NBC’s Chuck Todd Asserts Obama Not Swaying Election Akin to 9/11

Last this week, The Washington Post published an article saying that the Obama administration knew well in advance of Election Day 2016 that Russia was trying to meddle the U.S. election process. And despite their knowledge, they chose not to go public because of the fear that many would think President Obama was swaying the election to Hillary Clinton. During NBC’s Sunday Today, the network’s Chuck Todd let his true feelings show when equated Obama not putting his figure on the electoral scale to President Bush not acting on intelligence reports about Osama bin Laden before the 9/11 attacks.

“This was a Washington Post story this week that said Obama administration soft-pedaled its response to the Russian meddling because it didn’t want to be seen as putting its thumb on the scale of this election,” prefaced host Willie Geist, before asking Todd the triggering question. “What’s the impact of that story and all this stew of Russia?”

Todd whined that Trump was making his “head spin” by creating the “atmosphere” that kept Obama from taking the Russian meddling intelligence public. “I mean, for the very reason: Here's President Trump criticizing former President Obama for not doing anything,” he bemoaned. “Well at the time they got this intelligence, candidate Donald Trump was telling everybody that this election was going to get rigged in favor of Hillary Clinton.

According to Todd, “In hindsight, though, there clearly a bunch of Obama White House folks are hand-wringing about this.” Todd seemed to be almost obsessed or disturbed by Obama’s decision because he declared that he would “never get over” how one Obama official claimed that “we choked” for not speaking out.

The story seemed to hit a boiling point for the Meet the Press moderator. “Look, this could be, Willie, what the infamous August 6th presidential intelligence daily briefing: ‘Bin Laden determined to strike the U.S. before 9/11,’” he announced, with a slight tinge of anger.

This may be the equivalent in history on this Russian infiltration of the American democracy. We may go back and say: ‘This was equivalent of that,’” He continued to rant. “The Obama administration had the intelligence, had the smoking gun, and decided to pull back for fear of politicizing the election.” What Todd failed to mention was that the warning received by Bush was not a cut-and-dry fact, but a vague prediction about what bin Laden wanted to do with no set date. In sharp contrast, Obama's intelligence was about what they knew to be happening at the time.

Geist seemed to sympathize with Todd, saying: “And as you say, we’re hearing from a lot of Obama, who behind the scenes saying we should have done more in real time.

In a commercial for his show on MSNBC, MTP Daily, Todd once claimed to be the “referee” who was out there to enforce the political “rules.” By misleadingly comparing the Bush administration’s and the Obama administration’s inactions on intelligence, Todd is equating 9/11 with Trump’s presidency. That doesn’t sound like an unbiased referee. That sounds like one that has chosen a clear side to back and throws his own low blows.

Transcript below:

 

NBC
Sunday Today
June 25, 2017
8:06:24 AM Eastern

(…)

WILLIE GEIST: Let me move on to Russia because when President Trump wasn’t tweeting about health care this week he was tweeting about Russia. I’ll read you one of them, Chuck. “Just out: The Obama administration knew far in advance of November 8th about lection meddling by Russia. Did nothing about it. Why?” Put to the side the fact that he acknowledges Russian meddling in that tweet right there, something he has not done previously. Just go to this is a story—This was a Washington Post story this week that said Obama administration soft-pedaled its response to the Russian meddling because it didn’t want to be seen as putting its thumb on the scale of this election. What’s the impact of that story and all this stew of Russia?

CHUCK TODD: Well look, talk about making your head spin. I mean, for the very reason: Here's President Trump criticizing former President Obama for not doing anything. Well at the time they got this intelligence, candidate Donald Trump was telling everybody that this election was going to get rigged in favor of Hillary Clinton. And that was the atmosphere that the Obama administration was dealing with publicly when they got this intelligence, so we understand the reason why they did this. In hindsight, though, there clearly a bunch of Obama White House folks are hand-wringing about this. That line, I’ll never get over, you know: “We choked.”

Look, this could be, Willie, what the infamous August 6th presidential intelligence daily briefing: “Bin Laden determined to strike the U.S. before 9/11.” This may be the equivalent in history on this Russian infiltration of the American democracy. We may go back and say: “This was equivalent of that.” The Obama administration had the intelligence, had the smoking gun, and decided to pull back for fear of politicizing the election.

GEIST: And as you say, we’re hearing from a lot of Obama, who behind the scenes saying we should have done more in real time.

(…)

 

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