Dem Congressman Thanks Andrea Mitchell for Giving Him Idea to Hire McCabe

On her MSNBC show on Monday, anchor Andrea Mitchell conducted a softball interview with Democratic Wisconsin Congressman Mark Pocan on his plan to hire just-fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe in order save the federal law enforcement official’s pension. As the segment came to a close, the liberal lawmaker credited Mitchell for giving him the idea.

“Well, it’s your tweet, Andrea. It was your tweet that started all this. I just want you to know. We saw your tweet over the weekend and that’s what gave us the idea. So, thank you.” Mitchell seemed to feign ignorance as she awkwardly replied: “Well, that’s interesting to note. Thank you very much, Congressman.”

 

 

There was no need for the liberal journalist to be so modest. As news broke on Friday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions was following the recommendation of the Justice Department Inspector General and FBI Office of Professional Responsibility to fire McCabe, Mitchell took to Twitter to suggest a way the government worker could still keep his pension:

Congressman Pocan promptly heeded her call and offered McCabe a job.

On Monday, Mitchell asked the Democrat: “Tell me how this would work, and have you heard back at all from McCabe?” Pocan explained: “So we’ve definitely talked to his folks this morning. We’re hoping to have a personal conversation. But clearly this is a very legitimate offer.”

He then proceeded to blame President Trump for the termination and ranted:

What the President did was one of the biggest, I think, character flaws that we see in him. He just lacks human decency. It was cruel the way he did this, to fire someone literally hours before they would have got their pension....don’t forget, the President did this to try to interfere with the Mueller investigation. He wants to send a signal that anyone who crosses him, he’s not gonna just hurt you, he’s gonna hurt your family, he’s gonna hurt your future, he’s going to go after your pension.

Mitchell vaguely asked about the reason McCabe was actually fired, without actually explaining that he lied to investigators: “Now, are you at all concerned about what may or may not be in the IG report and in the Office of Legal Counsel in terms of the substantive issues against Andrew McCabe?”

Pocan suggested that the findings against McCabe were part of some partisan Republican conspiracy:

Yeah, again, you know, every report we’ve seen, whether it be the fake report that Devin Nunes, you know, found then delivered to the White House last year or the bad report that the House Republicans put out on the intelligence community, every time we see one of these reports, we find out there’s absolutely nothing. It’s one more reason to try to derail this investigation. I'm guessing the same thing is here. And this person’s had 21 years of credible, honorable service, and I’m going to put my bet behind Andrew rather than behind the President.

Mitchell didn’t bother to challenge his wild assertions. And why would she? The anchor was the one who inspired the representative to rush to McCabe’s defense.

Here is a full transcript of the March 19 exchange:

12:06 PM ET

ANDREA MITCHELL: Wisconsin Democratic Congressman Mark Pocan is offering Andrew McCabe a job to help him qualify for his pension. And he joins me now from Madison, Wisconsin. Congressman, thank you very much. Tell me how this would work, and have you heard back at all from McCabe?

REP. MARK POCAN [D-WI]: Yeah, hi, Andrea. Thank you for having me.

MITCHELL: You bet.

POCAN: So we’ve definitely talked to his folks this morning. We’re hoping to have a personal conversation. But clearly this is a very legitimate offer.

What the President did was one of the biggest, I think, character flaws that we see in him. He just lacks human decency. It was cruel the way he did this, to fire someone literally hours before they would have got their pension. So we need to be a check and a balance in this system. And in this case, our check is that we can make sure at least someone isn’t going to be threatened, and others threatened, that they’ll lose their pension if they do something the President doesn’t like.

So we’ve made a very legitimate offer to work on election integrity, it’s a nonpartisan issue. And if Andrew McCabe would like to work for us, we want to make sure that he gets his pension after many years of service to this country.

MITCHELL: And would this be a short-term hire so that he has the additional days to qualify for his pension, or might he continue for a while if this is agreeable?

POCAN: You know, I’ll tell you, I think it’ll be part of the conversation we’ll have, but we’ll make sure that he’s on at least long enough to get the pension. I mean, it’s important work that we’d love to have him do with his invaluable background. But it’s also – don’t forget, the President did this to try to interfere with the Mueller investigation. He wants to send a signal that anyone who crosses him, he’s not gonna just hurt you, he’s gonna hurt your family, he’s gonna hurt your future, he’s going to go after your pension.

And you know, Andrea, I grew up in a family, a lower-middle class family. I still live on modest means, like almost everybody else in the country. When you threaten pensions, you are sending a message. It’s thug-like behavior. And you know, quite honestly, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and others have to stand up far more than they are.

I’m glad that others also made offers. I don’t necessarily care if he comes to work for me or not, I think just as long as he can get his pension it’s the right thing. But we have to let people know, don’t be intimidated by someone trying to stop you from talking and doing your job, because again, that’s cruel behavior and it’s unbecoming of a president.

MITCHELL: Now, are you at all concerned about what may or may not be in the IG report and in the Office of Legal Counsel in terms of the substantive issues against Andrew McCabe?

POCAN: Yeah, again, you know, every report we’ve seen, whether it be the fake report that Devin Nunes, you know, found then delivered to the White House last year or the bad report that the House Republicans put out on the intelligence community, every time we see one of these reports, we find out there’s absolutely nothing. It’s one more reason to try to derail this investigation. I'm guessing the same thing is here. And this person’s had 21 years of credible, honorable service, and I’m going to put my bet behind Andrew rather than behind the President.

MITCHELL: And one quick question. I was listening to Congressman Hines this morning on Morning Joe suggesting that there is an effort, by some Democrats at least, to put this standalone bill having a backstop for an Office of Special Counsel to be legislatively enabled as part of the must-pass omnibus budget bill this week. Obviously there’ll be push-back from Republican leadership, but is that a real thing?

POCAN: You know, it would be something credible. If Paul Ryan really wants to show that he’s not on the staff of the White House and that he is the head of a co-equal branch of government that is a check and balance, I would hope that they would rise to do this. Because we all need to send a message, regardless of partisan affiliation, that this investigation needs to go forward. As Lindsey Graham and a few other Republicans have said, we would have a constitutional crisis if Mueller is fired. I think we need more of us to stand up and say it. And this may be the best opportunity, as you know, in a must-pass bill.

MITCHELL: Thank you so much, thanks for joining us. Please let us know if you – after talking to Andrew McCabe or his people – if there’s a deal. If he’s a new hire on the congressional staff.

POCAN: Absolutely.

MITCHELL: And joining me now is –  

POCAN: Well, it’s your tweet, Andrea.

MITCHELL: I’m sorry, I interrupted you sir.

POCAN: It was your tweet that started all this. I just want you to know. We saw your tweet over the weekend and that’s what gave us the idea. So, thank you.

MITCHELL: Well, that’s interesting to note. Thank you very much, Congressman.

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