MSNBC’s Steele Declares: GOP Will ‘Rue the Day’ They Questioned the FBI

As the missing FBI text message controversy continued to grow and the Inspector General’s investigation marched on, the liberal media had adopted the strategy to completely smear any criticism directed at the bureau. And during MSNBC’s MTP Daily on Wednesday, former RNC Chairman Michael Steele obnoxiously chimed in and declared that Republicans were “going to rue the day” they decided to question the FBI.

To start off the questions to the panel during the segment, host Chuck Todd whined about how “this White House effort, it's -- I'll say this, they no longer -- the White House press office no longer distances themselves from the President's attempts to discredit the FBI.

Todd would later pivot to Steele and assert that the more the Trump White House called out the FBI for alleged impropriety the guiltier they looked. Steele chided the administration for wasting its time fighting back instead of forwarding policy: “No, we’re not doing that. We now have set up a wholesale operation between the White House and Capitol Hill to sully the reputation of good men and women who work inside of the FBI.

Steele also claimed that no one should be making a fuss about the alleged bias and corruption at the FBI and to let the IG conduct the probe. Which was a ridiculous argument because the purpose of the media was to shine a light in the dark places in government and to get the truth out. And seemingly playing off of his guest, Todd complained that Trump was going after civil servants as if that made them somehow above reproach.

Bizarrely, Steele began to bemoan the negative repercussions weeding out alleged bias and corruption would do:

 

 

Again, going back to where Republicans are standing on this. They are going to rue the day of going down this road and having this institution come apart and have the kind of morale problems that could be long lasting down the road. And then who are they going to look to? And then what happens in the next administration coming in and Republican and Democrat? And you now have the seabed of suspicion about these institutions, CIA, FBI. Justice Department. What is the end game here?

We’re reliving the 1950s,” Todd huffed, at one point, to NBC News contributor Howard Fineman. “Look, it took the FBI from the time after Watergate and decades to really rebuild its credibility for Independence and total professionalism and nonpolitical behavior. And Donald Trump and his allies are perfectly willing to wreck it if it gets in the way of defending him,” Fineman decried.

In the liberal media, or according to their narrative, there was no possible way for there to be something shady going on at the FBI in any way nor any bad actors. But Fineman’s recollection of Watergate and the actions of J. Edgar Hoover were basically a tacit admission that the FBI had acted inappropriately in the past. And that’s not to mention the more recent memory of misconduct at the bureau when the Clinton administration received roughly 700 FBI background files on George H.W. Bush Republicans.

And Donald Trump is doing a lot of things that nobody has seen the likes of. And he's utterly unembarrassed and unashamed about doing it. And he and his allies will do whatever it takes,” Fineman continued to opine. He also brushed over the anti-Trump text messages by only calling them “problematic,” and he clearly didn’t care much about the topic because he falsely said they were e-mails.

A so-called Republican in Steele denouncing a healthy skepticism and suspicion of a powerful government, while decrying serious calls for accountability would be laughable if it wasn’t so depressing.

The relevant portions of the transcript are below:

 

Sign Up for MRC Newsletters!

 

MSNBC
MTP Daily
January 24, 2018
5:23:49 PM Eastern

(…)

CHUCK TODD: Alright Jennifer, let me start with you. This White House effort, it's -- I'll say this, they no longer -- the White House press office no longer distances themselves from the President's attempts to discredit the FBI. That to me has been an interesting change over the last month.

(…)

JENNIFER JACOBS: But I did have a Trump administration official say to me today, he speculated that the net affect of the GOP assault on the FBI is that it does sully Robert Mueller indirectly. That you start having people who start doubting the honesty and the professionalism of the FBI and the net affect is that people start blurring the letters FBI into F.I.B. Which essentially -- whatever Robert Mueller comes out with in the end is sullied.

(…)
TODD: We’re reliving the 1950s.

HOWARD FINEMAN: I talked to a lot of conservatives and Republicans—Look, it took the FBI from the time after Watergate and decades to really rebuild its credibility for Independence and total professionalism and nonpolitical behavior. And Donald Trump and his allies are perfectly willing to wreck it if it gets in the way of defending him.

I have not covered Washington for a long time. I haven't seen a kind of a direct attack on the credibility of the FBI in the independence of the FBI, on its nonpartisanship, on the professionalism, I haven't seen anything like that. And Donald Trump is doing a lot of things that nobody has seen the likes of. And he's utterly unembarrassed and unashamed about doing it. And he and his allies will do whatever it takes. They are using social media, they're using direct attacks, they're unearthed e-mails that quite frankly are problematic, I think, and they’re -- and they are going to play that for all it is worth. And this is a huge end game beginning now in earnest and in public.

TODD: Michael, it is -- I guess I'm just -- I'm curious, I know what they're trying to do. But don't they look guilty here? The more they do this, I feel like they only -- it is sort of like when my -- the more they are explaining, the more you are going what are they worried about.

MICHAEL STEELE: That is the thing for me is the thing. If there’s all of this innocence that’s out there surrounding the campaign and the White House, you sit back and go: “Do your investigation, meanwhile we're going to go lay down the tracks for infrastructure, we’re going to lay down the tracks for health care, we’re going to lay down the tracks for broader policy initiatives.”

No, we’re not doing that. We now have set up a wholesale operation between the White House and Capitol Hill to sully the reputation of good men and women who work inside of the FBI because of, as you noted Howard, some e-mails. Yes, they are problematic but let the appropriate authorities ferret that out. To do what they’re doing, the end game they’re playing right now, what they don't seem to understand, it could blow up in their face just as much as it could sully the FBI and that is a real problem.

(…)

TODD: Let me tweet this -- this is what he tweeted today. “Where are the 50,000 important text messages between FBI lovers Lisa page and Peter Strzok, blaming Samsung!” [In a mocking tone] Obviously, he going down that road. This is the president of the United States going after going after civil servants. That is what makes this to me -- they are not elected officials. This is like a new – we’ve another line.

FINEMAN: This is Donald Trump using Twitter to say, “I will stop at nothing. And if it means stooping to attack civil servants, I'll do it. If it means transgressing traditional rules in Washington, I will do it.”

(…)

STEELE: And the truth of that is -- again, going back to where Republicans are standing on this. They are going to rue the day of going down this road and having this institution come apart and have the kind of morale problems that could be long lasting down the road. And then who are they going to look to? And then what happens in the next administration coming in and Republican and Democrat? And you now have the seabed of suspicion about these institutions, CIA, FBI. Justice Department. What is the end game here? That’s the question I have for the Republicans. What is the end game? What is your expectation when it is all said and done? When the -- when Mr. Mueller put this report on the table, are you going to laugh at it or you going take it seriously what’s your end game?

FINEMAN: Well, in a game of brute survival, the durability of institutions doesn't matter to the people in the ball game and that’s where we’re at.

(…)


Please support NewsBusters today! (a 501c3 non-profit production of the Media Research Center)

DONATE
CyberAlerts Government Agencies Bias by Omission Conspiracy Theories Double Standards Labeling Political Scandals Trump-Russia probe Cable Television MSNBC MTP Daily Video GOP FBI Chuck Todd Howard Fineman Donald Trump Michael Steele