The liberal media cannot always say everything they would like to about the President, lest they destroy what little remains of their laughable claim of objectivity. Instead, they trot out far-left politicians to speak for them, as was the case on Monday, when MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell hosted California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.
Mitchell started the interview by framing Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s lawsuit against California’s illegal immigration sanctuary policy as a ‘war’ on the entire state. From there, she repeatedly teed up her guest to fire insults at the President. She let Becerra’s numerous factually inaccurate statements slide, instead cheering him on at every turn.
“It seems to me it’s fourteen, fifteen months into the administration,” Mitchell began. “Is this the longest any President of the United States has gone without visiting the most populous state?” she asked. Becerra showed frustration that it had taken so long for the President “to come visit the most important part of the country,” while she nodded along in agreement.
After setting Becerra up for a few shots at Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Mitchell played a brief clip of the President lambasting Congresswoman Maxine Waters during his Saturday night campaign rally for Pennsylvania Republican congressional candidate Rick Saccone. Rather than asking a substantive question about the rally, she merely prompted, “Your comment?”
“I think Donald Trump probably said that from about 2,000 miles away from Maxine Waters because he’s probably too afraid to say it to her face,” he speculated. He extolled the Congresswoman’s many wonderful accolades and diplomatically described Trump’s insults against Waters as “unfortunate.” He continued, “I would urge Donald Trump to be careful if he ever finds himself in a dark alley with Maxine Waters.”
“That’s a funny image,” Mitchell laughed. Her levity was a far cry from the hand-wringing that had pervaded her show just minutes earlier, in reaction to the President’s (admittedly inappropriate) description of MSNBC’s Chuck Todd as a “son of a b****.” This apparent double standard is further exacerbated when one considers that in 2016, she had been quick to blame then-candidate Trump’s rhetoric for “egging on” violence.
With regard to the Justice Department’s suit against California, Mitchell asked hopefully whether Becerra believed his state could “beat the federal government in its lawsuit.” The Attorney General responded with a rambling monologue in which he suggested that the federal government somehow was violating the Tenth Amendment.
At no point did Mitchell challenge any of Becerra’s assertions, including the particularly questionable claim that California officials did not “get in the way” of the federal government enforcing immigration laws. Perhaps sensing that such pushback would consume valuable time which could otherwise have been spent attacking the Trump administration, she instead allowed her guest free rein.
A full transcript of the interview can be found below:
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports
12:12 p.m. EST
ANDREA MITCHELL: Joining me now is the Attorney General of California, Xavier Becerra, former Congressman, and leading Democrat in California. Thank you very much. We wanted to talk to you for so many reasons, the war launched by Attorney General Sessions against state of California over sanctuary cities for undocumented immigrants. But also, of course, today about the gun issue. The President backing down on raising the age limit.
XAVIER BECERRA: Andrea, it's a little scary to not know where this administration might go on something as important as gun safety. And it's unfortunate that the rest of the country has to wait. Here in California we've had background checks for decades. We've banned bump stocks for years. In fact, we have for 100 years required a license to carry a concealed weapon. And so it should not surprise people that when president trump comes to California, he'll see what it takes to have real gun safety measures in place.
MITCHELL: It seems to me it's fourteen, fifteen months into the administration. Is this the longest any President of the United States has gone without visiting the most populous state?
BECERRA: I believe since Truman, if not before. That's the longest it's taken someone to come visit the most important part of the country, where we create more jobs than any other state. We’re the economic engine for the country. In fact we're the sixth largest economy in the world if we were a stand-alone country on our own. And so it's unfortunate that the president has chosen so long – to wait so long before visiting the number one agricultural state, number one manufacturing state, number one high-tech state. We graduate more people from college than anywhere else in the country. But what he'll find is that we figured out a way to do this right and create more jobs, give people an opportunity without breaking families apart or treating immigrant families as if they're something different.
