After initially ignoring the finding Monday evening, on Tuesday morning, NBC’s Today show touted Democrats trashing Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee for the “controversial conclusion” that there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential race.
“Controversial conclusion. House Republicans end their Russia investigation, saying they found no evidence of collusion with the Trump campaign....Democrats outraged,” proclaimed co-host Hoda Kotb at the top of the broadcast. Minutes later, fellow co-host Savannah Guthrie piled on: “...a controversial new development in the Russia investigation. Overnight, House Republicans said they have found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to sway the 2016 election, but that does not mean that the President is in the clear just yet.”
White House Correspondent Kristen Welker bemoaned: “The House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian meddling has been racked by political infighting since the very beginning. And now, the Republicans’ move to abruptly end their investigation is only escalating tensions this morning.”
With the headline on screen blaring that “Dems Blast Report Claiming No Evidence of Collusion,” Welker teed up the congressional committee’s ranking Democratic member to slam the finding: “Democrats blasting the move as purely political.” A soundbite followed of California Congressman Adam Schiff ranting to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow: “Essentially it’s the Intelligence Committee majority saying we’d just rather not know if it’s going to be bad news. And that is, I think, a betrayal of the promise that was made that we would follow facts wherever they lead.”
Revisiting the story with another report early in the 8:00 a.m. ET hour, Welker worried: “In a highly controversial move, the House Intelligence Committee did shutdown it’s investigation, saying it found no evidence of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.” She again highlighted that “Democrats blasted the move as purely political” and promoted Schiff “calling it ‘a grave disservice to the country,’ accusing Republicans of being more interested in protecting the President than protecting the country.”
ABC’s Good Morning America provided nearly identical biased coverage, labeling the House GOP conclusion to be “highly partisan” and reciting Democratic talking points that “this is all a move to protect the President.”
If any news upsets the liberal media narrative of Donald Trump colluding with Russia to steal the 2016 election, journalists will do everything they can to discredit the idea. They simply can’t allow for the possibility that Democrats are the ones being “purely political.”
Here is a full transcript of Welker’s initial March 13 report:
7:09 AM ET
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Also this busy Tuesday morning, a controversial new development in the Russia investigation. Overnight, House Republicans said they have found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to sway the 2016 election, but that does not mean that the President is in the clear just yet. We’ve got two reports this morning. We’ll start with NBC’s White House Correspondent Kristen Welker. Kristen, good morning.
KRISTEN: Hi, Savannah, good morning to you. The House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian meddling has been racked by political infighting since the very beginning. And now, the Republicans’ move to abruptly end their investigation is only escalating tensions this morning.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: House GOP Ends Russia Investigation; Dems Blast Report Claiming No Evidence of Collusion]
The Republican-lead House Intelligence Committee closing down it’s Russia investigation, saying it found no evidence of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, breaking with the intelligence community, determining Russia wasn’t trying to help candidate Trump. Texas Congressman Mike Conaway announcing Monday that the committee has finished interviewing witnesses and will share the report with Democrats for the first time today.
REP. MIKE CONAWAY [R-TX]: Yes, the Russians tried to interfere with our election process. Yes, they had cyberattacks, active measures going on. We could find no evidence of collusion between either campaign and the Russians.
WELKER: The President tweeting his reaction to the report hours later, writing, notably in all caps, “THE HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE HAS, AFTER A 14 MONTH LONG IN-DEPTH INVESTIGATION, FOUND NO EVIDENCE OF COLLUSION OR COORDINATION BETWEEN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN AND RUSSIA TO INFLUENCE THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.”
WELKER: Democrats blasting the move as purely political.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF [D-CA]: Essentially it’s the Intelligence Committee majority saying we’d just rather not know if it’s going to be bad news. And that is, I think, a betrayal of the promise that was made that we would follow facts wherever they lead.
WELKER: And while House Republicans say there’s no evidence of any Russia-Trump collusion, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is doubling down on his support of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, telling USA Today, “The special counsel is not an unguided missile.” Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller last May to oversee the investigation, now speaking out after reports that President Trump wanted to fire Mueller last summer, adding, “I don’t believe there is any justification at this point for terminating the special counsel.”
The Director of National Intelligence saying overnight the intelligence community stands by it’s assessment that Russia meddled in the 2016 election for the purpose of helping candidate Trump.
Now, as for President Trump, he will make his first trip to California today as president. He is going to see firsthand examples of his border wall and then he’s going to address troops here in San Diego. Savannah, Hoda?
GUTHRIE: Kristen Welker, traveling with the President, thank you.