Pulitzer Prize winner and associate editor for The Washington Post Bob Woodward had a few things to say about the events of January 6 during an appearance on Tuesday’s edition of Morning Joe on MSNBC, including the denial of political violence from the left and some slight hinting that Attorney General Merrick Garland should prosecute the former administration.
Leading into these comments by Woodward, the show’s co-host Willie Geist took a verbal swing at Senator Marco Rubio after he branded the January 6 Select Committee as “a circus.” “They’re willing and want to look the other way for much of this,” stressed Geist. He even exclaimed that media outlets such as Fox News will not be broadcasting these important hearings.
Perhaps the reason why they won’t be is that unlike the left, they are focusing on events that the American people genuinely care about.
Woodward chimed in on the subject of this “insurrection” and whether those involved should be prosecuted along with Trump. He said, “there's an argument that it would be folly not to indict them.”
From that sentence, it is safe to infer that Woodward (not-so-secretly) wants a prosecution to happen. After all, his career took off with the Watergate scandal and the aftermath thereof. He already got the recognition and has a Pulitzer Prize, so why does he want to try for more?
Jonathan Lemire joined in by expressing how the country “is tearing at the seams.”
Does Jonathan really think that January 6th is tearing the nation apart? Is he really overlooking the fact that the administration he thinks oh-so highly of is causing inflation for everything Americans need to get by? Most people are too busy trying to survive this incompetent administration, Jonathan.
Joe Scarborough was back at it again with the biased opinions most people will forget within 10 minutes. He called it “striking” how Donald Trump used “politics as violence;” talking about how he mentioned “taking protestors out on stretchers,” and his son Don Jr. telling Congress “we’re coming for you.”
Woodward responded expressing that he watches his show, has heard what he says about Republicans, and completely agrees with him. “At one point a month or two ago, you and I talked about this, about false equivalency, that the Democrats do the same thing. The Democrats don't do the same thing,” said Woodward.
So according to Woodward, Democrats do not use violence to get their political views across. Okay, but what about Antifa attacking everything in its path when something doesn’t go their way? They even attacked an NBC reporter and his crew in 2018, something that was failed to be reported.
What about the politics of violence from the left? Let’s not forget the MSNBC fanatic who tried to shoot up a Republican congressional baseball practice in Virginia in 2017. And in 2018, when Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) urged the left to harass the Trump administration amid backlash over immigration policies? Did Woodward simply forget about that, or does he not care?
For people who claim to care about this nation, democracy, and its people, there seems to be a lot of hypocrisy and a huge lack of practicing what is being preached.
Click "expand" to see the full transcript:
MSNBC’s Morning Joe
8:09:35 a.m. Eastern
WILLIE GEIST: Bob, you began there at the end to answer my question, which is that Republicans -- prominent Republicans are dismissing the Select Committee. They have for months. Senator Rubio called yesterday it a circus. They’re willing and want to look the other way for much of this.
So, what can be the impact of this to a country that seems to be so divided, certainly in its media consumption? These hearings will not be broadcasted, for example, on Fox News. They tend to be looking the other way on this matter as well. So, what can this committee do? What case can they make? And what impact do you believe it might have?
BOB WOODWARD: Well, I know you are always interested in – and I am, too, obviously -- what's going on here. Let's look forward and I think the question is, what's the legacy going to be for this committee? I think in a much more interesting and important way, what is the legacy going to be of Attorney General Garland who has to make some critical decisions?
Do they bring criminal charges against anyone for this insurrection? What do they do about Trump? In a very, very important way Garland has to decide what to do with the Hunter Biden laptop case involving the President's son. So, big, as they say, big casino for the Justice Department and for Garland.
And I think it is going to reflect on Biden's legacy. Is there justice in the Biden presidency? And you know, we could spend a long time arguing about whether it would be folly to indict Trump and these people who were involved. There's an argument that it would be folly not to indict them.
So, there's a lot hanging for Garland, for this committee, for Biden, and of course Trump. You were earlier talking about the baseball teams who have all the payroll, who have all the money. You know what Trump is doing down in Mar-a-Lago is raising money. He has more money, he is the one who also has to rebuild. Is he going to build some sort of new campaign team? What's going to happen? Is he going to run?
So I jotted down 13 things that are going on in this country now from Afghanistan still, Ukraine, the shootings. I've never seen a time when there is more national and international and local business that's going to be decided where we go.
JONATHAN LEMIRE: Yeah, Bob, it certainly seems like it's a moment where the nation is tearing at the seams.
I want to get you-- we talked about, obviously some of the substance of the investigation. But now, you know, maybe some of the showmanship of these hearings that are coming as of Thursday night, the primetime to kick it off.
What parallels do you might see between what the committee needs to do in these hearings to change the minds and those Watergate hearings that so captivated the nation decades ago?
WOODWARD: It's a great question. And, of course, what happened in Watergate is Nixon tried to pivot to a disclosure moment and actually brought in a new attorney general in 1973, Elliott Richardson, who appointed a special prosecutor to look at Watergate.
All of the matters that Attorney General Garland has to deal with about Trump and Hunter Biden and the upheaval in the Justice Department normally would go to special prosecutors. But they're keeping it within the Justice Department.
