CBS, NBC Tout Impeachment, Cohen/Manafort Making Kavanaugh Confirmation ‘Complicated’

On Wednesday night, the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News remained aboard the proverbial liberal media party bus pushing Congress to impeach President Trump and delay or thwart Brett Kavanaugh from reaching the Supreme Court following Tuesday’s bad Trump headlines involving Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort.

NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt told viewers amidst their extensive Trump coverage that just because “the Special Counsel has yet to” prove Trump-Russia collusion “does not mean prosecutors exposed criminality in the President’s universe” and quipped that White House correspondent Kristen Welker had a look at “a look at all the President's men in trouble.”

 

 

Turning the screws on the President, Welker wondered if “the optics of all the President's men impact the President's ability to govern,” which allowed Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd to pile on:

He always thinks he can survive. Why? Because he's been Houdini in the past. The question is this time is Bob Mueller and Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort enough to Trump his Houdini ways? 

Holt later returned to state that “Capitol Hill [is] still reeling from the Cohen plea and the Manafort conviction” as “[a] number of Republicans seeking to distance themselves from the President...while Democrats are seizing the moment to throw up road blocks for the President's Supreme Court nominee.”

Congressional correspondent Kasie Hunt reported that there’s “[m]ounting questions for President Trump's allies on Capitol Hill” with many not following “[t]he hand full of Republicans who often speak out against the President” who aren’t “holding back” this week. 

She then touted the push by Democrats to delay the Kavanaugh nomination while “Republicans, who control the calendar, dismissing that idea, and the White House hitting back” at that request.

But for the Resistance, it’s about impeachment (click “expand” for more):

HUNT: Most Democrats steering carefully clear of the i-word: impeachment. [TO DUCKWORTH] Do you think this is at the point where there should be conversations about impeaching President Trump? 

DEMOCRATIC SENATOR TAMMY DUCKWORTH (IL): I don't think it's that point in time. 

HUNT: The time could come if Democrats retake the House in the midterm elections this fall.

Going to CBS, White House correspondent Weija Jiang told viewers that, in light of the Cohen and Manafort stories, “some Democrats have already brought up impeachment hearings if they take control of the House after the midterms.”

“Some Democrats are also calling to delay the confirmation hearings for the president's Supreme Court pick, judge Brett Kavanaugh, because he has said in the past he does not believe sitting presidents should be subject to criminal investigations,” she later added.

Chief White House correspondent Major Garrett also addressed both topics in the next block:

As for impeachment, this White House does not fear Republicans but knows that this week's events have vastly complicated the push to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and begin talks of a government shutdown. Jeff, both of those intensify next month. 

To see the relevant transcript from August 22's NBC Nightly News, click “expand.”

NBC Nightly News
August 22, 2018
7:04 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: “The Best People”]

LESTER HOLT: President Trump’s default defense of so much of what is swirling around him is there is no collusion, meaning between his campaign and Russia. But the fact the Special Counsel has yet to make that specific case does not mean prosecutors exposed criminality in the President’s universe. Kristen Welker takes a look at all the President's men in trouble. 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Trump’s “Best People”L At Least Five May Face Prison Time]

KRISTEN WELKER: President Trump's memorable mantra on the campaign trail alive and thriving in West Virginia overnight. That infamous lock her up chant, candidate Trump's attack on Hillary Clinton's controversial use of a private e-mail server.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: This is worse than Watergate.

WELKER: He also promised to hire only the very best once in office. 

TRUMP: I want the best people. 

WELKER: While Clinton was never locked up, five of the President's former confidence and top campaign aides could face prison time. Former national security advisor Michael Flynn pleaded guilty of lying to the FBI. One-time foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty of lying to federal authorities. Deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates pleaded guilty financial fraud and yesterday's stunning split screen, his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to tax evasion and campaign finance violations while his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was found guilty of fraud and financial crimes. Today, the press secretary on defense about that vow to hire only the top tier. 

(....)

WELKER: But could the optics of all the President's men impact the President's ability to govern? 

CHUCK TODD: He always thinks he can survive. Why? Because he's been Houdini in the past. The question is this time is Bob Mueller and Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort enough to Trump his Houdini ways? 

WELKER: The President's support among his base is still strong. He's planning to campaign in 15 states after labor day, Lester? 

HOLT: Kristen Welker, thanks.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: The Fallout]

Capitol Hill still reeling from the Cohen plea and the Manafort conviction. A number of Republicans seeking to distance themselves from the President — from his former associate's turned felons while Democrats are seizing the moment to throw up road blocks for the President's Supreme Court nominee. NBC News congressional correspondent Kasie Hunt has the fallout. 

REPUBLICAN SENATOR JOHN THUNE (SD): Slow news day, huh? 

KASIE HUNT: Mounting questions for President Trump's allies on Capitol Hill today. 

(....)

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Swift Fallout on Capitol Hill from Cohen, Manafort Cases]

HUNT: The hand full of Republicans who often speak out against the President not holding back. 

REPUBLICAN SENATOR BOB CORKER (TN): I don't think I've witnessed anything like I've witnessed over the last year and a half. 

HUNT: But many Republicans defending the President and insisting that Cohen and Manafort legal troubles aren't related to the overall Russia probe. 

(....)

HUNT: Democrats today demanding a delay in Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court. 

SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER: It is unseemly for the President of the United States to be picking a Supreme Court Justice who could soon be effectively a juror in a case involving the President himself. 

HUNT: Republicans, who control the calendar, dismissing that idea, and the White House hitting back. 

SANDERS: This is a desperate and pathetic attempt by Democrats to obstruct a very highly qualified nominee. 

HUNT: Most Democrats steering carefully clear of the i-word: impeachment. [TO DUCKWORTH] Do you think this is at the point where there should be conversations about impeaching President Trump? 

DEMOCRATIC SENATOR TAMMY DUCKWORTH (IL): I don't think it's that point in time. 

HUNT: The time could come if Democrats retake the House in the midterm elections this fall. Kasie Hunt, NBC News, the Capitol.

To see the relevant transcript from the CBS Evening News with Jeff Glor on August 22, click “expand.”

CBS Evening News with Jeff Glor
August 22, 2018
6:34 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: President’s New Explanation; Trump: I Knew About Payments After Cohen Made Them]

WEIJA JIANG: Manafort joins a growing list of people who worked for Mr. Trump either on the campaign or in the administration who have been convicted of federal crimes. Republicans are aware of potential implications. 

(....)

CHANG: And some Democrats have already brought up impeachment hearings if they take control of the House after the midterms. 

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: The idea of an impeachment is, frankly, a sad attempt by Democrats. It's the only message they seem to have going into the midterms. 

JIANG: Some Democrats are also calling to delay the confirmation hearings for the President's Supreme Court pick, judge Brett Kavanaugh, because he has said in the past he does not believe sitting presidents should be subject to criminal investigations. The White House says the suggestion to hold off is “desperate and pathetic.”

(....)

MAJOR GARRETT: As for impeachment, this White House does not fear Republicans but knows that this week's events have vastly complicated the push to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and begin talks of a government shutdown. Jeff, both of those intensify next month. 

GLOR: And those Kavanaugh confirmation hearings coming up week after next. 

NBDaily Judiciary Kavanaugh Nomination Congress Push to Impeach Trump Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Trump-Russia probe CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video Government & Press Lester Holt Kristen Welker Kasie Hunt Major Garrett Weijia Jiang Donald Trump
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