Today Show Panel Naturally Assumes Trump Will Perjure Himself

During a panel discussion on Monday’s NBC Today the hosts and pundits all agreed that President Trump would almost certainly commit perjury if he ever testified under oath in the Russia investigation. The group of liberal journalists were eager to convict Trump even while acknowledging that former President Bill Clinton actually got away with the crime.

At the top of the segment, co-host Savannah Guthrie noted how, during a Friday press conference, “the President himself raised the specter of testifying.” She asked Wallace: “Is that a good idea?” Wallace declared: “It’s not a good idea because he has a very – and whether you love him or you hate him, I think people can acknowledge he has a very loose relationship with the truth.”


        
The MSNBC anchor went on to argue: “So it’s one thing in a political theater where his supporters say he’s sort of blowing up convention....It’s another thing entirely in a court of law where if you lie or if you say something one time and say something different another, it’s called perjury.”

Fill-in co-host Willie Geist touted George W. Bush’s former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer warning that Trump was “walking into a, quote, ‘giant perjury trap.’” Turning to Kornacki, he pressed: “How much could these comments, these tweets, these public statements come back to haunt him?”

Kornacki responded: “And if he presses forward with this, if he ends up under oath, if he ends up being deposed, if he ends up in some situation where he says something that can be contradicted later on, it could end up being a perjury situation.”

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However, unlike his colleagues, Kornacki at least had the presence of mind to recall for viewers a president who was actually guilty of perjury:

But I think one thing we have to keep in mind is this is ultimately still a political question. Think of the last president who was impeached, Bill Clinton. There was no dispute from his supporters and defenders that he had committed perjury. The question was, did that perjury then rise to an impeachable level? And it was a political dispute. Democrats said no, Republicans said yes. Republicans could impeach him, couldn’t remove him. So I still think that still – that same dynamic would stick here.

Wrapping up the exchange moments later, Wallace ranted:

I think the fact, though, that we’re talking about, “Yeah, he’s likely to perjure himself, but it won’t lead to impeachment,” suggests, again, just week after week, the bar keeps moving and it keeps getting lower and lower for this White House. Now they simply have to, “Maybe he’ll perjure himself, but he won’t get impeached over it.” It’s really an extraordinary time.

Once again, the president who already set that low bar was Bill Clinton.

The discussion of Trump testifying and whether he might say something untrue was a hypothetical scenario that has not happened. Apparently such left-wing wishful thinking is what passes for news these days.

Here is a full transcript of the June 12 segment:

7:06 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: We’re joined now by Nicolle Wallace, host of MSNBC’s 4 p.m. hour Deadline: White House, good title. And MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki. Guys, good morning.

WILLIE GEIST: Hey, guys.

NICOLLE WALLACE: Good morning.

GUTHRIE: Nicolle, I’ll start with you. The Sessions testimony is interesting, we’re going to get to that in a minute, but the President himself raised the specter of testifying. He was asked whether he’d be willing to testify under oath about these incidents that James Comey testified about and he said 100%. Is that a good idea?

WALLACE: It’s not a good idea because he has a very – and whether you love him or you hate him, I think people can acknowledge he has a very loose relationship with the truth. He trotted out birtherism for many, many years, then came back and said, “Never mind.” He had his aides go out and argue a demonstrably false fact about the number of people at his inauguration. So it’s one thing in a political theater where his supporters say he’s sort of blowing up convention, he’s standing up to it at least. It’s another thing entirely in a court of law where if you lie or if you say something one time and say something different another, it’s called perjury.

GEIST: So Steve, one of Nicolle’s old colleagues in the White House, Ari Fleischer, the former press secretary under George W. Bush, said effectively over the weekend to Donald Trump, “Stop talking.” He said you’re walking into a, quote, “giant perjury trap.” How much could these comments, these tweets, these public statements come back to haunt him?

STEVE KORNACKI: Yeah, no, I mean, what he’s saying, what Nicolle is saying, is true. And if he presses forward with this, if he ends up under oath, if he ends up being deposed, if he ends up in some situation where he says something that can be contradicted later on, it could end up being a perjury situation. But I think one thing we have to keep in mind is this is ultimately still a political question. Think of the last president who was impeached, Bill Clinton. There was no dispute from his supporters and defenders that he had committed perjury. The question was, did that perjury then rise to an impeachable level? And it was a political dispute. Democrats said no, Republicans said yes. Republicans could impeach him, couldn’t remove him. So I still think that still – that same dynamic would stick here.

GUTHRIE: Let’s talk about the Attorney General, because it’s being reported that he is going to be testifying in some fashion before the Senate Intelligence Committee. What’s at stake there, why is it important for him to get out there and clear the air?

KORNACKI: Yeah, and I mean, that public versus private question on Sessions is key here. Obviously you can understand why Sessions is going to want this is in private. You already know he’s going to face withering questions from Democrats about those two meetings that he had failed to disclose. Now we have word potentially in that private session last week Comey saying there was a third meeting. We’re getting denials from Sessions people, but obviously that’d be a major point of emphasis. Even if he denies that, even if there’s nothing there, he’s got a lot of explaining to do as it is.

GEIST: And real quick, Nicolle, I want to ask you about the tapes. Are there tapes? Are there not tapes? The President with another cryptic statement a couple of days ago? Of course Director Comey, on Thursday, quote, “Lordy, I hope there are tapes.”

WALLACE: Yeah, listen, I think if there were tapes we probably would have seen them. He loves – he loves the tease, a TV man loves a tease. And I think if there were tapes we probably would have seen some of them teased out. I think if there are tapes, they’re likely – they’re more likely to corroborate what Comey’s version of events are than Trump’s, because Comey is a prosecutor who took notes for the purpose of remembering his own actual experience in an investigation or interrogation. I think the fact, though, that we’re talking about, “Yeah, he’s likely to perjure himself, but it won’t lead to impeachment,” suggests, again, just week after week, the bar keeps moving and it keeps getting lower and lower for this White House. Now they simply have to, “Maybe he’ll perjure himself, but he won’t get impeached over it.” It’s really an extraordinary time.

GUTHRIE: Something tells me we’ll see you again this week, guys. Thank you very much. Lots to discuss.

GEIST: Thanks, guys.

CyberAlerts Congress Conservatives & Republicans NBC Today Video Savannah Guthrie Willie Geist Steve Kornacki Nicolle Wallace Donald Trump