MSNBC Firmly Condemns Trump for Referring to Paris Attack as Terrorism

In the moments following President Trump’s Thursday press conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, MSNBC and its myriad of panelists swiftly condemned Trump for referring to the deadly shooting in Paris on the Champs-Élysées as a terrorist attack. 

“President Trump said right off the bat to a question looks like another terrorist attack in France that we have not been comfortable to call it that or report that but we'll have more reporting upcoming,” disgraced MSNBC host Brian Williams complained. 

Moments later, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd complained about Trump “getting ahead of the facts” even though police were indicating that what took place was terrorism.

Timeout, Chuck. It’s both infuriating and hilarious when the media complains that they’re not in control of what’s reported or said about something. Who’s largely in charge of informing the masses about what’s going on in the world? The media.

Moving on, Todd griped:

And then I am with you, look, the only thing on the what's going on in Paris, you know, always a dangerous time to be — you know, the coverage is getting ahead of the facts and I think, you know, the President was referring to what he was saying he's watching on television.

“You do wonder if — are people are going to take what he said as some idea that it’s — that he knows something more than what anybody else does. But if you recall, even in his answer, oh, I just saw that as I was walking out type of thing,” Todd added.

Williams turned to former Ambassador Nicholas Burns and again whined that “[w]e are not comfortable reporting” on Paris as Trump did, slamming the President (and, by extension, the people on the ground) for offering “a leading theory when police officers are killed.

Of course, Burns agreed, ruling that “we just don't have enough facts to go onto call, as you say, to call it a terrorist attack at this point.”

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Never one to shy away from offering partisan analysis as a supposedly nonpartisan guest, former Panetta flack Jeremy Bash promised that we all should “wait for the facts to determine whether or not the President's assessment was correct.”

Bash pathetically offered that statement after doing just that, speculating that Trump could be wrong: 

Well, the President is quick to declare it probably a terrorist attack. I think it’s too soon to know whether indeed that is the case. If it turns out that it is not terrorism, I think the White House is going to have some explaining to do about why they characterized something as terrorism when it wasn’t.

Williams aired one last grievance to Trump on this matter, stating this after a commercial break and soundbite of Trump discussing the Paris incident at the press conference: 

The President talking about Paris. Oddly, neither leader included it in their opening remarks or statements. It was the result of a question from John Roberts of Fox News. Nor can we match the President's characterization that it looks like terrorism. We just don't know enough yet.

Minutes after MSNBC learned of what had transpired, Daily Beast editor and frequent MSNBC guest Christopher Dickey wallowed in his prediction that the French “far-right” will “exploit” the Champs-Élysées attack in the remaining days before the French presidential election. 

Here’s the relevant portions of the transcript from MSNBC’s live coverage on April 20:

MSNBC Live
April 20, 2017
4:22 p.m. Eastern

BRIAN WILLIAMS: President Trump said right off the bat to a question looks like another terrorist attack in France that we have not been comfortable to call it that or report that but we'll have more reporting upcoming. 

(....)

4:24 p.m. Eastern

CHUCK TODD: And then I am with you, look, the only thing on the what's going on in Paris, you know, always a dangerous time to be — you know, the coverage is getting ahead of the facts and I think, you know, the President was referring to what he was saying he's watching on television and you do wonder if — are people are going to take what he said as some idea that it’s — that he knows something more than what anybody else does. But if you recall, even in his answer, oh, I just saw that as I was walking out type of thing.

(....)

4:29:17 p.m. Eastern

WILLIAMS [TO NICHOLAS BURNS]: And then the split screen showing the scene — the blue strobe lights on the Champs-Élyséesin Paris. The President said: “It looks like another terror attack.” We are not comfortable reporting it that way. It is obviously, a leading theory when police officers are killed in a standoff with armed men on the Champs-Élysées on a beautiful April evening.

(....)

4:32 p.m. Eastern

NICHOLAS BURNS: So we just don't have enough facts to go onto call, as you say, to call it a terrorist attack at this point. 

(....)

4:35 p.m. Eastern

WILLIAMS: Jeremy, knowing what we know about Paris, witnessing what we just witnessed in the East Room. Your thoughts? 

JEREMY BASH: Well, the President is quick to declare it probably a terrorist attack. I think it’s too soon to know whether indeed that is the case. If it turns out that it is not terrorism, I think the White House is going to have some explaining to do about why they characterized something as terrorism when it wasn’t. But let’s  wait for the facts to determine whether or not the President's assessment was correct. 

(....)

4:51 p.m. Eastern

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Our condolences from our country to the people of France. Again, it’s happening, it seems. I just saw it as I was walking in, so that’s a terrible thing and it’s a very, very terrible thing that's going on in the word today but it looks like another terrorist attack and what can you say? It just never ends. 

WILLIAMS: The President talking about Paris. Oddly, neither leader included it in their opening remarks or statements. It was the result of a question from John Roberts of Fox News. Nor can we match the President's characterization that it looks like terrorism. We just don't know enough yet.

CyberAlerts Foreign Policy Europe France War on Terrorism Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats MSNBC MSNBC Live Video Government & Press Nicholas Burns Brian Williams Chuck Todd Jeremy Bash Donald Trump
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