GOP Guest Hits MSNBC Host With Stat of Journalists Donating 96% to Clinton

On Friday's MSNBC Live, host Craig Melvin denied that the dominant news media have a liberal bias after Republican Congressman Dave Brat started hitting him with reports that over 96 percent of journalists who made political donations chose Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. A bit later, Melvin denied biased reporting as he declared, "Even if that bias did exist -- which, I mean, Dave, it doesn't -- even if it did --" Brat zinged him: "If it exists? Now, you got to come clean with me on that one."

At about 1:32 p.m. ET, after the MSNBC host began the interview by asking the Virginia Republican about Donald Trump Jr.'s emails and Russia collusion, Brat began complaining about the media's history of going soft on Democrats, and tied in their tendency to donate overwhelmingly to the liberal side. Brat:

No one gets to play the innocent here. Hillary raised $2 billion in the Hillary foundation from foreign money, and CNN and all the biggies never found anything on that. The Washington Post is great on Watergate, but they missed Clintongate altogether. Why is that? Well, maybe it's because 97 percent of the donations from mainstream (media) folks go to the Democrat party. Gee, I wonder if that could, you know, influence the news at all.

The congressman was apparently referring to an October 2016 finding by the Center for Public Integrity that more than 96 percent of journalists who gave large amounts money to presidential candidates that year had given to Clinton.

After the Republican congressman complained about MSNBC hitting him with a "new wave" of questions about the Trump administration and Russia, Melvin responded: "Congressman, we're not coming at you with some sort of new wave. It's the New York Times, it's the Washington Post."

The two then went back and forth on whether the dominant media have a liberal bias:

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BRAT: Oh, I know, right! All the usual.

MELVIN: All the usual?

BRAT: Right.

MELVIN: Liberal elites?

BRAT: Ninety-seven percent money going to Hillary.

MELVIN: All of us are in cahoots together.

BRAT: No, you just have a systematic bias toward liberal outcomes and growing the federal government. It's okay -- it's America -- I don't know if it's illegal.

Melvin denied liberal media bias as he responded: "How is that -- even if that bias did exist -- which, I mean, Dave, it doesn't -- even if it did, how --"

Brat quipped: "If it exists? Now, you got to come clean with me on that one. I gave you one."

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Friday, July 14, MSNBC Live with Craig Melvin:

1:32 p.m. ET

REP. DAVE BRAT (R-VA): This whole city is a web of collusion and big money. I ran against all of that collusion, right, so I'm against it. But no one gets to play the innocent here. Hillary raised $2 billion in the Hillary foundation from foreign money, and CNN and all the biggies never found anything on that. The Washington Post is great on Watergate, but they missed Clintongate altogether. Why is that?

Well, maybe it's because 97 percent of the donations from mainstream (media) folks go to the Democrat party. Gee, I wonder if that could, you know, influence the news at all. So now everyone's on the Trump collusion stuff. So let's just calm it all down and go back -- what statue has been violated? Name it, and I'm open-minded guy. I'm an economist, not a lawyer, but there's plenty of lawyers here who can follow it.

CRAIG MELVIN: Are you at all concerned about this latest revelation this morning revealed that there were, in fact, additional people in the room during that meeting despite the fact that Donald Trump said just a few days ago he was coming clean -- this little nugget was left out. Does that at least bother you?

BRAT: Well, in terms of (inaudible) --

MELVIN: No, no, yes or no --

BRAT: -- of course it does.

MELVIN: Okay, good, all right.

BRAT: Yes, yes. Hey, I'm a basic guy, but, yes, but we always get hyped up every morning on our Starbucks, and you guys come at us with a new wave, and then six months later you're not clinging to any of those stories -- this has been going on for a year. Every morning, I wake up and there's another "Whoop! There's a key detail, Dave. What do you think about it? It's huge."

MELVIN: Congressman, we're not coming at you with some sort of new wave. It's the New York Times, it's the Washington Post.

BRAT: Oh, I know, right! All the usual.

MELVIN: All the usual?

BRAT: Right.

MELVIN: Liberal elites?

BRAT: Ninety-seven percent money going to Hillary.

MELVIN: All of us are in cahoots together.

BRAT: No, you just have a systematic bias toward liberal outcomes and growing the federal government. It's okay -- it's America -- I don't know if it's illegal.

MELVIN: How is that -- even if that bias did exist -- which, I mean, Dave, it doesn't -- even if it did, how --

BRAT: If it exists? Now, you got to come clean with me on that one. I gave you one.

MELVIN: -- how is that -- how is that related to Russian collusion?

BRAT: It's related to the media coverage. That's what I'm saying. The standard -- let's do ethics, right?

MELVIN: So you would prefer us not cover it, Congressman? You would prefer us --

BRAT: No -- no, no, no -- cover it well. Cover it as news -- not every day. We know this is a great news story -- it makes tons of money.

MELVIN: But something's happening every day. Something's happening sometimes three and four times a day.

BRAT: Right, go to Dershowitz. This guy is a civil libertarian liberal who voted for Hillary, and he raised a relevant standard. What statute is violated? If you can name that, that's what we're interested in.

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