Mitchell Asks Pelosi: Do Trump Policies ‘Threaten’ What D-Day Troops Died For?

During an exclusive interview with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at D-Day commemorations in France on Thursday, MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell worried that the Trump administration’s push to reduce illegal immigration may “threaten” the “values” that World War II troops “fought and died for.”

Mitchell broached the subject by mentioning how Pelosi’s father, a member of Congress from Maryland at the time, pressured President Roosevelt “on the issue of letting refugees in, the Jews from Europe who needed to escape the Holocaust, who were being barred by the United States.” The host quickly compared that dire situation to the present-day political debate: “What does that tell us about America and how America should be welcoming to refugees and asylum seekers?”

 

 

Moments later, Mitchell feared: “Do you worry that the arguments we’re having now about borders and immigration threaten the kind of response, the values that these men fought and died for?” Even Pelosi thought that was going too far: “Well, we can never think that. We always have to be optimistic and positive because what they did was so monumental and enables us to have are our debates and differences of opinion.”

Switching topics, Mitchell showed sudden respect for Ronald Reagan and his address at the 40th anniversary of D-Day in 1984: “I was here for that. And for all the disagreements over how to handle missile deployments in Europe, there were a lot of tensions then, but we didn’t have the divisions with Europe that we have now.” She sneered: “America is less respected in Europe than at any time in post-war history.”

The closest Mitchell came to a challenging question was this: “...we are so divided as a country right now. Do you worry about the politics right now, impeachment and everything else that’s on the table, and how that can further divide us?” Pelosi dodged: “Well, again, with all due respect to your question, I’m not here to talk about impeachment.”

Amazingly, during the exchange that aired, Mitchell failed to ask a single question about Pelosi reportedly telling fellow House Democrats on Tuesday, before leaving for Normandy, that she wanted to see the President “in prison.”

After the taped interview on Thursday, Mitchell briefly alluded to the Democratic leader’s controversial comments without actually quoting them:

The Speaker has her own golden rule that when she is leading a delegation of Republican and Democrats never attack the president while overseas. Including those reports – commenting on the reports that she had some harsh things to say about President Trump with her caucus chairs. Some people who were there indicate that, that may have been taken out of context.

“May have been taken out of context”? Maybe as a journalist she should figure that out before just blithely repeating the claim.

Considering Mitchell freaked out when Trump led chants of “lock her up” against Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign, it should have been the first question to Pelosi, along with a demand that the Democrat tone down the rhetoric. That’s how the anchor would have treated any Republican.

Here is transcript of Mitchell’s questions to Pelosi during the June 6 interview:

12:05 PM ET

ANDREA MITCHELL: And June 6th, 1944 was a day that united this country and the world. This morning I spoke exclusively with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is here leading a very large bipartisan Senate and House delegation, about the lessons of Normandy for this hyper-partisan politics today.

Madam Speaker, we’re here in a hallowed place. Your thoughts about the service members, the sacrifice that they made 75 years ago?

(...)

MITCHELL: It was the greatest military operation in world history and it brought America together with the allies. That kind of leadership, where do we see that kind of leadership today?

(...)

MITCHELL: I was reading what you’ve written about your father. He was a congressman from Maryland and he went up against the president, FDR, on the issue of letting refugees in, the Jews from Europe who needed to escape the Holocaust, who were being barred by the United States. And he really fought politically to open the doors. What does that tell us about America and how America should be welcoming to refugees and asylum seekers?

(...)

MITCHELL: Do you worry that the arguments we’re having now about borders and immigration threaten the kind of response, the values that these men fought and died for?

NANCY PELOSI: Well, we can never think that. We always have to be optimistic and positive because what they did was so monumental and enables us to have are our debates and differences of opinion. But we do have to remember the values that freedom isn’t free. And part of that freedom is who we are as Americans. And who we are as Americans, no one said it better than Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan had the biggest voice for welcoming people to our country and that we cannot close the door or else we won’t be the country that leads the world.

MITCHELL: I was here when Ronald Reagan was here in 1984. I was here for that. And for all the disagreements over how to handle missile deployments in Europe, there were a lot of tensions then, but we didn’t have the divisions with Europe that we have now. America is less respected in Europe than at any time in post-war history.

(...)

MITCHELL: Looking at that bipartisan delegation here of Democrats and Republicans joining together to celebrate the ideals and the sacrifices, we are so divided as a country right now. Do you worry about the politics right now, impeachment and everything else that’s on the table, and how that can further divide us?

PELOSI: Well, again, with all due respect to your question, I’m not here to talk about impeachment.

(...)    
                    
MITCHELL: What do you hope the President’s message will be here today? What do you want to hear from him?

(...)

MITCHELL: Do your worry about NATO and the other institutions that have tied us together with Europe and kept the peace for more than 70 years?    

PELOSI: Well, I was proud to work with Senator McConnell and we worked in a bipartisan way with Democratic and Republican leadership a couple of months ago to invite the secretary general of NATO to speak to a joint session of Congress. And he was magnificently received. And it was the first time the secretary general of NATO had ever been invited. But it was in 70th anniversary.

MITCHELL: Was that a signal of support for NATO at a time when it is under criticism?

PELOSI: Yes. Strongly bipartisan.

(...)

MITCHELL: Madam Speaker, thank you very much.

PELOSI: Thank you, my pleasure. I’m so glad you’re here. It’s pretty exciting.

MITCHELL: The Speaker has her own golden rule that when she is leading a delegation of Republican and Democrats never attack the president while overseas. Including those reports – commenting on the reports that she had some harsh things to say about President Trump with her caucus chairs. Some people who were there indicate that, that may have been taken out of context.

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