Mulvaney RIPS INTO Chuck Todd Over Atrocious Shooting Blame Game

Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday following a completely off-the-rails panel discussion in which liberal pundits blamed President Trump for the mass shooting in El Paso, White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney blasted moderator Chuck Todd for allowing such vile politization of the tragedy on the broadcast.

Before answering any of Todd’s questions, Mulvaney took a few moments to denounce the Sunday show’s nasty coverage:

 

 

Chuck, before I answer that, let me say this because I’ve been sitting here listening to this show. I heard the tail end of [Senator Cory] Booker’s thing, I heard most of the panel and I, I know this is a political show, but the level of rhetoric in the last twenty minutes, I hope someone else is bothered by it other than me. I mean, we’ve moved straight past any sympathy at all for the victims, straight past going into what caused this and trying to figure out who’s to blame.

He specifically called out claims that the administration supported white nationalism: “If a person, if a member of this administration who someone on your panel, I couldn’t see their faces, called out today as a white national – if that person gets injured today, is the person on your panel responsible? I am really, really disappointed at the level of rhetoric.”

Mulvanvey continued: “Do we have white supremacists who are crazy and nuts and dangerous? Yes we do. But my goodness, gracious, I’m really stunned how quickly we’ve moved to politics this morning.” Completely disregarding everything his guest just said, Todd pressed: “So you don’t accept the fact the President’s rhetoric has been a contributing factor at all?”

The top White House aide hammered back: “I blame the people who pulled the trigger, Chuck. Goodness gracious, is someone really blaming the President?” He implored: “...why aren’t we trying to figure out a way to bring the nation together this morning as opposed to saying, ‘You know what, it’s the President’s fault’?”

Todd promptly spun that question around to again blame Trump:

Well that’s my question for you, what is the President doing – but in fairness, Mr. Mulvaney, the President has spent the last month on Twitter stoking racial resentment in different ways and you can, you can try to rationalize that he was speaking about specific incidents but taken together these sick people, as you’re describing, they hear what they want to hear. Does the President not have a responsibility to speak with a higher moral clarity when it comes to violence, a higher moral clarity when it comes to refugees?

In part, Mulvaney called for a discussion of policy proposals that could prevent future shootings and “Not giving Cory Booker a chance to run for president this morning by blaming Donald Trump,” referring to Todd’s earlier interview with the Democratic senator and 2020 presidential candidate. “Not whether or not it gives one party or another a leg up in the next election,” he added moments later.

Todd denied providing Booker with a softball platform to promote his campaign: “It’s not about whether there’s a leg up in the next election, I think there’s a concern – ” Mulvaney cut him off: “No, Chuck, that’s what the entire Cory Booker interview was about.” Todd fretted: “Look, I don’t want to get into his motivation.” However, that didn’t prevent the NBC anchor from immediately passing judgment on Trump’s motives: “I’m just – there is other concerns here beyond politics and that is that this seems to be the President uses dehumanizing rhetoric...”  

As the hostile segment wrapped up, Mulvaney reiterated: “I just can’t believe we’re immediately today, five hours after the shooting, moving to these, these types of discussions.”

Minutes later, as Todd brought back the panel, he noted: “And we had a unique situation here in that Mick Mulvaney ended up hearing a panel discussion that he actually might not have heard had our satellite worked on time that time. But he clearly, Eddie Glaude, was reacting to you in particular in that interview.” Glaude, one of NBC’s favorite left-wing commentators, ranted: “First of all, I can give less than a damn what Mick Mulvaney thinks about what I say, to be honest with you.”

Apparently Glaude did not take Mulvaney’s criticism to heart.

Here is a full transcript of Todd’s August 4 interview with Mulvaney on Meet the Press:

11:12 AM ET

CHUCK TODD: And we are back, I’m joined now by the White House Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney. Mr. Mulvaney, welcome back to Meet the Press, sir.

MICK MULVANEY: Chuck, good morning.

TODD: Good morning. I know this is a tough morning for all Americans. I want to – I want to start with something, George P. Bush, who is a statewide elected office holder in Texas, what he tweeted earlier: “There have now been multiple attacks from self-declared white terrorists here in the United States in the last several months. This is a real and present threat that we must all denounce and defeat.” Do you, do you accept George P. Bush’s declaration there that we have a white terrorism problem in this country?

MICK MULVANEY: Chuck, before I answer that, let me say this because I’ve been sitting here listening to this show. I heard the tail end of Booker’s thing, I heard most of the panel and I, I know this is a political show, but the level of rhetoric in the last twenty minutes, I hope someone else is bothered by it other than me. I mean, we’ve moved straight past any sympathy at all for the victims, straight past going into what caused this and trying to figure out who’s to blame.

So I’ll ask this question, was Bernie Sanders responsible for, for when my friends got shot playing baseball? I don’t think that he was. Was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responsible when someone drove up to a DHS facility with a homemade bomb and an AR-15 and tried to blow the place up calling it a concentration camp, the same rhetoric that she used. Was she responsible? I don’t think that she was. If a person, if a member of this administration who someone on your panel, I couldn’t see their faces, called out today as a white national – if that person gets injured today, is the person on your panel responsible? I am really, really disappointed at the level of rhetoric.

Do we have problems in this nation? Absolutely we do. Do we have white supremacists who are crazy and nuts and dangerous? Yes we do. But my goodness, gracious...

TODD: So you don’t accept –

MULVANEY: ...I’m really stunned how quickly we’ve moved to politics this morning.

