Nets Flock to Special Prosecutor News, Knock Trump and Mock GOP

It appears that 5 p.m. has become the new witching hour, since for over a week that’s been when most of the major news stories regarding President Trump have been broken. It was no different Wednesday evening when D.C. was rocked by the announcement that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to be the special counsel to oversee the Russia investigation. The Big Three Networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) led with the development on their evening programs, during which they celebrated it and slammed the right.

“We're reporting from the White House tonight because of the rapidly developing investigation into whether the President tried to shut down an FBI investigation of his administration,” announced Anchor Scott Pelley to kick off CBS Evening News. “Among the developments late today, the Department of Justice just announced it will appoint former FBI Director Robert Mueller as an independent special counsel to investigate the Trump administration and allegations of Russian interference with the presidential election.”

During CBS’s long series of reports, Nancy Cordes highlighted how excited partisan Democrats were at the appointment. “Democrats are hailing the appointment of a special prosecutor as a victory and a good first step, and the move will be welcomed by small but growing number of Republicans, as well,” she said.

CBS’s reporting also included a sit-down interview Justice Correspondent Jeff Pegues conducted with former DNI James Clapper. In the interview, Clapper cryptically accused the Trump transition team of interfering with the Obama administration’s foreign policy, and he brazenly told Pegues to “draw your own conclusions.”

On ABC’s World News Tonight, some of their reporters seemed humored by how much trouble the controversy was causing Republicans. “And we begin with that breaking headline: The White House blindsided tonight as the Department of Justice reveals that they will appoint a special counsel to now oversee the FBI investigation into Russian meddling and any possible collusion,” declared Anchor David Muir.

Reporter Mary Bruce openly mocked how the week of explosive news had derailed the GOP’s chance to pass their reforms. “118 days into the new administration, Republicans had hoped to be plowing ahead with their agenda, health care, tax reform, deregulation,” she seemed to gloat. “But instead, they're careening from crisis to crisis. On the campaign trail, Trump himself warned this would happen… under a Hillary Clinton's presidency.”

NBC’s Chief White House Correspondent Hallie Jackson attempted to drive a wedge between GOP leadership and the White House during NBC Nightly News by exaggerating a bad joke told House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. “This is a potentially explosive report that could do real damage relationship between President Trump and Republican leaders,” she exclaimed about the more than a year-old joke:

The Washington Post is reporting tonight, that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Republican colleagues, quote, “There's two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” he said referring to the now President and the Republican congressman.

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For some reason, Jackson used a very heavy speculative tone when she said “the now President” when she was referred to Trump, which the report could have done without. She later explained that McCarthy said that it “was a bad attempt at a joke.” This overhyped piece of news was also reported by CBS’s Nancy Cordes.

Jackson’s report was soon followed up with a segment by Kristen Welker highlighting all of the members of Congress talking about possibly impeaching the President.

Shockingly, Pelley actually compared the current state of White House controversy to former President Bill Clinton's. "The White House has not been under siege like this since 1998 during the impeachment of President Clinton on charges of obstruction of justice. This has been the most challenging week in a chaotic four months," he mentioned.  

One thing all of the networks agreed on was how brilliant Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein’s pick of Mueller was. They championed him as a man of integrity that could not be swayed by Washington’s political pressures. “David, just a reminder about Mueller, after serving ten years as FBI director he was asked by President Obama to re-up for an additional two years. He was reconfirmed 100 to nothing,” noted ABC’s Pierre Thomas.

Mueller’s record is outstanding, so it will be interesting to see if and how the liberal media’s attitude about him changes if he doesn’t prosecute the people they want. 

Transcripts below:

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CBS Evening News
May 17, 2017
6:31:15 PM Eastern

SCOTT PELLEY: We're reporting from the White House tonight because of the rapidly developing investigation into whether the President tried to shut down an FBI investigation of his administration. Among the developments late today, the Department of Justice just announced it will appoint former FBI Director Robert Mueller as an independent special counsel to investigate the Trump administration and allegations of Russian interference with the presidential election. The chairman of the House Oversight Committee tells CBS News he expects fired FBI Director James Comey will testify next Wednesday. The stock markets fell sharply in the turmoil. The Dow down 372 points, almost two percent. The NASDAQ fell by more than two and a half percent. Mr. Trump complained today that “no politician in history has been treated worse or more unfairly.” It has been another day of momentous events, and Jeff Pegues has the latest.

