The liberal media has ripped President Trump for downplaying the apparent cyberattack by Russia into upper levels of the US government.
So when Joe Biden spoke out today, trashing President Trump's handling of the matter, accusing Russia of the attack and vowing to punish it, you would have thought that on her MSNBC show this afternoon, Nicolle Wallace & Co. would have cheered Biden.
But amazingly, both Wallace, and Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times, expressed considerable qualms about Biden's initiative. Wallace wondered whether Biden's statement "exposes us more?"
And Rutenberg took things a surprising step further, saying that by making a statement when he is not yet the president, Biden had created a "treacherous moment" that "breeds confusion internationally."
Rutenberg also questioned whether the Democrat party would support Biden in this, given that in 2012, it was Mitt Romney who had identified Russia as a primary foe, "as Democrats and President Obama at the time derided him for saying that."
To be sure, Wallace took an obligatory shot at President Trump, accusing him of "all but abdicat[ing] leadership in the face of crisis."
Even so, the Wallace-Rutenberg one-two punch at Biden and the Democrats, coupled with giving Romney his due, was a shocker on a show known for its consistently unalloyed support for all things pro-Dem and anti-Trump. We'll keep an eye out to see if this is a surprising trend, or a one-off aberration!
Note: Biden is starting to really feel his tough-guy Corn Pop oats! After remaining relatively quiet about President Trump after the election, in his remarks today he trashed President Trump, saying the "assault happened on Donald Trump’s watch. When he wasn’t watching." And Biden boasted, that "even if he does not take it seriously, I will."
Nicolle Wallace and Jim Rutenberg's surprising expression of qualms about Joe Biden's statements on the apparent Russian cyberattacks was sponsored in part by by Progressive.
Here's the transcript.
Deadline White House
4:00 pm ET
NICOLLE WALLACE: The cyberattck, that appears to have been carried out by Russia, that appears to have penetrated the highest levels of the US government. Biden offered the strongest condemnation yet for that cyberattack, blasting Trump’s handling of it. And making clear that the attack will not go unanswered.
JOE BIDEN: Initial indications, including from Secretary Pompeo, Secretary of State, and Attorney General William Barr, suggest that Russia, Russia, is responsible for this breach. It certainly fits Russia’s long history of reckless cyber activities. But the Trump administration needs to make an official attribution. This assault happened on Donald Trump’s watch. When he wasn’t watching. It's still his responsible as president to defend American interests for the next four weeks. But rest assured, that even if he does not take it seriously, I will.
. . .
WALLACE: NBC News is reporting on Biden’s plans to hold Putin accountable, quote, Biden has no plans to try to forge a close relationship with Putin as Trump attempted. Instead, Biden is expected to quickly work to draw a contrast with Trump's handling of Russia, including renewed scrutiny of reports of bounties offered to extremists to kill US troops. Biden is also likely to slap more sanctions on Russia for election meddling and human rights violations. Although it's unclear how much further he can turn the screw given that Moscow is already under intense US sanctions that have isolated it from the American financial system.
Joe Biden taking up the mantle, as the current occupant of the White House has all but abdicated leadership in the face of crisis.
. . .
You open up the paper in Paris or Abu Dhabi tomorrow, you're going to see a rebuke of Vladimir Putin, a threat of getting tougher and having a consequence for the hack. Not from the sitting president, but from the incoming president. And I wonder if you think that that sort of realigns things, or exposes us more? You know, how does that land, Jim Rutenberg?
JIM RUTENBERG: I mean, it's definitely a treacherous moment, because the person making the statement today is not the one who's in power right now. So it just breeds confusion internationally.
And then you wonder where's the [Democrat] party going to come down? Because Biden’s rhetoric today is traditionally often Republican rhetoric. Mitt Romney's the one who in 2012 said that Russia was a primary foe, as Democrats and President Obama at the time derided him for saying that.
So it's sort of like this 52-card pickup game right now, where everything is kind of thrown up in the air. Thankfully there are four weeks left of this moment. And then presumably things can resort to some version of normalcy. But I’ll never make that prediction in this era.