Nets Finally Side with Trump, Tout Tweet Aimed at House GOP

The liberal Big Three networks finally found a use for President-elect Donald Trump, and it’s to smear Republican members of Congress. The same networks who blacked-out unethical Democrats were up in arms Tuesday after the House GOP attempted to reform the Office of Congressional Ethics, but after it’s retraction they credited the president-elect. “The best-laid plans of Republicans armed with a head of steam and an ambitious to-do list went off the rails this opening day of the new Congress after a tweet from Donald Trump,” announced Anchor Lester Holt on NBC Nightly News.

Trump calling out some of his fellow Republicans after they quietly voted last night to strip power from the Office of Congressional Ethics,” Holt continued to praise, “The president-elect tweet sent GOP lawmakers in full retreat and damage repair mode today.

During her report, NBC’s Kasie Hunt took the time to mock Congressional Republicans claiming the first day of total GOP control, “Was an embarrassing start, dawning with these headlines directly at odds with Trump’s drain the swamp campaign promise.” “The independent bipartisan watchdog was created in 2008 after a series of scandals sent Republicans like Jack Abramoff and Congressman Bob Ney to jail for fraud and bribery,” she continued, insinuating Republicans go hand-in-hand with impropriety.

The insinuation that the GOP’s actions were to allow themselves to act unethically was a common theme on ABC’s World News Tonight as well, with correspondent Mary Bruce reporting:

Tonight, Donald Trump urging Republicans to fall in line with his campaign promise to change Washington. But late last night, behind closed doors, more of the same. House Republicans gutting the office of congressional ethics; created to ensure they play by the rules… Nancy Pelosi tweeting: "So much for draining the swamp."

All three liberal networks credited Trump for the reversal of the plan, CBS’s Nancy Cordes noted, “The final straw came in the form of a social media scolding from President-elect Donald Trump That prompted an emergency meeting and an about-face.” All three also played down, or flat out did not report, that in Trump’s tweets he did mention that the Office Congressional Ethics was “unfair.”

CBS came the closest to reporting that fact, stating, “Republicans say they still intend to reform the office, which currently has the power to investigate anonymous complaints that can turn out to be baseless.”

The Big Three networks performed an about-face of their own Tuesday in regards to Trump’s use of Twitter. There were many instances before and after the election where reporters would chide or pooh-pooh Trump’s use of the social media platform, especially when it came to foreign policy. But since Trump’s latest tweets involved their favorite target to smear, it appears they made an exception to their outrage.  

Transcripts below: 

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NBC Nightly News
January 3, 2017
7:01:22 PM Eastern

LESTER HOLT: Good evening. The best laid plans of Republicans armed with a head of steam and an ambitious to do list went off the rails this opening day of the new Congress after a tweet from Donald Trump. Trump calling out some of his fellow Republicans after they quietly voted last night to strip power from the Office of Congressional Ethics. The president-elect tweet sent GOP lawmakers in full retreat and damage repair mode today. Overshadowing a day they intended showcase a new agenda in Washington politics. NBC’s Kasie Hunt has details.

[Cuts to video]

KASIE HUNT: The first day of the new congress was supposed to be a show of force for Republicans ready to remake government with incoming president, Donald Trump. Instead it was an embarrassing start, dawning with these headlines directly at odds with Trump’s drain the swamp campaign promise. Late Monday night, behind closed doors and in defiance of Speaker Paul Ryan, the House GOP voted to gut the office of congressional ethics. The outcry was fierce with Republican leadership on defense all morning.

KEVIN MCCARTHY: But the reforms do not change the entity.

HUNT: Until Donald Trump tweeted, “With all that congress has to work on, do they have to make the weakening of the independent ethics watchdog their number one act and priority.” The independent bipartisan watchdog was created in 2008 after a series of scandals sent Republicans like Jack Abramoff and Congressman Bob Ney to jail for fraud and bribery.

ABC
World News Tonight
January 3, 2017
6:31:17 PM Eastern

DAVID MUIR: And we begin tonight with the new Congress. Republicans in control of both the House and the Senate and soon, the new Republican president. But it's the president-elect whose voice was heard today, or at least his tweet. Mr. Trump weighing in after a late night move by Republican members of Congress to try to dismantle an ethics board that worked independently to oversee Congress. It happened under the radar, a closed door meeting. And it made big news today. And Mr. Trump, who becomes president in just 17 days, sent a clear message to his fellow Republicans, and they listened. ABC's Mary Bruce leads us off from Capitol Hill.

[Cuts to video]

MARY BRUCE: Tonight, Donald Trump urging Republicans to fall in line with his campaign promise to change Washington.

DONALD TRUMP: It's called drain the swamp. We are going to drain the swamp.

BRUCE: But late last night, behind closed doors, more of the same. House Republicans gutting the office of congressional ethics; created to ensure they play by the rules. Defying their own leaders, members tried to strip the office of its Independence and remove its ability to issue public statements and investigate anonymous complaints. Democrats were swift to respond. Nancy Pelosi tweeting: "So much for draining the swamp." On GMA this morning, Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway defending the move.

KELLYANNE CONWAY: We don't want people mired in months, if not years of ethical complaint reviews.

BRUCE: But three hours later, a very different message from Trump himself via a tweet. "With all that congress has to work on, do they really have to make the weakening of the independent ethics watchdog, as unfair as it may be, their number one act and priority focus on tax reform, healthcare and so many other things of far greater importance!"

Now under pressure, Republican lawmakers scrambling to respond, holding a last minute meeting.

Nicholas Fondacaro
Nicholas Fondacaro
Nicholas C. Fondacaro