After all three broadcast networks celebrated left-wing Tax Day protests over the weekend, on Monday morning, NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America continued to revel in the anti-Trump hate, touting footage of demonstrators launching nasty attacks against the President while applauding how “determined” they were to “get their message out.”
On GMA, correspondent Mary Bruce noted how the White House was “buzzing with activity” ahead of the annual Easter Egg Roll, but immediately soured the festivities by insisting: “across the country, a far less festive mood, from protesters now demanding the President do something they feel is far overdue.” She went on to claim: “The President celebrating the holiday while being dogged by another annual event, Tax Day.”
Amid clips of the liberal protesters chanting “Shame!” and “Donald Trump has got to go!,” Bruce delighted: “From coast to coast, sorry, Easter Bunny, the Trump chicken taking over, as the President is being accused of being too chicken to show his tax returns.” She tried to bolster the point by declaring: “Even in Palm Beach, the President’s motorcade making a detour to escape the crowd gathered by his resort.”
A soundbite was featured of one woman speculating: “What is he hiding? We need to know. Don't you think? We need to know. It's ridiculous.”
Following the segment, co-host George Stephanopoulos hyped the orchestrated partisan attack: “You see the President’s opponents trying to push several different levers. You have the protests, you have new lawsuits about his tax returns. You have Democrats in the Senate saying they want to make this part of the tax reform debate.”
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Bruce only devoted a single sentence of her two-and-a-half-minute report to some of the demonstrations turning violent: “In Berkeley, California, violence erupting as pro and anti-Trump demonstrators clashed amid fireworks and pepper spray.”
On Today, correspondent Kristen Welker completely glossed over the violence, only briefly referring to “emotions boiling over” and “leading to arrests” in Berkeley. She hastened to add: “For the most part, demonstrators were peaceful but determined to get their message out.”
Promoting protests outside Trump’s West Palm Beach resort in Florida, Welker teed up a clip of a demonstrator demanding: “Every other president has shown their tax returns and I think there’s something in there that he wants to hide.”
Wrapping up the segment, she proclaimed that “with Tax Day approaching, there's no sign these protesters are planning to let up.”
After Welker finished her report, co-host Matt Lauer eagerly teased an upcoming “exclusive live interview” with “one of the President’s most vocal critics,” Democratic Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, to mark Tuesday’s tax filing deadline.
In contrast to ABC and NBC, CBS This Morning only featured a 16-second news brief on the protests, with a focus on the violent clash in California. Fill-in co-host Anthony Mason announced:
Ahead of tomorrow's tax filing deadline, protesters in more than a dozen cities demanded President Trump release his returns. A confrontation between pro and anti-Trump demonstrators turned violent, Saturday, in Berkeley, California. Police arrested 20 people, nearly a dozen were hurt. The President later went on Twitter to call the nationwide rallies small. He said someone should look into who paid for them.
Here is a full transcript of Bruce’s April 17 report on GMA:
7:12 AM ET
ROBIN ROBERTS: Now to Washington, D.C. and President Trump is back in the nation's capital this morning after spending Easter in Mar-a-Lago. He’s preparing for the White House Easter Egg Roll, but also facing fallout from those protests demanding he release his tax returns. Our Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce has more on all that. Good morning, Mary.
MARY BRUCE: Good morning, Robin. Well, after spending a quiet holiday with his family, this morning, the President will celebrate with more than 20,000 guests here on his backyard. The White House this morning is buzzing with activity, getting ready for that annual Easter Egg roll. But across the country, a far less festive mood, from protesters now demanding the President do something they feel is far overdue.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Trump Targeted By Tax Protests; Calls for President to Release His Returns]
This morning, President Trump’s back in Washington, after spending Easter with his family at Mar-a-Lago. The President celebrating the holiday while being dogged by another annual event, Tax Day.
PROTESTERS: Shame! Shame!
BRUCE: Across the country, thousands taking to the streets, demanding the President release his tax returns.
PROTESTERS [CHANTING]: Hey hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go!
BRUCE: In Berkeley, California, violence erupting as pro and anti-Trump demonstrators clashed amid fireworks and pepper spray. From coast to coast, sorry, Easter Bunny, the Trump chicken taking over, as the President is being accused of being too chicken to show his tax returns.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN [PROTESTER]: I showed mine, let’s see yours.
BRUCE: Even in Palm Beach, the President’s motorcade making a detour to escape the crowd gathered by his resort.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN B [PROTESTER]: What is he hiding? We need to know. Don't you think? We need to know. It's ridiculous.
BRUCE: Fighting back on Twitter Sunday, the President asked, “Now tax returns are brought up again.” Saying, “Someone should look into who paid for the small organized rallies yesterday. The election is over!” But this Florida woman told our David Wright, she’s raising her voice for free.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN C [PROTESTER]: I think he’ll see it and I think that he’ll construe it as something else, like we're paid protesters and we’re not constituents of the United States. But that’s not true.
BRUCE: As he closes in on his first 100 days in office, President Trump is trying to get his agenda and staff back on track. The President has told his chief strategist Steve Bannon and his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner to work out their differences. Their power play now playing out on Saturday Night Live.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Trump Tries to Get Back on Track; Kushner, Bannon Showdown Parodied on “SNL”]
ALEC BALDWIN [AS TRUMP ON SNL]: Steve, I’m sorry, but this is goodbye. Take him back to Hell.
Have a seat at your new desk. I would like you just to fix everything. If you need me, I'll be over here at my desk, okay?
BRUCE: Now, the president tweeted that the election is over. But this week, he’s headed back to a state that was key to his victory, Wisconsin. He’s expected to pay a visit tomorrow, George. Okay, Mary, thanks.