6:35:12 PM Eastern

PELLEY: The White House has not been under siege like this since 1998 during the impeachment of President Clinton on charges of obstruction of justice. This has been the most challenging week in a chaotic four months.

6:40:39 PM Eastern

NANCY CORDES: Scott, Democrats are hailing the appointment of a special prosecutor as a victory and a good first step, and the move will be welcomed by small but growing number of Republicans, as well.

The Washington Post is reporting tonight that Paul Ryan's number two, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Ryan and other Republican leaders in a private conversation last year that he thought that Russian President Vladimir Putin was paying Donald Trump. His aides initially told the paper that he never said that until they were confronted with the existence of an audiotape. And just a few moments ago, Scott, McCarthy told reporters that it was a bad attempt at humor.

...

ABC
World News Tonight
May 17, 2017
6:31:22 PM Eastern

DAVID MUIR: Good evening and it's great to have you with us here on Wednesday night. And we begin with that breaking headline: The White House blindsided tonight as the Department of Justice reveals that they will appoint a special counsel to now oversee the FBI investigation into Russian meddling and any possible collusion. Former FBI Director Robert Mueller will now lead the investigation. Democrats and some Republicans had been calling for this move, the news coming just 24 hours after we learned that former FBI Director James Comey, who was fired by President Trump, kept notes about his meetings with the President. The Department of Justice saying just moments ago, a special counsel is necessary for the American people to have full confidence in the outcome.

PIERRE THOMAS: David, just a reminder about Mueller, after serving ten years as FBI director he was asked by President Obama to re-up for an additional two years. He was reconfirmed 100 to nothing.

6:38:25 PM Eastern

MARY BRUCE: 118 days into the new administration, Republicans had hoped to be plowing ahead with their agenda, health care, tax reform, deregulation. But instead, they're careening from crisis to crisis. On the campaign trail, Trump himself warned this would happen… under a Hillary Clinton's presidency.

DONALD TRUMP: If Hillary is elected she will be under protracted criminal investigation likely followed by the trial of a sitting president. The investigation will last for years. Nothing will get done.

[Cuts back to live]

MUIR: That was the prediction if Hillary Clinton had been elected.

...

NBC Nightly News
May 17, 2017
7:04:07 PM Eastern

LESTER HOLT: And there is another story break right now in Washington involving comments reportedly made by a powerful Republican about Trump, Putin and money. Let's go to our Chief White House correspondent Halle Jackson. Hallie what can you tell us about that?

HALLIE JACKSON: Lester, this is a potentially explosive report that could do real damage relationship between President Trump and Republican leaders. The Washington Post is reporting tonight, that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Republican colleagues, quote, “There's two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” he said referring to the now president [she emphasized that for some reason] and the Republican congressman.

The Post says, when lawmakers laughed, McCarthy quickly added, “swear to God.” The comment captured in a recording The Post says it has listened to. Says on that tape, Ryan is we heard interrupting immediately saying, “No leaks. This is how we know we're a real family here.” The comments made last year.

Tonight McCarthy told NBC news, “it's a bad attempt at a joke.” And a spokesman for Speaker Ryan echoed that, telling us tonight “this entire year-old exchange was clearly and attempt at humor. No one believed the Majority Leader was seriously asserting that Donald Trump or any of our members were being paid by the Russians. What's more, the Speaker and the leadership team have repeatedly spoken out against Russia’s interference in our election and the House continues to investigate that activity.” Lester.

CyberAlerts Appointments Crime Foreign Policy Russia Government Agencies Conspiracy Theories Covert Liberal Activists Double Standards Labeling Political Groups Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals ABC World News CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video James Comey Robert Mueller Jeff Pegues Mary Bruce FBI Scott Pelley Nancy Cordes David Muir Pierre Thomas Lester Holt Hallie Jackson Donald Trump