Chicken Little Talk: Chuck Todd Panics Over ‘Constitutional Crisis,’ ‘Fatal Distraction’ By Republicans

Deep breaths, people. Leading off Tuesday’s MTP Daily on MSNBC, moderator Chuck Todd let loose on some hyperbole and self-righteous speculation that America is amidst a “constitutional crisis” and “fatal” attack on “the rule of law” caused by Republicans demanding an investigation into alleged spying of the Trump campaign in the early stages of the Russia probe. 

“If it's Tuesday, the constitutional crisis alarm bells are ringing, but is anybody listening? Tonight, fatal distraction. Are the President's systemic attacks on the Justice Department undermining the rule of law as we know it,” stated the smug NBC political director at the top of the show with the accompanying chyron “Fatal Distraction?”

 

 

He added that “[w]e begin tonight with a politically motivated investigation, which is out to prove that Bob Mueller's investigation is politically motivated” and he implored viewers to “wrap your head around that for a moment.” 

Todd rhetorically wagging his finger at Republicans and dismissed the merit of their questions  (click “expand”):

Folks, right now the President and his allies in Congress continue their campaign to distract from the Russia investigation and they hope, discredit it. A group of House Republicans today introduced legislation to appoint a special counsel to investigate essentially any number of the president's political enemies, from leaders in the Justice Department to Hillary Clinton. The Republican chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Ron Johnson, is trying to dig up more dirt about the FBI's handling of the Steele dossier.

As a reminder, the liberal media were hellbent on truly undermining the Ken Starr investigation of then-President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. It’s quite a change to 2017 and 2018 where even asking for oversight is seen as a betrayal of American values.

Following spin about an FBI informant working to infiltrate the Trump campaign, Todd unleashed a tangent about this “constitutional crisis”:

Folks, if this was happening in another country, what would we say? If a country's ruling party was being investigated for potential election corruption and responded by attacking that investigation, launched its own counter investigation into the Justice Department itself, called for the imprisonment of those in the minority party and pressured leaders in law enforcement to lock them up. If that were happening in any other country, we'd probably call it a constitutional crisis for said country. What do we call it here, other than Tuesday?

Not sure about any of you, but America seems to be humming along just fine.

Of course, this is the person who’s wife made over a $1 million off the Bernie Sanders campaign and donated to Democratic Senator Tim Kaine (VA) but Todd has refused to disclose that to viewers. Talk about a journalism ethics problem!

Following all that, Todd showed where his true allegiances lie by bringing on former Obama administration counsel Bob Bauer for a friendly interview. Thankfully, Louisiana Republican Senator John Kennedy came next and talked some sense into Todd. 

Kennedy first explained that, contrary to what many (including the liberal media) are arguing, “the President has the right to request an investigation” just as any of the many people who’ve “ask[ed] the FBI to look into the activities and behavior of the shooter in Parkland in Florida have the right.”

The Louisiana Senator then made the crucial distinction, which is that “[n]one of us have the right, including the President, to influence an investigation and try to tell the FBI and the Justice Department how the results should be of an investigation.”

Moments later, Kennedy dropped a truth bomb aimed directly at Todd and his apocalyptic language (click “expand” to read his full comments):

I want to see the facts and here's what we know, or here's what I think I know. Russia tried to influence the 2016 elections. Did they succeed? We don't know yet. So we have a member of the FBI, he's specially-appointed, Mueller, who is supposed to get the facts. We also know we have Mr. Horowitz, the Inspector General at Justice, looking into it as well. Everything else is just spin and rumor and speculation and innuendo, on both sides, including the President, but he's got the right to his opinion, just like those who hate him have the right to their and I'm prepared to wait for the facts. I don't think Mr. Mueller ought to be fired. I don't think he's a bad guy. I have confidence in the Inspector General. I just want the facts and then, I'll let the American people decide. They're smart enough to figure this out. They're plenty smart. They will figure this out, but everything else, Chuck, is just — sometimes it's — it’s interesting to listen to and I'm not saying anybody's wrong to do it, but it's all speculation. You know, the gentlemen that you just had on, I don't remember his name. He seemed to be very intelligent, but, you know, talking about this has provoked a constitutional crisis, I don't see it, you know? I just don't see it. But we don't have any facts yet.

To be clear, it’s only a constitutional crisis for outlets like CNN and MSNBC when someone (e.g. Republicans) are not in lockstep with what they want investigated to advance the Resistance. And, don’t try and argue that they’re not on one side of the aisle.

Since Trump took office, NewsBusters has documented numerous instances where the word “constitutional crisis” has appeared. Links to examples can be found here, here, here, here, and here.

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s MTP Daily on May 22, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s MTP Daily
May 22, 2018
5:00 p.m. Eastern

CHUCK TODD: If it's Tuesday, the constitutional crisis alarm bells are ringing, but is anybody listening? Tonight, fatal distraction. 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Fatal Distraction?]

Are the President's systemic attacks on the Justice Department undermining the rule of law as we know it? 

(....)

