Stephanopoulos Frets to RNC Chair: ‘Rise in Racist Acts’ Since Trump Win

With left-wing anti-Trump protesters rioting in cities across the country, on Friday’s Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos laid responsibility for quelling the unrest at the feet of the Republican President-Elect and worried that his victory was inciting the violence.

Talking to Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus, Stephanopoulos feared: “...we’re still seeing a lot of anger out in the streets of this country. You’ve got those protests in several cities overnight for the second straight night. I was struck by the front page of USA Today today, talks about the rise in racist acts following this election....What's your recommendation to President-Elect Trump for how to address that?”

After noting Trump’s gracious and conciliatory tone since winning the presidential race, Priebus observed: “I'm not sure why some of these things are going on. It was the Democrats that accused Donald Trump of not willing to accept the outcome of the election. Now he won fairly overwhelmingly, although close, but Electoral College-wise, pretty clear.” Stephanopoulos couldn’t resist interrupting him: “Right, but he lost the popular vote.”

Priebus continued: “Understood, but it's the other side now that doesn't want to accept the fact that they lost the election.”

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On Thursday, Stephanopoulos raised the possibility of Trump’s impeachment and ABC’s coverage throughout the day hyped the protests as an example of people “letting their voices be heard.”  

In the exchange with Priebus on Friday, Stephanopoulos acknowledged Trump’s civil tone, but quickly seized on “that other tweet overnight talking about professional protesters incited by the media.” He pressed the GOP leader: “Do you believe that these are professionals incited by the media?”

Priebus pointed to evidence of Democrats inciting such demonstrations during the campaign:

I don't know, George. I mean, what I do know, though and I think what President-Elect Trump knows is that it is very clear that, at least in the e-mails that were released, that we had the DNC, the Hillary Clinton campaign or someone in between going to Donald Trump rallies and inciting violence and so that happened. And so there are such things as professional protesters.

Here is a transcript of Stephanopoulos’s November 11 questions to Priebus:

7:09 AM ET

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's talk now to the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus. Mr. Chairman, thank for joining us this morning. First off, congratulations on your victory. President-Elect Trump pulled you up on stage on Wednesday morning, gave you big credit for the victory across the board. So are you prepared now to serve in his administration, perhaps as White House chief of staff?

(...)

STEPHANOPOULOS: You are close to both President-Elect Trump and the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Of course they had some tough times during the campaign. Have they completely buried the hatchet and does President-Elect Trump want Paul Ryan to return as speaker?

(...)

STEPHANOPOULOS: There was a lot of good will and conciliation in Washington yesterday, there's no question about that, but we’re still seeing a lot of anger out in the streets of this country. You’ve got those protests in several cities overnight for the second straight night. I was struck by the front page of USA Today today, talks about the rise in racist acts following this election. There's an awful lot of anger and fear still out there in the country. What's your recommendation to President-Elect Trump for how to address that?

(...)

REINCE PRIEBUS: I'm not sure why some of these things are going on. It was the Democrats that accused Donald Trump of not willing to accept the outcome of the election. Now he won fairly overwhelmingly, although close, but Electoral College-wise, pretty clear. And it’s –

STEPHANOPOULOS: Right, but he lost the popular vote.

PRIEBUS: Understood, but it's the other side now that doesn't want to accept the fact that they lost the election. So, look, I think everyone needs to just take a deep breath, take the weekend –  today's Veterans Day – count our blessings and let's come back on Monday. And I can assure you what you saw yesterday from Donald Trump is exactly the man that I've gotten to know.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You're absolutely right about –

PRIEBUS: Conciliatory, willing to bring people together.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You're absolutely right about the speech he gave on Wednesday morning and the tweet he sent out just moments ago, but also sent out that other tweet overnight talking about professional protesters incited by the media. You say you don't know what's going on behind the scenes either. Do you believe that these are professionals incited by the media?

PRIEBUS: I don't know, George. I mean, what I do know, though and I think what President-Elect Trump knows is that it is very clear that, at least in the e-mails that were released, that we had the DNC, the Hillary Clinton campaign or someone in between going to Donald Trump rallies and inciting violence and so that happened. And so there are such things as professional protesters. But I'm sure that the vast majority of people are just very disappointed with the outcome of the election, so I'll give them that and I'll also say I understand the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. But this election’s over now, and we have a president-elect who has done everything he can do over the last 48 hours to say, “Let's bring people together.”

(...)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Mr. Chairman, again, congratulations. Thanks for joining us this morning.

PRIEBUS: You bet, thank you.

Tell the Truth 2016 NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Racism ABC Good Morning America Video George Stephanopoulos Donald Trump Reince Priebus

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