MITCHELL: Mr. Attorney General, I wanted to also ask you, of course, about education. Betsy DeVos, the Education Secretary, she was on The Today Show and last night she did an interview with Lesley Stahl on 60 minutes about her role as volunteer on educational issues, and favoring charter schools and private schools in the state of Michigan. And this was one of the unusual exchanges.
LESLEY STAHL: Have the public schools in Michigan gotten better?
BETSY DEVOS: I don’t know. Overall – I can't say overall they've all gotten better.
STAHL: The whole state is not doing well.
DEVOS: Well, there are certainly lots of pockets where it is students are doing well and –
STAHL: No, but your argument if you take funds away, that the schools will get better is not working in Michigan. Where you had a huge impact and influence over the direction of the school system here.
DEVOS: I hesitate to talk about all schools in general because schools are made up of individual students attending them.
STAHL: The public schools here are doing worse than they did.
DEVOS: Michigan schools need to do better, there is no doubt about it.
STAHL: Have you seen the really bad schools, maybe try to figure out what they're doing?
DEVOS: I have not – I have not – I have not intentionally visited schools that are underperforming.
STAHL: Maybe you should.
DEVOS: Maybe I should, yes.
MITCHELL: I mean, the fact is that she was controversial at her confirmation hearing. She's not an educator, heading the education department, so how does it affect California schools and how have been your interactions with the Education Department?
BECERRA: Andrea, any time you strip a school of its funding for its kids, you're depriving those children of the best education they can get. And unfortunately, we have a Secretary of Education who has steered away from giving our kids everything they should have at our public schools. At the same time, I would also raise a red flag with her policies relating to our college students, where she has seemed to be favoring for-profit, predatory colleges over our students when it comes to their practices, how they gouge students in student loans. And we’re trying to defend those students here in California, and Secretary DeVos and Department of Education are trying to strip away the power of state prosecutors like the Attorney General in California, to be able to go after those bad actors who actually end up costing those college students and their families tens of thousands of dollars.
MITCHELL: I also wanted to give you a moment to comment on your former congressional colleague, Maxine Waters, and play a little of what the president had to say about Maxine Waters Saturday night in Pittsburgh.
DONALD TRUMP: And Maxine waters, a very low IQ individual. Ever see her? Have you ever seen her? “We will impeach him. We will impeach –”, “But he hasn't done anything wrong.”,
“Doesn't matter. We will impeach him.” She's a low IQ individual. You can't help it. She really is.
MITCHELL: General Becerra, your comment?
BECERRA: I think Donald Trump probably said that from about 2,000 miles away from maxi waters because he's probably too afraid to say it to her face. She's been one of the greatest champions consumers have ever had, that families have ever had. And I suspect that Donald Trump would be afraid to come up to her and actually say something like that to her because Maxine Waters won't stand for that. It's unfortunate he uses that kind of language about someone who's been a public servant for so many years, someone who's fought very hard. And just because he disagrees with her doesn't mean he has to use derogatory language. But again, Maxine can take care of herself, and I would urge Donald Trump to be careful if he ever finds himself in a dark ally with Maxine Waters.
MITCHELL: That's a funny image. Let's briefly ask you again, I know you referenced it earlier, about the sanctuary cities and if you think you can beat the federal government in its lawsuit?
BECERRA: Well, I believe any time the federal government tries to violate the Tenth Amendment and the rights of the states to decide how to do general welfare and public safety for their citizens, that we have a great chance of winning in court. And in this particular case where the Trump administration has decided to sue California, they're essentially trying to coerce us into doing the federal government's job. We believe the federal government has every right to enforce its immigration laws, to do it under the institution and we don't get in the way but we don't believe the federal government can get in the way of the way California wants to do its public safety. We want our police and our deputy sheriffs to go after criminals on the streets and not do immigration and deportation enforcement for the federal government. So we’ll leave the business of deportation to Donald Trump. We're in the business of public safety here in California.
MITCHELL: Xavier Becerra, Mr. Attorney General, thank you. It's always good to see you. Thank you for being with us today.