ABC, NBC Breathe Fire at ‘Unrepentant,’ ‘Untruthful’ Trump Making ‘Very Strange’ Claims

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Just as they were in their Wednesday morning special reports following the release of the transcript from the July 25 call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, ABC and NBC were indignant and raging against the “unrepentant,” “untruthful” Trump following a press conference which they deemed to have been an incoherent mess.

And when it came to defending Hunter and Joe Biden for the former’s business dealings, NBC in particular saw no problem with Hunter but were incensed with the current First Family’s business careers.

 

 

ABC chief anchor George Stephanopoulos knows a thing or two about presidential scandals from his days as a Clinton hack, but he sure seemed to sing a different tune about Trump. He interjected part way through the press conference to assert that viewers were watching “[a]n unrepentant, in many ways, untruthful President...talking about what has happened...in the Ukraine investigation.”

Stephanopoulos also defended the liberal media-fueled Trump-Russia probe, insisting that it wasn’t a witch hunt for collusion and that it bore bad news for Trump (click “expand”):

The President clearly asked the Ukrainian President to investigate Joe Biden. The President said, and this is just not true, that’s exactly what President Obama did when he asked others to look into his background. Of course, there is no evidence of that whatsoever. It's made up. The President called the Russian investigation a hoax that was designed to bring him down when, in fact, what Robert Mueller found was a serious effort by the Russians to interfere in the elections to help Donald Trump. He documented contacts between the Trump administration and the Russians. Of course, he documented many evidence of possible obstruction of justice by the President. The President also making claims about Joe Biden and his activities in Ukraine. No evidence, no investigators have come up with evidence to support that.

Senior congressional correspondent Mary Bruce proclaimed that Democrats had found the transcript to be “far worse” for Trump “than what they thought it could have been” and that Wednesday had been a “gamechanger.”

Once they dipped back into the presser, Stephanopoulos returned once it ended, telling senior national correspondent Terry Moran, “that was some display of projection there by the President” to be “accus[ing] his — his opponents in the press of telling lies and then unleashes a string of inaccurate statements and attacks on the opponents.”

Moran replied by expressing doubt on whether Trump supporters will abandon him and thus side with congressional Democrats (and therefore the media as well) (click “expand”):

This is the classic Trump playbook, George, that we have gotten used to.....I will say he sounded down, wounded, everyone sad as he went through this, but this is what he is. He is a counterpuncher, ferocious and willing to throw, everything, true, false, irrelevant at a problem. It is — the question is will his followers stick with him if the Democrats in Congress, who have begun this impeachment inquiry, begin to bring the evidence that can bolster their argument about what the transcript means. The President is arguing what you see in the transcript isn't what’s really happening and he is arguing that he is advocating for the United States interest, not his personal political interest. But if the Democrats bring out witnesses who were part of — of this process to put it in a different context, it's a question as to how well this very familiar playbook that he is playing here will work with his base and with voters. 

Before going to chief White House correspondent Jon Karl, Stephanopoulos gloated that the President didn’t really have any real “defense” against Democrats (and, again, the media). 

Going over to NBC, supposedly legendary journalist Andrea Mitchell showed some profound ignorance. 

Mitchell expressed not only dismay that Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) was criticized by the President, but falsely claimed that Trump made up how Murphy placed pressure on the Ukrainian government to investigate the President (click “expand”):

For one thing, he is so angry about the impeachment deriding Nancy Pelosi and Chris Murphy, pointing out that Chris Murphy, the senator from Connecticut, was a key negotiator on guns but has, he said, now turned because Murphy has been just devastating in the criticism of the transcript or the notes released and Murphy had met with the Ukrainians and he's accusing Murphy and other senators of having pressured the Ukrainian president to do an investigation, contrary to any information that we have. Murphy was traveling with a Republican senator, Ron Johnson, of Wisconsin just before the Congress returned from their August recess. So, it's just a very strange accusation, not with any foundation we know about. We don't really know what he's talking about. 

So while Mitchell might not have her facts straight on what some Democrats were actually up to, our friend Amber Athey at the Daily Caller did (click “expand”):

Democrats in Congress previously pressured Ukraine to continue investigations into President Donald Trump or risk losing U.S. aid, despite current cries of impeachment over the president’s similar actions.

In 2018, Democratic Sens. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, Dick Durbin of Illinois, and Pat Leahy of Vermont sent a letter to the Ukrainian general prosecutor accusing him of trying to “impede cooperation” with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into collusion by the Trump campaign.

(....)

Meanwhile, Democratic Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy delivered a similar message to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky earlier this month, warning that Democratic support for the country could dwindle if he complied with the president’s requests to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden. 

Concerning the Bidens, Mitchell asserted that there’s no “independent investigator” to corroborate any improprieties but then proceeded to kick dirt in the faces of the Trump family for doing business overseas. So as long as you belong to the right party, Mitchell doesn’t see why you can’t do business overseas while your parents are in office.

