NBC: Iowa Chaos ‘Wasn’t the Russians,’ Dems ‘Did It to Themselves’

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On NBC’s Today show Tuesday morning, correspondent Cynthia McFadden seemed to mock Democrats for Monday night’s Iowa caucus debacle as she declared: “I think the headline is it wasn’t the Russians in this case. It appears to be the Democrats who did it to themselves.”

Reporting on the “caucus chaos” from Des Moines in a previous segment, fellow correspondent Peter Alexander explained: “Overnight, the Iowa Democratic Party saying it found ‘inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results” from the caucuses, saying the delay was the result of a ‘reporting issue’ and not due to a ‘hack or intrusion.’”

 

 

He summed up: “In other words, the app was not hacked. Caucus officials saying it was confusing and difficult to download.”

In the discussion that followed, after McFadden let viewers know it “wasn’t the Russians,” she pointed out the highly questionable process: “What happened essentially is that caucus chairs were supposed to download this new app to their personal cell phones. I mean, already security – whoo hoo.” Co-host Savannah Guthrie chimed in: “That raises some questions, yes.”

McFadden went on to cite evidence that Democratic Party officials in Iowa knew there were problems with the app well in advance of the caucus: “In fact, NBC News has been able to review a memo between some of the party bigwigs and some of the caucus chairs in which they were saying things like, ‘Nobody having trouble with the app should feel dumb!’”

She concluded: “So they knew yesterday morning, long before voting commenced yesterday evening, that there was a problem.”

Guthrie remarked: “Okay, but I thought they had backup plans and all of that.” McFadden pointed out that a hotline designed to such handle problems was also down: “They went to the phone, the phone didn’t work. Two hours some people waited....They couldn’t get through.”

When even NBC is talking about how badly the Democrats messed up, you know it’s bad.

Here is a transcript of the February 4 segment:

7:06 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Let’s turn to Chuck Todd and NBC’s senior legal and investigative correspondent Cynthia McFadden, who has been literally up all night looking into what happened here. So Cynthia, what did you find out?

CYNTHIA MCFADDEN: Well, I think the headline is it wasn’t the Russians in this case. It appears to be the Democrats who did it to themselves. The Democrats wanted to have a new app to get faster results from the nearly 1,700 caucuses. They also felt it would be more transparent. Didn’t turn out that way. What happened essentially is that caucus chairs were supposed to download this new app to their personal cell phones. I mean, already security – whoo hoo.   

GUTHRIE: That raises some questions, yes.

MCFADDEN: But, okay, that’s what they were supposed to do. It came up really late. As they start trying to do that –

GUTHRIE: They got the app late?

MCFADDEN: Yeah.

GUTHRIE: They didn’t even get it until yesterday?

MCFADDEN: Well, we don’t exactly know when they got it, but they told us they got it late in the process.

GUTHRIE: Okay.

MCFADDEN: So many of them were working on it yesterday and early yesterday morning. In fact, NBC News has been able to review a memo between some of the party bigwigs and some of the caucus chairs in which they were saying things like, “Nobody having trouble with the app should feel dumb!” So they knew yesterday morning, long before voting commenced yesterday evening, that there was a problem.

GUTHRIE: Okay, but I thought they had backup plans and all of that. That was the big innovation of Iowa this year. Now we’re going to have paper cards and we can recount. And that’s what they’re doing now or?

MCFADDEN: Well, that’s what they are doing. Thank goodness for the paper. I mean, they did have people write down their selections.

GUTHRIE: It’s 2020, thank goodness for the paper.

MCFADDEN: Yeah. Well, and now they’re recounting those. But you know, we should just note, you know, we knew last night by 5:30 that at least 12 of the caucus chairs were unable to use the app. It turned out to be a lot more than that. They went to the phone, the phone didn’t work. Two hours some people waited.

GUTHRIE: Some of these precinct chairs calling in can’t get in with the party, is that right?

MCFADDEN: They couldn’t get through.

(...)

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