Andrea Mitchell Whines That Trump Got ‘Head Start’ on ‘Branding’ Mueller Report

While promoting planned House Democratic hearings on the Mueller report, on her Monday show, MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell complained that President Trump “had three weeks head start” when it came to “branding this as case closed.” She advised Democrats that it would be up to them to keep pushing the case against Trump.

“The whole question about the Mueller report and whether or not it’s closed....the President has certainly had three weeks head start, as did his attorney general, in branding this as case closed,” Mitchell lamented. Turning to New York Times reporter Peter Baker, she proclaimed: “So it really is up to these Democrats in Congress...to lay out what really is a condemning report in terms of the Russia interference and the connections to the Trump campaign and the alleged obstruction.”

 

 

Baker agreed: “And the question is whether or not the Democrats, in the form of hearings, are able to get through to the public in a way that the written report did not, in a way that the media coverage has not.” Apparently two years of biased media coverage declaring Trump guilty of Russian collusion was just not enough.

However, the reporter worried: “The question is whether hearings, in a visual way, in a televised way, with witnesses and questions and a back and forth, change that impression at all or just simply reinforce the ones that people already have.”

Minutes later in the discussion, Mitchell fretted over polling that showed the American people were ready to move on: “By 56 to 37, I believe, the Washington Post/ABC poll found that the American people do not want impeachment proceedings or even hearings.” She then asked White House correspondent Kristen Welker: “So has the President won the politics of this already?”

Welker admitted: “Well, in the matter of the Mueller report and how it is being perceived in the public eye in the wake, of course, of Attorney General Bill Barr coming out and holding that news conference before the public had seen it, it appears as though right now he has.”

Mitchell has been whining about Trump’s framing of the Mueller report for weeks. Appearing on PBS’s Washington Week on April 12, Mitchell warned: “...it’s going to be very hard, I think, for the Democrats, in a protracted legal argument, going to the courts, trying to get this out. They really are going to be on the defensive, and I don’t know how they can get ahead of it.”

This is what happens when the media root for an outcome and end up disappointed.

Here are excerpts of the April 29 discussion:

12:07 PM ET

(...)

ANDREA MITCHELL: The whole question about the Mueller report and whether or not it’s closed, case closed, as the President was saying in Wisconsin on Saturday night. Peter Baker, the President has certainly had three weeks head start, as did his attorney general, in branding this as case closed. And we don’t know yet whether we are going to hear from Robert Mueller, but I suspect he will keep very close to the very careful way that he outlined things in his report. He’s an institutional guy. So it really is up to these Democrats in Congress – with only one exception on the Republican side, Mitt Romney – to lay out what really is a condemning report in terms of the Russia interference and the connections to the Trump campaign and the alleged obstruction.

PETER BAKER [NEW YORK TIMES]: Sure. And the question is whether or not the Democrats, in the form of hearings, are able to get through to the public in a way that the written report did not, in a way that the media coverage has not. The American public has basically taken its assessment of this and has more or less ended at the same place it started. You know, the people who didn’t like Trump to begin with found it to be damning. The people who did like Trump to begin with found it to be exculpatory. The question is whether hearings, in a visual way, in a televised way, with witnesses and questions and a back and forth, change that impression at all or just simply reinforce the ones that people already have.

MITCHELL: And as someone who’s covered Washington for so long and written about so many presidents, there have been conflicts before between attorneys general – Eric Holder and the Republicans over Fast and Furious and the gun issues – but this seems to be a dramatic cutting-edge dispute.

BAKER: Well, because at the heart of it is the fate of the President of the United States, right? So the Eric Holder dispute was important, it was about a policy that went wrong under the Justice Department at that time. But didn’t involve the future of the President of the United States. Here we’re talking about Donald Trump and whether he will continue in office until the end of his term or not. And we’re also talking about, of course, the integrity of American elections and a foreign power and its efforts to interfere. So the stakes feel bigger, the topic feels larger. And as you say, the kind of – this standoff right now between the House and the Attorney General is one that we haven’t really seen in the same way.

(...)

12:12 PM ET

MITCHELL: Kristen Welker, by 56 to 37, I believe, the Washington Post/ABC poll found that the American people do not want impeachment proceedings or even hearings. So has the President won the politics of this already?  

KRISTEN WELKER: Well, in the matter of the Mueller report and how it is being perceived in the public eye in the wake, of course, of Attorney General Bill Barr coming out and holding that news conference before the public had seen it, it appears as though right now he has.

(...)

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