CNN’s Abby Phillip Puts Dr. Phil in His Place for Misunderstanding How Legal and Trial Procedures Work

by Xara Aziz
Courtesy: CNN via X

Dr. Phil faced criticism in a CNN interview with the network’s rising journalist, Abby Phillip, in which he displayed a lack of understanding about legal and trial procedures after airing an interview with Donald Trump. During his conversation with Trump, Dr. Phil allowed the former president to make several unfounded claims about the fairness of his hush money trial.

The interview drew widespread backlash as Dr. Phil, an unlicensed psychologist, asked Trump easy questions and let him spread misinformation about his own record and that of President Joe Biden. Dr. Phil asserted that Trump did not receive due process in his trial, where a Manhattan jury convicted him of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

“I think [the jury] heard some things that were very prejudicial that had nothing to do with solving the problem of the case at hand,” the TV host said, adding that he was referring to Michael Cohen’s testimony.

Phillip challenged Dr. Phil to explain his stance. He argued that the jury was exposed to prejudicial information unrelated to the case, specifically pointing to Michael Cohen’s testimony. Dr. Phil incorrectly claimed that an accomplice to a crime who has pleaded guilty should not testify in another case due to potential prejudice.

Phillip corrected him, noting that it is common for individuals like Cohen to testify in subsequent trials of their alleged co-conspirators, a standard practice in many prosecutions. Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, had testified that Trump directed him to pay $130,000 to Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election to prevent her from disclosing their alleged affair.

Despite Phillip’s explanations, Dr. Phil continued to argue his point, suggesting that Cohen’s guilty plea unfairly influenced the jury. Phillip refuted this, clarifying that Cohen was not charged with falsifying business records, the crime Trump was accused of.

“That’s kind of how a lot of these prosecutions work,” she said.

Throughout the interview with Trump, Dr. Phil claimed that a judge had “muzzled” Trump in his New York trial and expressed hope that President Biden would intervene to halt the legal proceedings against Trump, despite two of the cases being under state jurisdiction.

The interview sparked immediate backlash on social media. Critics pointed out Dr. Phil’s lack of credentials and accused him of being biased towards Trump. One user suggested a cognitive test for anyone influenced by Dr. Phil, noting that he holds a doctorate in clinical psychology but has not renewed his license since 2006. Another user criticized the interview for being biased, allowing Trump to deny meeting E. Jean Carroll and likened Dr. Phil’s behavior to that of a Trump supporter.

The interview went viral moments after it aired, with social media users adding their take of the exchange.

“I suggest a cognitive test for anyone falling for drama queen and droning of Dr. Phil McGraw,” one commented. “He holds a doctorate in clinical psychology, though he ceased renewing his license to practice psychology in 2006. Now a tv personality and unlicensed therapist.”

“Tuned in to see @DrPhil interview Trump, but this is far from an interview. I’m watching Phil declare himself as full-on MAGA. Ignoring facts. Letting him say he never met @ejeancarroll … Phil is on his knees in front of a convicted criminal,” commented another.

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