Take Cover! Desperate Nets Hype Bolton ‘Bombshell’

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In an effort to aid Democrats in prolonging the Senate impeachment trial, on Monday, all three networks seized on a supposed “bombshell” – though unverified – claim in former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s upcoming memoir. All the sensational coverage clearly designed to turn up the pressure on Republican senators to call witnesses.

Opening NBC’s Today show, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: “Breaking overnight, bombshell. Former National Security Advisor John Bolton ready to turn on the President as news leaks from his explosive new book about what he claims really happened with Ukraine.” She excitedly wondered: “Will he testify?”

 

 

Considering Bolton hasn’t actually uttered a single word about this, it’s certainly premature to declare that he’s “ready to turn on the President.”

Introducing the report that followed minutes later, Guthrie again gushed over the “explosive report” and argued that Bolton must know “what really happened in Ukraine.” White House correspondent Kristen Welker stuck to the talking points of the day: “That new book by John Bolton is called The Room Where it Happened, and it could be a bombshell.”

As Welker continued to hype the “explosive new account” the headline on screen blared: “Bolton Bombshell to Impact Impeachment?; Book Claims Increases Pressure on Republicans in Witness Battle.”

The reporter explained:

As first reported by The New York Times, Bolton, in an unpublished book manuscript, writes President Trump told him last August he wanted to continue freezing nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine until Ukrainian officials announced investigations into the Bidens.

Leading off ABC’s Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos enthused: “Also this morning, a bombshell in the impeachment trial of President Trump. The stunning new report about John Bolton directly contradicts Trump’s defense...”

Touting the “bombshell report upending the impeachment trial of President Trump” as he teed up the later segment, Stephanopoulos emphasized how “this key witness sought by Democrats” was “directly contradicting a core plank of the President’s defense.”

Chief White House correspondent Jon Karl asserted: “The report overnight in The New York Times shows just how key he [Bolton] may be to the case against the President.” The on-screen headline shouted: “Bolton Bombshell; Report: New Book Claims Trump Tied Ukraine Aid to Investigations.”

Making sure to adhere to the liberal media narrative, co-host Anthony Mason started CBS This Morning with: “Bolton’s bombshell. The former National Security Advisor reportedly says President Trump told him Ukraine would get no military aid without investigating Joe Biden and his son. How this could affect the impeachment trial?”

Like his NBC and ABC colleagues, co-host Tony Dokoupil set up the coverage by declaring: “A startling new report could upend the impeachment trial.” Correspondent Nancy Cordes told viewers: “Bolton drops the bombshell in an unpublished manuscript for his forthcoming book.” The headline on screen read: “Bolton’s Bombshell; NYT: Fmr. Adviser Ties POTUS to Ukraine Aid Freeze Over Biden.”

Cordes added: “Overnight Senate Democrats called the Republican resistance to hearing from new witnesses indefensible. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer accused the White House of a massive cover-up.”

Soundbites were then included of Democratic presidential candidates promoting the story. A clip ran of Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren claiming that Bolton was “waving his hand and saying, ‘I have that direct evidence.’” Another clip played of Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar scolding the GOP: “I don’t know how my Republican colleagues cannot call for witnesses.”

Whenever the liberal media wants to push a story, it instantly becomes a “bombshell,” even before the journalists have actually verified the claim or seen the evidence for themselves.

Here is a transcript of the January 27 coverage on NBC’s Today show:

7:01 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Breaking overnight, bombshell. Former National Security Advisor John Bolton ready to turn on the President as news leaks from his explosive new book about what he claims really happened with Ukraine. Will he testify? That decision likely coming this week.

(...)

7:15 AM ET

GUTHRIE: The President’s impeachment trial, it continues this week. A pivotal second week. His defense team set to resume its case. There’s a new fight over potential witnesses, and why? Because of an explosive report just out about an unpublished book from former National Security Advisor John Bolton and what he has to say about the heart of this case and what really happened in Ukraine, according to Bolton. NBC’s Kristen Welker is at the Capitol for us. Kristen, good morning.

KRISTEN WELKER: Savannah, good morning to you. That new book by John Bolton is called The Room Where it Happened, and it could be a bombshell. In it, according to The New York Times, Bolton accuses the President of withholding military aid to Ukraine in exchange for investigating his political rivals. The matter at the very heart of the impeachment case. Now, in just a few hours, the President’s legal team will be back on the Senate floor defending him.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Bolton Bombshell to Impact Impeachment?; Book Claims Increases Pressure on Republicans in Witness Battle]

As President Trump’s lawyers make the case for his acquittal...