Chief White House correspondent Hallie Jackson agreed (click “expand”):

The President repeatedly again today here raised these unfounded claims that you and Andrea Mitchell were just talking about, about his political rivals, about Joe Biden. Interestingly, the President was very big on calling for transparency. When he did talk about these investigations, he said, you know, you have to have transparency, we want to know what's throughout. The President has not been transparent about his own children's dealings with foreign leaders and businesses overseas and that is a question we would have asked the President if we had the opportunity, Lester. 

Both networks also engaged in what’s been demolished by our friends at places like the Daily Caller, The Federalist, and even by my colleague Nick Fondacaro, which was a widespread inability by the liberal media to acknowledge and/or explain what that “favor” in the call was all about.

To see the relevant transcript from the ABC News Special Report, click “expand.”

ABC News Special Report
September 25, 2019
4:56 p.m. Eastern

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Okay. We’re going to break in now. You just heard the President go on for 20, 25 minutes there. An unrepentant, in many ways, untruthful President over the course of the last 20 minutes talking about what has happened in the — in the Ukraine investigation right now. Of course, in the wake of the release of that phone call with Ukrainian President on July 25. The President clearly asked the Ukrainian President to investigate Joe Biden. The President said, and this is just not true, that’s exactly what President Obama did when he asked others to look into his background. Of course, there is no evidence of that whatsoever. It's made up. The President called the Russian investigation a hoax that was designed to bring him down when, in fact, what Robert Mueller found was a serious effort by the Russians to interfere in the elections to help Donald Trump. He documented contacts between the Trump administration and the Russians. Of course, he documented many evidence of possible obstruction of justice by the President. The President also making claims about Joe Biden and his activities in Ukraine. No evidence, no investigators have come up with evidence to support that. I want to go to Mary Bruce right now as we wait to see if the President is going to come and take questions. Again, right there, Mary, that’s the President's take on what is going on here. He says he wants to be transparent and he says he sent up the whistle blower complaint. In fact, it has gone to Capitol Hill in the wake of the release of the transcript of the phone call as well, but meantime, the news in that phone call has galvanized Democrats in this move for impeachment proceedings. 

MARY BRUCE: George, this transcript, the White House version of transcript, the summary that has come out is, as far as Democrats say, far worse than what they thought it could have been. For them, they say this is why it proves why they made the decision, why Speaker Pelosi finally moved to launch impeachment. This proves, for them, why this was a game-changer.

(...)

5:05 p.m. Eastern

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP:  You look at all of the things that happened. Corey Lewandowski was fantastic the other day. As a person they have been tormenting. You look at  all the people that they’ve tormented. All the legal fees. People came here with — with bright eyes. They wanted to make life so great for other people and they left where they spent hundreds of thousands in the legal fees they didn't have and it’s a sad thing. What the Democrats have done to ruin lives is so sad. I have seen people with only good intentions, they came to Washington to make the United States and the world a better place and they went home. They were dark. They got hit by the Mueller subpoenas. I think there were 2,500 subpoenas or some ridiculous number. 500 people were interviewed and yet, they don't interview Joe Biden or his son. If you’re a Democrat you have automatic protection. That’s years and years of people putting in certain people in to positions, but when you look at all of the — all of the trauma that these fake news have caused and the press, look, the press is — much of the press is not only fake, it's corrupt. These stories they write are corrupt. They're so wrong and they know that. You know, it used to be — I used to get great press until I ran for politics. I used to be the king of getting good press, I was very good at it. They covered me well for what otherwise I probably wouldn't be here and once I ran I said boy this is incredible, but if you see the way they treat my family, used to be treated great, my family works so hard, the people that work with me, these people all of these people, they work so hard, they've done such a good — we have the greatest economy we've ever had. We have a military, $2.5 trillion, we've rebuilt our military. You don't hear the vets complaining. We got choice approved. It couldn't be approved. But when you see what happened with the viciousness and when you see little Adam Schiff go out and lie and lie and stand at the mic, smart guy, by the way, stand at the mic and act like he's so serious and then goes into a room with Nadler and they must laugh their asses off. They must laugh their asses off. It's so bad for our country. People have said Rush Limbaugh, great man, Sean Hannity said it, a lot of people said it, Mark Levin, they said they don't know of one man anywhere in the world with all the men they know or woman [sic] that could handle what I've had to handle and I think that's true, but I handle it. To me it's like putting on a suit.

(....)

5:11 p.m. Eastern

STEPHANOPOULOS: And Terry, that was some display of projection there by the President. He accuses his — his opponents in the press of telling lies and then unleashes a string of inaccurate statements and attacks on the opponents. He was asked if he could explain to the American people why it would be okay for a President to ask a foreign country to investigate a political rival. Instead of defending or explaining it, he accused President Obama of doing that, which is, of course, untrue. 

