice family you got there. Be a shame if anything happened to them."

This article originally appeared on the Media Research Center's NewsBusters blog.