TODD: So you don’t accept the fact the President’s rhetoric has been a contributing factor at all?

MULVANEY: I blame the people who pulled the trigger, Chuck. Goodness gracious, is someone really blaming the President? These people are sick and until we address why people think this way, this young man  – and by the way, let’s say this, to be clear, we know nothing about the shooter in Dayton, so we’re talking now about the shooter in El Paso.

TODD: We are talking about the El Paso shooter, sir.

MULVANEY: That’s exactly right. This was a sick person. You can go and read the things that the person wrote, by the way, now available to the world on social media, making the person famous. By the way, if you do read that, what you said, he’s felt this way for a long time from even before President Bush – excuse me – President Trump got elected. So – but again, why aren’t we trying to figure out a way to bring the nation together this morning as opposed to saying, “You know what, it’s the President’s fault”?

TODD: Well that’s my question for you, what is the President doing – but in fairness, Mr. Mulvaney, the President has spent the last month on Twitter stoking racial resentment in different ways and you can, you can try to rationalize that he was speaking about specific incidents but taken together these sick people, as you’re describing, they hear what they want to hear. Does the President not have a responsibility to speak with a higher moral clarity when it comes to violence, a higher moral clarity when it comes to refugees?

MULVANEY: Right, Chuck , let me put it to you this way. Even if he did speak the way that you want him to speak, and I get the fact that some people don’t approve of the verbiage the President uses, I get that, alright, but even if they did, your point that you just made is absolutely right. People are going to hear what they want to hear. My guess is this guy is in that parking lot in El Paso, Texas in that Walmart doing this even if Hillary Clinton is president. In fact, he probably go out and blame Hillary Clinton for doing it.

These are crazy people, sick people, and until we figure out why we are creating this many people like this in this culture, why we are giving them such wide sort of audiences on social media, why we are making weapons available to them when they probably shouldn’t get them. Let’s talk about background checks, something we have worked on in this administration. Those are the conversations to have. Not giving Cory Booker a chance to run for president this morning by blaming Donald Trump. That’s really disappointing.

TODD: Let me ask – go back, though, to this issue of white nationalism. The administration wanted to de-emphasize a focus on this issue. Christopher Wray has said this is a rising problem. Let me go back to this, do you accept that – I think you accept it. Does the President accept that this is a rising problem?

MULVANEY: Let me answer it this way. I talked to the President yesterday afternoon, right after El Paso, Texas was made known to us in the White House. I pick up the phone, I call him. The first phone call he makes is to Bill Barr, the Attorney General. Now he ultimately called the Governor of Texas, very early this morning talked to the Governor of Ohio, but his very first phone call was to Bill Barr to find out how we could stop this stuff from happening in the first place. So, yes he feels the same way that you do, he feels the same way that everybody watching the show, apparently with the exception of Cory Booker and some people on your panel, which is saddened and angry. And that’s where we are this morning as a country and that’s what we should be talking about. Not whether or not it gives one party or another a leg up in the next election.

TODD: It’s not about whether there’s a leg up in the next election, I think there’s a concern –

MULVANEY: No, Chuck, that’s what the entire Cory Booker interview was about. He’s looking –

TODD: Look, I don’t want to get into his motivation, I’m just – there is other concerns here beyond politics and that is that this seems to be the President uses dehumanizing rhetoric and this person used “invasion” – you sort of put it on, saying some people don’t like his rhetoric. Does the President not have a responsibility to heal this nation? Is he not president of all Americans here? It does seem as if he’s always more worried about how his base is going to react to something than how the American, you know, moral fabric is protected.

MULVANEY: Let’s – he absolutely is the president of all Americans, alright. But I also heard the panel discussion just now about illegal immigration, using the term illegal immigrants, somehow contributed to what happened in El Paso, Texas. That’s a policy discussion about –  about border policies, about immigration policies, the President actually supports legal immigration, something that didn’t come up. So, listen, we’re going to have policy discussions, but my guess is you show me how you feel about the President and I’ll show you who you think was responsible for this shooting.

TODD: You brought up a background check issue and that is not something you have voluntarily brought up in the past. Is this a president that is suddenly willing to basically get rid of the gun show loophole, pass Manchin-Toomey. Is this what you’re telling me here?

MULVANEY: Chuck, I’m starting to hope this doesn’t get edited out, but of course you know that we signed bipartisan background check legislation last year, you know that right?

TODD: Well not on the – not on what people were trying to get when it came to the gun show loophole.

MULVANEY: No, no, no. We passed a bi – Congress passed a bipartisan piece of legislation to help fix the background check, something that I know a lot about. The shooter in Charlestown, South Carolina who shot my friend from the South Carolina Senate, Dylann Roof, bought the gun because the background check system was broken. We fixed that. Automatic weapons are illegal in this country, but there was a device that turned semi-automatics into automatics. We banned that. The President does care about this topic. I just can’t believe we’re immediately today, five hours after the shooting, moving to these, these types of discussions.

TODD: Well, unfortunately, it does appear this was a political motive of this domestic terrorist.

MULVANEY: This was a political motive by a crazy person with a gun. How do we stop crazy people from getting guns? That’s a – if we can’t agree on that, if we can’t figure out a way to prevent that from happening, there’s very little hope for this nation. Let’s try and fix what allows sick people to get these types of weapons.

TODD: Mick Mulvaney, the chief of staff for the President this morning joining us, thanks for your time and for sharing your views. I appreciate it, sir. And we’ll be right back with the panel.

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