TERRY MORAN: This is the classic Trump playbook, George, that we have gotten used to. We have seen it unfold all day at the United Nations. In the heat of — of this furor in Washington over the transcript of his call with the President of Ukraine which shows him saying — asking for a favor from the President of Ukraine in part to look at the Biden family's activities in Ukraine which had been looked at before and doing it again and again. I will say he sounded down, wounded, everyone sad as he went through this, but this is what he is. He is a counterpuncher, ferocious and willing to throw, everything, true, false, irrelevant at a problem. It is — the question is will his followers stick with him if the Democrats in Congress, who have begun this impeachment inquiry, begin to bring the evidence that can bolster their argument about what the transcript means. The President is arguing what you see in the transcript isn't what’s really happening and he is arguing that he is advocating for the United States interest, not his personal political interest. But if the Democrats bring out witnesses who were part of — of this process to put it in a different context, it's a question as to how well this very familiar playbook that he is playing here will work with his base and with voters. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: That is the question. Jon Karl, chief White House correspondent. Of course, it did work to some degree politically in his characterizations of the Russian investigation even those were not true either. The question is going to be going forward is this emerging defense we’re seeing from the President which isn't a defense of his actions but an attack on the opponents going to work politically in the face of this. 

JONATHAN KARL: Yeah and it seems this is a much more difficult one because it’s an easier issue to understand. The President kept referring to his conversation, the phone call he had with President Zelensky of Ukraine as a beautiful, as a perfect call. But the call is clear, George. You may argue whether or not the President put any pressure on President Zelensky but what is without question is that he asked the leader of a foreign nation to work with his attorney general to investigate his political rival, potentially his name political rival in the 2020 election and the question he was asked at the beginning was is that appropriate? Does he really think that is okay? And he didn't answer that. He flatly didn’t answer it. Instead he went on a tangent you mentioned talking about Barack Obama, about Hillary Clinton, about the 2016 election, about where he campaigned. I mean, he talked about a lot of things. He didn't explain his actions there and those actions are not hard to understand. They are black and white of the summary of the phone call. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: And, Mary Bruce, on Capitol Hill, Congress does have a whistle blower complaint said to include allegations beyond the phone call. They are only beginning to digest that. So, this is only beginning. 

BRUCE: George, as the President has been speaking with reporters here behind me in the capital, members of the intelligence committees have been getting the first look at the whistle blower complaint. Now, they’ve been tight lipped as they are leaving this secure room. Of course, this is still a classified document. But a senator did tell us he still has a lot of questions and of course, they will get a chance to ask some of those questions tomorrow when they will — when the acting DNI will be up here testifying. Among some of the questions that they want to know why he overruled the inspector general — or excuse me, the IG, the inspector general when he deemed that complaint to be credible and of urgent concern. Chairman Schiff of the House Intelligence Committee has been voicing a lot concern, saying that he wants to know why the acting DNI didn't more to protect the whistle blower and, of course, George, this paints a broader picture than what we have learned from the summary that was released today. What was happening outside of that phone conversation? That is what lawmakers are hoping to glean, especially what were some of the other players doing? Particularly the President's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and the attorney general

STEPHANOPOULOS: William Barr. 

To see the relevant transcript from the NBC News Special Report, click “expand.”

NBC News Special Report
September 25, 2019
5:11 p.m. Eastern

ANDREA MITCHELL: For one thing, he is so angry about the impeachment deriding Nancy Pelosi and Chris Murphy, pointing out that Chris Murphy, the senator from Connecticut, was a key negotiator on guns but has, he said, now turned because Murphy has been just devastating in the criticism of the transcript or the notes released and Murphy had met with the Ukrainians and he's accusing Murphy and other senators of having pressured the Ukrainian president to do an investigation, contrary to any information that we have. Murphy was traveling with a Republican senator, Ron Johnson, of Wisconsin just before the Congress returned from their August recess. So, it's just a very strange accusation, not with any foundation we know about. We don't really know what he's talking about. By my count, the President spoke for about 40 minutes, Secretary Pompeo spoke very briefly about Iran and what they accomplished. He took only three questions, one on Venezuela, one on the whole question — well one on the trade policy, and, of course, one on the investigation, maybe four questions if you can count that, but —

LESTER HOLT: Let's reset where we are. A day in which we receive at least notes of the conversation with the Ukrainian president which Mr. Trump does bring up Joe Biden and wishes for an investigation, but he offered it as an counterpunch here, really trying to change the narrative and put the focus on Joe Biden. Any — any substantiation to the things he said? 

MITCHELL: None that any independent investigator has been able to count. Now, it is true that Hunter Biden had — had business and was doing business in Ukraine, business elsewhere, but presidential offsprings and vice presidential offsprings do business and the President has never questioned Eric Trump or Don Jr. or Ivanka Trump's business dealings, which are ongoing right now as he is President of the United States. So, there has been no credible investigation that anyone has yet accounted that says that the Bidens did anything wrong. 

(....)

5:16 p.m. Eastern

HALLIE JACKSON:  The President repeatedly again today here raised these unfounded claims that you and Andrea Mitchell were just talking about, about his political rivals, about Joe Biden. Interestingly, the President was very big on calling for transparency. When he did talk about these investigations, he said, you know, you have to have transparency, we want to know what's throughout. The President has not been transparent about his own children's dealings with foreign leaders and businesses overseas and that is a question we would have asked the President if we had the opportunity, Lester. 

NB Daily Mueller Report Trump Impeachment Ukraine Russia ABC NBC Video Government & Press Mary Bruce George Stephanopoulos Terry Moran Lester Holt Andrea Mitchell Hallie Jackson Donald Trump Joe Biden
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