NBC Turns Trump’s Supreme Court ‘Major Win’ Into ‘Minor’ Victory an Hour Later

During the 7 a.m. ET hour of Tuesday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie informed viewers of a “major win for the Trump administration in the U.S. Supreme Court” as a majority of the justices upheld the President’s travel ban. However, just one hour later, correspondent Kristen Welker appeared on the same morning show and dismissed the news as only a “minor” victory for the White House.

In the earlier report, Justice Correspondent Pete Williams told Guthrie: “... it means the administration can now completely enforce the travel ban....It’s been only partially enforced since it was announced in late September because its – lawsuits.” Noting that lower courts had carved out an exemption for some people impacted by the ban, the reporter explained: “But now the Supreme Court has done away with that exemption, that allows the ban to be enforced in full.”

 

 

Fellow co-host Hoda Kotb followed up: “So, Pete, what does this mean? Like, where does this case stand right now?” Williams acknowledged that “these legal challenges are now before two federal appeals courts” and that “the issue is eventually on its way back” to the high court. However, he observed that the policy would most likely be maintained by the justices:

But on Monday, just two of the justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sonia Sotomayor, said they would have kept the family exceptions in place. So that is a sign that this version of the travel ban may survive the legal challenges when the case is heard back here, which will probably early next year.

Even the headline on screen announced a “Big Win for Trump’s Travel Ban.”

Somehow by the 8 a.m. ET hour, the Trump administration’s legal success was no longer significant. Introducing the segment, Kotb mentioned: “Meantime, the Supreme Court has given the President at least a temporary victory on his travel ban.” Moments later, Welker proclaimed: “Another key focus here at the White House today, a minor victory, as you say, Hoda, for the President’s travel ban.” She added that “Mr. Trump may be eager to weigh in on the temporary win today.”

What Guthrie had described as a “major win” and Williams predicted would probably be lasting, suddenly became only “temporary” and “minor” in less than 60 minutes.      

After the news broke late Monday afternoon, NBC Nightly News and ABC’s World News Tonight could each only offer seconds-long news briefs on the topic. CBS Evening News skipped the story altogether.

By Tuesday, CBS This Morning had discovered the court ruling, but only gave it 51 seconds. Meanwhile, ABC’s Good Morning America provided a pathetic 7-second mention from co-host George Stephanopoulos.

Welker’s biased reporting on the Today show was brought to viewers by Buick, Wal-mart, and Kohl’s.

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Here are excerpts of the December 5 coverage:

7:06 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: And now to that major win for the Trump administration in the U.S. Supreme Court. On Monday, the court allowed full enforcement of the President’s travel ban against residents of six mostly-Muslim countries. NBC’s Justice Correspondent Pete Williams is at the Supreme Court with more. Hi, Pete, good morning. And tell us what about the court’s ruling, what did they find?
            
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Big Win for Trump’s Travel Ban; Supreme Court Allows Ban to Take Effect]  

PETE WILLIAMS: Right, it means the administration can now completely enforce the travel ban. It’s been on the books the past two months. This is the one that bans or limits travel to the U.S. from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. Also North Korea and some groups in Venezuela. It’s been only partially enforced since it was announced in late September because its – lawsuits. Lower courts said that while a legal challenge is underway, people overseas who have close relatives in the U.S. would be exempt. But now the Supreme Court has done away with that exemption, that allows the ban to be enforced in full, Savannah.

HODA KOTB: So, Pete, what does this mean? Like, where does this case stand right now?

WILLIAMS: Well, these legal challenges are now before two federal appeals courts. So the issue is eventually on its way back here. But on Monday, just two of the justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sonia Sotomayor, said they would have kept the family exceptions in place. So that is a sign that this version of the travel ban may survive the legal challenges when the case is heard back here, which will probably early next year.

(...)

8:02 AM ET

KOTB: Meantime, the Supreme Court has given the President at least a temporary victory on his travel ban. NBC White House Correspondent Kristen Welker joins with us the very latest on all of this.

(...)

8:03 AM ET

KRISTEN WELKER: Another key focus here at the White House today, a minor victory, as you say, Hoda, for the President’s travel ban. On Monday, the Supreme Court granted the President’s full request to fully enforce his revised order banning travel to the United States by residents of six mostly-Muslim countries while legal challenges move forward in lower courts.

So this means that close family members of people in the U.S. who were exempt from the travel ban are now subject to it. And this latest version, which went into effect in September, applies mostly to travelers from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Mr. Trump may be eager to weigh in on the temporary win today, even as he continues to push for tax perform here at the White House. Hoda?

KOTB: Alright, Kristen Welker at the White House. Kristen, thank you.


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NBDaily Judiciary Foreign Policy Conservatives & Republicans NBC Today Video Savannah Guthrie Pete Williams Kristen Welker