And from what I understand from my reporting, there is a battle royale going on in the Justice Department, because you have people in the criminal division who come down from the southern district of New York, they are very aggressive prosecutors. They work in the Justice Department Criminal Division. And they say, “we've got the evidence. What are we going to do here?”
And that's a big political decision and a big legal decision and also a big moral decision.
EUGENE ROBINSON: Bob, when you and Carl write a piece like you wrote on Sunday, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the most famous double byline in journalism, people pay attention. And I find it fascinating that the two of you, with your long experience, would write this. I don't know how many thousand words it was. But this extraordinary piece once again sending up the alarm.
My question is, is Merrick Garland listening? I mea--How is this battle royale within the Justice Department, that you told us about, going? Which way is Garland leaning? What do you think if-- are we, indeed, going to have a criminal investigation and perhaps prosecution at the highest levels of this conspiracy, this seditious conspiracy that clearly took place?
WOODWARD: Well, there is an investigation going on. The question is, what will be done? As we know, Garland, very respected, appellate court judge here in Washington, somebody very cautious. Being a judge, as we know in appellate or Supreme Court work, you can kind of take one from column A, one from column B, one from column C and you can come up with a judgement and an opinion. In running the Justice Department, the decision to prosecute or not prosecute is binary. You either do or you don't. There's not really middle ground on here.
And I don't have an answer to your excellent question. Where is this going? But I'm saying, this is one area where in coming months, maybe even coming years, we're going to have to figure. And let me extend this, Gene, if you’ll bear with me. The other person who has to worry about his legacy, not only Biden and Trump, indeed, but is Mike Pence.
Now, Mike Pence is writing a book, I understand. I'm not sure when it will be out or what it's going to say. But Mike Pence, his whole reputation has been defined by Trump. Is he for Trump? Is he against Trump? Now He is riding both horses to a certain extent, being much more severe. I dug out some of the things that Costa and I had in Peril about what Trump said to Pence the day before January 6 and on January 6. I mean, this was really tough.
Trump says to Pence, “I don't want to be your friend anymore if you do this.” Other words, if you follow the law and the Constitution. “You’ve betrayed us. I made you. You were nothing. Your career is over if you don't do what I am telling you to do.” And then the next day, he says, “I'm counting on you to do it my way. If you don't, I picked the wrong man four years ago.”
This is part of the overt acts in a conspiracy by the then president of the United States, threatening his vice president in a way that, again, there was no ambiguity.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Yeah. You know, Bob, you said something early in the interview, you talked about politics as violence. Donald Trump using politics as violence. That really is striking. If you look at January the 6th, Donald Trump pushing people not to be weak on January the 6th. Rudy Giuliani talking about combat justice. Don Jr. saying to members of Congress, “we're coming for you.”
We can go all the way back to 2015 and '16, Donald Trump talking about taking protesters out on stretchers, punching people in the face. We can talk about members of Congress now, Republican members of Congress in recent years holding up AR-15s and saying -- let me get this quote right. Saying, “we need to go on the offensive” while showing Democratic members of Congress, the squad, doctored videos portraying a Republican member of Congress killing a Democratic member of Congress.
And through it all – I mean here we are, we go back to January 6th. What did Donald Trump say after gleefully watching this? He said to the people there, he said that he loved the rioters, quote, “you are very special.”
So, this is politics as violence. And again how unique is this in American history?
WOODWARD: I think it's completely unique. And I watch your show regularly, Joe, and I know what you have said about the Republicans. And you are exactly right. At one point a month or two ago, you and I talked about this, about false equivalency, that the Democrats do the same thing. The Democrats don't do the same thing.
MIKA BRZEZINSKY: No way.
WOODWARD: It's not even close. At the same time, we've got to look at the Democrats as journalists and deal with their behavior. Where is Merrick Garland going to go with these decisions that in a way are going to define where this country goes? Inciting of violence, the idea I'm going through now, nine hours of Trump interviews I did, that were not published, we're going to put out an audio book, Simon & Schuster of nine hours of Trump that we have never heard before.
And you see who this man is, what he cares about, the self-focus, the absence of being concerned about the people out there. This is while he was president in 2020. All this, it is an amazing portrait of a man.
And Attorney General Garland, Biden – Biden has been, I believe, has been accurately quoted saying he thinks Trump should be prosecuted. Now, whether that's going to happen -- I mean, that is a giant decision.
And, of course, in the case of Nixon, the problem was solved by Gerald Ford, the vice president, who then became president who pardoned Nixon. How do we get -- the question I think needs to be asked, how does the country get out of this mess that's been created? Because it is a mess. And people are going to be mad about decisions that are being made.
People are going to, I believe, read Pence's book very carefully. Where does he come down on this? Is he going to make a Declaration of Independence of sort or is he going to be the loyal vice president?
I remember interviewing Trump in the Oval Office once and Pence came in and Pence stood there while Trump and I talked for almost an hour, he just stood there. I will never forget the image of Pence being in the Oval Office standing dutifully for almost an hour and saying absolutely nothing.