JAY SEKULOW: The evidence is actually really overwhelming that the President did nothing wrong.

WELKER: ...overnight an explosive new account from former National Security Advisor John Bolton that could undercut the President’s case. As first reported by The New York Times, Bolton, in an unpublished book manuscript, writes President Trump told him last August he wanted to continue freezing nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine until Ukrainian officials announced investigations into the Bidens.

But the President has argued his decision to withhold aid was not linked to those investigations, and in a late-night tweet thread, he slammed his former advisor, writing in part, “I never told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied into investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens. If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book.”

According to The New York Times, multiple people told them what was in the manuscript, they have not reviewed it. Neither has NBC News.

(...)

Here is a transcript of the coverage on ABC’s GMA:

7:01 AM ET

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Also this morning, a bombshell in the impeachment trial of President Trump. The stunning new report about John Bolton directly contradicts Trump’s defense, claiming the President tied Ukrainian aid to a Biden investigation. Will Bolton now be called by the Senate?

(...)

7:17 AM ET

STEPHANOPOULOS: We do turn to Washington and that bombshell report upending the impeachment trial of President Trump. The New York Times reporting on the draft of former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s new book in which this key witness sought by Democrats claims that Trump told him aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Joe Biden and other Democrats, directly contradicting a core plank of the President’s defense. Chief White House correspondent Jon Karl is tracking this breaking news.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Bolton Bombshell; Report: New Book Claims Trump Tied Ukraine Aid to Investigations]

JON KARL: President Trump’s former National Security Advisor John Bolton is the witness Democrats want to testify in the Senate trial more than any other. The report overnight in The New York Times shows just how key he may be to the case against the President. Four weeks ago, Bolton submitted the manuscript of a book he has written to the White House for a standard review to ensure it does not include any classified information. According to the Times, Bolton writes President Trump told him in August that he wanted to continue withholding military aid to Ukraine until officials there launched investigations into Trump’s rivals, including Joe Biden. This firsthand account directly contradicts what the President’s lawyers argued in defending him during the Senate trial just this weekend.

MICHAEL PURPURA [WHITE HOUSE DEFENSE LAWYER]: There is simply no evidence anywhere that President Trump ever linked security assistance to any investigations.

KARL: President Trump denied the claims overnight tweeting, quote, “I never told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats.”

STEPHANOPOULOS: Thanks to Jon for that. We’re of course going to have live coverage of the Senate trial starting at 1:00 Eastern right here on ABC.

Here is a transcript of the coverage on CBS This Morning:

7:01 AM ET

ANTHONY MASON: Bolton’s bombshell. The former National Security Advisor reportedly says President Trump told him Ukraine would get no military aid without investigating Joe Biden and his son. How this could affect the impeachment trial?

(...)

7:15 AM ET

TONY DOKOUPIL: A startling new report could upend the impeachment trial. According to The New York Times, former National Security Advisor John Bolton says President Trump did tie Ukraine military aid to investigations into his political rivals. This is all in the manuscript for Bolton’s new book entitled The Room Where It Happened, which will be published by Simon & Shuster, which happens to be a division of Viacom CBS. Nancy Cordes reports on all this from Capitol Hill.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Bolton’s Bombshell; NYT: Fmr. Adviser Ties POTUS to Ukraine Aid Freeze Over Biden]

NANCY CORDES: Bolton drops the bombshell in an unpublished manuscript for his forthcoming book. According to The New York Times, Bolton says the President told him that “he wanted to continue to freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens.”

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN [D-MA]: He’s waving his hand and saying, “I have that direct evidence.”

CORDES: Overnight Senate Democrats called the Republican resistance to hearing from new witnesses indefensible. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer accused the White House of a massive cover-up.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR [D-MN]: I don’t know how my Republican colleagues cannot call for witnesses.

CORDES: In a statement, Bolton’s lawyers said he submitted his client’s manuscript to the White House for review in December, two senior administration officials tells CBS News that the White House Counsel’s Office had been aware of the manuscript for weeks and that the defense team had been preparing to deal with the contents of it at the Senate trial. Their arguments over the weekend ran counter to Bolton’s claims.

MICHAEL PURPURA [WHITE HOUSE DEFENSE LAWYER]: There is simply no evidence anywhere that President Trump ever linked security assistance to any investigations.

(...)

NB Daily Trump Impeachment ABC Good Morning America CBS CBS This Morning NBC Today Video Savannah Guthrie George Stephanopoulos Tony Dokoupil John Bolton

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