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Breaking News; Headed for a Constitutional Crisis]

TODD: We begin tonight with a politically motivated investigation, which is out to prove that Bob Mueller's investigation is politically motivated. So wrap your head around that for a moment. Folks, right now the President and his allies in Congress continue their campaign to distract from the Russia investigation and they hope, discredit it. A group of House Republicans today introduced legislation to appoint a special counsel to investigate essentially any number of the president's political enemies, from leaders in the Justice Department to Hillary Clinton. The Republican chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Ron Johnson, is trying to dig up more dirt about the FBI's handling of the Steele dossier. Now, this all follows the President's recent move ordering the Justice Department to investigate parts of the Russia investigation that, of course, is looking into him. The President has seized on reports that the FBI used an informant to make contact with members of his campaign, and he's hyping that revelation with what you might call Trumpian levels of hyperbole. 

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Congress would like to see documents opened up. A lot of people are saying they had spies in my campaign. If they had spies in my campaign, that would be a disgrace to this country. That would be one of the biggest insults that anybody's ever seen and that would be very illegal, aside from everything else. It would make every political event ever make look like small potatoes. 

TODD: We're scratching our head on the biggest insult comment. Everything else sort of made sense there in Trumperbole. But there was no evidence that this was trying to spy on the campaign. But there is evidence that this alleged informant was part of an effort by the Justice Department's effort to spy on the campaign and infiltrate. But there is evidence that this alleged informant who worked for Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Bush was part of the Justice Department’s effort to spy on what Russia was doing to protect the Trump campaign from being infiltrated by Russians. Now, the White House yesterday brokered an agreement through its Chief of Staff, John Kelly, which would allow House Republicans, but not Democratic counterparts, mind you, to view highly classified information related to the Russia investigation. That meeting is now planned for Thursday. The President's Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, has resisted those efforts so far. By the way, in case you're wondering what the president's view of him is. By the way, in case you're wondering what the President's view of him is. Take a listen. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Do you have confidence in Rod Rosenstein? 

TRUMP: What's your next question, please?

TODD: Wow. Make it a bit more obvious. Folks, if this was happening in another country, what would we say? If a country's ruling party was being investigated for potential election corruption and responded by attacking that investigation, launched its own counter investigation into the Justice Department itself, called for the imprisonment of those in the minority party and pressured leaders in law enforcement to lock them up. If that were happening in any other country, we'd probably call it a constitutional crisis for said country. What do we call it here, other than Tuesday?

(....)

REPUBLICAN SENATOR JOHN KENNEDY (LA): Well, you either trust Rod Rosenstein and Chris Wray or you don't. What I said on Scarborough's show this morning, and I'll say it again, the President has the right to request an investigation. You have the right to request an investigation. I have the right. The people who ask the FBI to look into the activities and behavior of the shooter in Parkland in Florida have the right. None of us have the right, including the President, to influence an investigation and try to tell the FBI and the Justice Department how the results should be of an investigation. I don't see any evidence that the President has done that. He didn't try to hide his meeting. I think Rosenstein and Wray were both there. If he does try to influence it, I will speak out against it, but he has the right to ask for an investigation and I don't — honestly, Chris, I realize there are always two sides to every story — or, Chuck — 

TODD: That's alright. 

KENNEDY: But that's his prerogative. Now, you may not like the way he does it, and you may not like the tweets that he uses, Chuck, about it, but that's a separate issue from whether he has the right to say, okay, the FBI or the Justice Department or somebody sent an informant into my campaign and, hey, I would like to know what's going on. I would kind of like to know myself. 

(....)

KENNEDY: Well, I can only give you my point of view. I mean, I don't hate anybody. I know that's rare up here, but I really don't. I want to see the facts and here's what we know, or here's what I think I know. Russia tried to influence the 2016 elections. Did they succeed? We don't know yet. So we have a member of the FBI, he's specially-appointed, Mueller, who is supposed to get the facts. We also know we have Mr. Horowitz, the Inspector General at Justice, looking into it as well. Everything else is just spin and rumor and speculation and innuendo, on both sides, including the President, but he's got the right to his opinion, just like those who hate him have the right to their and I'm prepared to wait for the facts. I don't think Mr. Mueller ought to be fired. I don't think he's a bad guy. I have confidence in the Inspector General. I just want the facts and then, I'll let the American people decide. They're smart enough to figure this out. They're plenty smart. They will figure this out, but everything else, Chuck, is just — sometimes it's — it’s interesting to listen to and I'm not saying anybody's wrong to do it, but it's all speculation. You know, the gentlemen that you just had on, I don't remember his name. He seemed to be very intelligent, but, you know, talking about this has provoked a constitutional crisis, I don't see it, you know? I just don't see it. 

TODD: Fair enough. 

KENNEDY: But we don't have any facts yet. 

TODD: But I think your warning about let the investigators finish their investigation before we question their investigation. 

KENNEDY: I mean, wish they would —

TODD: I know that's a crazy idea. 

KENNEDY: — I do wish they would hurry up. I think all Americans who are in good faith would like to see these investigations concluded sooner rather than later. They're important, but they do suck up a lot of oxygen. I mean, there are times up here on the Hill that that's all folks want to talk about. That's okay, except there are other important issues, too. I'm not saying that the investigation is not important, but it is — it does take up a lot of oxygen. 


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