As President Trump stepped up to podium to deliver his State of the Union address Tuesday night, the NBC News team wanted viewers to focus on one thing as they watched the speech – that Trump was “under criminal investigation” and Special Counsel Robert Mueller “hovers over the chamber.”
Just moments before House Speaker Paul Ryan introduced the President, Today co-host Savannah Guthrie declared: “And let’s not forget, as we see Attorney General Sessions, this is a president who’s under criminal investigation right now for obstruction of justice with regard to the Russia investigation. So a lot going on in the backdrop.”
Seconds later, as Trump was greeted by cheers and applause, Special Correspondent Tom Brokaw piled on: “There is a missing major figure in this hall tonight that we ought not to forget about, and that is the Special Prosecutor of the United States, who is at this hour probably meeting with his team deciding where they go now.”
Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd chimed in: “He’s not there, but it hovers. He sort of hovers over the chamber, doesn’t he?”
Right, and that is an extraordinarily important part of what’s going on in Washington, D.C. And despite all of the grandeur of this setting and the television photos and the members of the Supreme Court, members of the cabinet, out there is a highly regarded investigator who is looking into whether or not he broke the law.
Without actually knowing what the outcome of the investigation would be, the network still insisted on repeatedly labeling Trump a potential criminal as prepared to speak to the American people.