Todd Whines: Trump Supporters ‘Not Accepting Premise’ of Impeachment

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During the 12:00 p.m. ET hour break in Wednesday’s impeachment hearing, the journalists anchoring NBC’s special coverage complained that House Democrats hadn’t made a strong enough case for President Trump’s removal from office and even suggested the media were being too soft on Trump. Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd particularly wailed about the President’s supporters “not accepting the premise” of impeachment.

“You have to make the case that you cannot trust him to hold his office,” Todd advised Democrats. “If they’re gonna make it a case for removal, that’s the case you have to make,” he added. Chief foreign affairs correspondent and MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell dismissed “the main Republican argument” to “let the voters decide” Trump’s fate in the 2020 election by touting “the argument that the voters can’t decide because it won’t be a fair fight.”

 

 

Later in the panel discussion, Nightly News anchor Lester Holt worried: “Have Democrats taken into account that this is a president who has a different set of rules in many ways?” He noted that Trump has “done a lot of things that have shocked and surprised people.”

Todd launched into rant against the President’s supporters over them refusing to accept media and Democratic efforts to overturn the results of the 2016 election:

[Trump’s] conditioned to 30 to 40% of the country to essentially, “Whatever you hear, it’s not what you think it is”....we are living in a moment where we have a part of one of our major political parties that is just not accepting the premise, is just not accepting facts that are facts, has just prioritized loyalty to a person...

He fretted that “this goes to the President’s ability to talk over us.”

Todd kept up his whining: “I have to say, at some point, when is this – ” Mitchell chimed in: “When is enough too much?” Todd continued: “When is it that we sit here and the President gets judged on a different – it’s like he’s getting, ‘Well, jeez, don’t – the President, he doesn’t understand the rules of Washington or he doesn’t understand the rules of diplomacy.’”

Mitchell seized on Todd’s suggestion that Trump was somehow being treated a softer standard by the wildly hostile press:

At some point, with credible witnesses such as these....the American public has to decide. Whether it’s an impeachment vote or a vote in the Senate or not, it’s a question then for the voters. But we, as journalists, have to not keep holding him to a different standard. We have to report this.

The bitter frustration displayed by the NBC News team shows how deeply invested they are in the impeachment of Donald Trump.

Help fight against the liberal media’s impeachment crusade

Here is a transcript of the November 13 panel discussion on NBC:

12:26 PM ET

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ANDREW WEISSMANN [FMR. DOJ PROSECUTOR, NBC LEGAL ANALYST]: The point was that the President, as was just laid out, was cheating on the election. He wanted to get a public investigation so he could use it against his political opponent.  

CHUCK TODD: Now that’s the point. To me, that is why you’re doing this, right?

WEISSMANN: Exactly.

TODD: You have to make the case that you cannot trust him to hold his office and have this – right? That is the case. If they’re gonna make it a case for removal, that’s the case you have to make.

WEISSMANN: Exactly. So I think –

ANDREA MITCHELL: Because of the timetable of the election, the main Republican argument by those who even concede that the President has misstepped here, is that – let the voters decide. And this is the argument that the voters can’t decide because it won’t be a fair fight.

(...)

12:33 PM ET

LESTER HOLT: I want to turn to my panel here and note, have Democrats taken into account that this is a president who has a different set of rules in many ways? He’s done a lot of things that have shocked and surprised people. Have they boiled that in? Given, you know, you talk about kind of the traditional way of laying out a case. This is a different kind of –  

TODD: You mean the frog’s been boiled. I mean, to be – let’s just cut to the chase here. The frog’s been boiled and he’s conditioned –  

HOLT: That’s why you’re a great wingman.

TODD: No, no, no. He’s conditioned to 30 to 40% of the country to essentially, “Whatever you hear, it’s not what you think it is.”

HOLT: Right, so when we talk about the process, the democratic process –  

TODD: Who are you talking to?

HOLT: That would be perhaps for a typical –

TODD: Jury. Or a typical –

HOLT: Typical – I don’t want to use the word “defendant,” but you know –  

TODD: No. Or sort of a – if we were all accepting the rules of the road as they are, but we are living in a moment where we have a part of one of our major political parties that is just not accepting the premise, is just not accepting facts that are facts, has just prioritized loyalty to a person, even more so than loyalty to a party, let alone loyalty to a country. I always think that it’s interesting that some of the criticism of some on the right is it’s too loyal to a party. It’s loyal to a single individual, which is what makes this head scratching. Which is why you always hear all of these comments, “Well, boy, behind closed doors, so-and-so says ‘X,’” because even they themselves are uncomfortable with how loyal to an individual. But this goes to the President’s ability to talk over us.

HOLT: Right, but the Democrats –

TODD: I love how the White House claims today the President’s not paying attention – he’s tweeting like a tweet every ten minutes.

HOLT: Right, but the Democrats are making the point this is a horrible thing, it jeopardized national security. In the line of some of the things we’ve seen from the President, you can argue there have been things that maybe are more shocking.

TODD: Well, but this is gonna – I have to say, at some point, when is this – and I hear what you’re saying –

MITCHELL: When is enough too much?

TODD: When is it that we sit here and the President gets judged on a different – it’s like he’s getting, “Well, jeez, don’t – the President, he doesn’t understand the rules of Washington or he doesn’t understand the rules of diplomacy.” I think that has been a really effective political shield for him in ’16, in ’17, and perhaps it was effective in ’18. I don’t know, third year into the presidency, whether that shield is a credible shield.

MITCHELL: This is not just rhetoric. This gets to policy, it gets to weapons, it gets to people dying in Ukraine. It gets to the support against Vladimir Putin. It questions the whole relationship with Putin. The relationship that we’ve seen with Turkey. His ability to undercut the Syrian Kurds. We can write that off as, this is just Trump being Trump, but when the President goes against the secretary of state, the secretary of defense, the national security advisor, has no guardrails, has Mick Mulvaney as the acting chief of staff as part of this deal, has his private lawyer going and self-dealing and we don’t know whether it’s because he is the Trump lawyer or because he’s got side deals with Ukraine and energy deals, and doing the same with Turkey.

At some point, with credible witnesses such as these, a West Point graduate and Vietnam veteran, William Taylor, and others to come, if they remain credible under cross-examination and with others to follow, at some point the American public has to decide. Whether it’s an impeachment vote or a vote in the Senate or not, it’s a question then for the voters. But we, as journalists, have to not keep holding him to a different standard. We have to report this.

(...)

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