NBC’s Todd Invites Memo Smears, Fights Considering Its Contents as Truthful

Since the release of the bombshell House Intelligence Committee memo detailing alleged misconduct by the FBI and the DOJ to obtain warrants through a FISA court, the liberal media have been focused on combating President Trump and the GOP for releasing the memo instead of the contents within it. A clear demonstration of this occurred during NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday where moderator Chuck Todd was receptive to attacks against the memo but aggressively pushed back against supporters.

Former Obama-era CIA Director turned NBC analyst, John Brennan was on the program and was repeatedly teed up by Todd to take shots at the memo and the Republican-led House Intelligence Committee. “Has [Congressman Devin Nunes (R-C.A.)] brought up any legitimate issue, in your mind, in that memo,” Todd wondered at one point while sounding fed-up with the issue.

If he had concerns about that, he could have hearings. He could bring in the members of the FBI and others and to really seek what is needed to be done differently, but he didn't do that. He just put out publicly one side and a very selective cherry picked memo,” Brennan complained.

Todd then invited Brennan to smear his replacement, Mike Pompeo, for touting his reforms to the spy agency. “I think there are a number of senior members of this administration who follow Donald Trump's way of trying to denigrate and condemn everything that happened before them as a way to make them appear that they are doing things better than ever happened previously,” Brennan spat. This coming from the guy whose CIA hacked into Congressional computers to thwart the release of a torture report.

During a panel discussion, later in the show, Todd went around the table to hear everyone dismiss the memo and its findings.

 

 

I feel as confused as I think most Americans do right now. I think it feels a little bit like, you know when you're in the supermarket and there is music in the background, it's there, it's a constant noise but you can't quite make out the song exactly,” quipped Amy Walters from the Cook Political Report.

What has mattered more with this memo, what was in it for the President or the buildup,” Todd ridiculously asked PBS White House Correspondent Yamiche Alcindor. “#ReleaseTheMemo was way more important than the actual memo,” she claimed while suggesting she didn’t understand why it was a big deal. “When I was reading that memo I thought, ‘Okay, what was the big news here? What exactly am I reading?’

The President saw this memo as kind of murkying the waters, and his tweets saying that this vindicates him when anybody who reads that memo realizes that that's not what's happening tells me that this memo was all about just getting the base to start talking about it,” Alcindor continued.

Then can Republican radio host Hugh Hewitt who dared to give the memo some credibility. “The memo proves -- I reviewed hundreds and hundreds of FISA applications for two attorneys general. I did that job for two years. The omission of a material fact is a big deal and that--” he began before Todd jumped down his throat.

You don't know there's an omission of that material fact though, Hugh! We actually don't know that it’s true,” Todd asserted forcefully and in an elevated voice. “I believe it is fairly -- I will rely on the fact they did not say DNC/HRC, they said political,” Hewitt tried to continue before Todd jumped on him again to correct “political” to “political opponent.”

Hewitt, citing his past experience with the process, proceeded to explain the importance of the FISA court having access to the full details of the origin of the information being brought before them and how it could make or break a warrant being granted, much to Todd’s visual displeasure. Even Hewitt criticizing the GOP and the White House for overplaying the memo didn’t seem to cheer him up.

The relevant portions of the transcript are below, click expand to read:

 

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NBC
Meet the Press
February 4, 2018
10:59:33 AM Eastern

(…)

CHUCK TODD: Has he [Devin Nunes] brought up any legitimate issue, in your mind, in that memo?

JOHN BRENNAN: If there are issues related to the process involving FISA and if there are concerns about how forthcoming the bureau is, and I think the bureau from what I've been able to tell was very forthcoming. This was a renewal of FISA. But if he had concerns about that, he could have hearings. He could bring in the members of the FBI and others and to really seek what is needed to be done differently, but he didn't do that. He just put out publicly one side and a very selective cherry picked memo.

TODD: I want to get your reaction to something your successor said about his decision-making process as head of the CIA. Here it is.

MIKE POMPEO: Government's worse than the private sector because the incentive systems are misaligned. And so, I led by example. 40 percent of the decisions that were previously made by the director of the CIA no longer are made by me. You might say, wow, that's reckless. I would tell you it was reckless to do it the other way.

BRENNAN: I think there are a number of senior members of this administration who follow Donald Trump's way of trying to denigrate and condemn everything that happened before them as a way to make them appear that they are doing things better than ever happened previously. And so I don't want to address what my successor says. I don't agree with some of the things that he has said, but I think it reflects a general insecurity that only if you criticize your predecessors, whether it be President Obama, or the former director of the CIA, are you able to make points to try to Trump up your credentials.

(…)

11:05:32 AM Eastern

TODD: Amy Walter, all right, do you feel like you know more or less about the safety of Robert Mueller's job?

AMY WALTER: I feel as confused as I think most Americans do right now. I think it feels a little bit like, you know, when you're in the supermarket and there is music in the background, it's there, it's a constant noise but you can't quite make out the song exactly. But I just want to go back to something else and do a 30,000-foot view about where we are and how we got here. None of this what we're talking about right now would have been possible but for two things. One, the gradual disillusion of faith and trust in institutions that's been happening over the last 10, 15 years.

(…)

Some of it is that people as part of the institutions, even politicians, things are rigged, things are corrupt, right? People start to believe that. And then so Donald Trump didn't invent this. This has been part of it. And then the tribalism that we only will trust what comes out of the mouths and the opinions of people that we already identify with. So this is the culture that we live in. Donald Trump didn't invent it. He certainly is helping to stoke it and not heal it. But this is -- we are here at this point and it didn't come -- it's not accidental how we got here.

TODD: Yamiche, what has mattered more with this memo, what was in it for the president or the buildup?

YAMICHE ALCINDOR: #ReleaseTheMemo was way more important than the actual memo. When I was reading that memo I thought, “Okay, what was the big news here? What exactly am I reading?” But then when I read the cover page, it was all about public interest, it was all about this idea that they were trying to explain to the public that they needed to know this, that this was in the best -- their best interests, when in reality it was in the best interests of the President. The President saw this memo as kind of murkying the waters, and his tweets saying that this vindicates him, when anybody who reads that memo realizes that that's not what's happening tells me that this memo was all about just getting the base to start talking about it.

(…)

HUGH HEWITT: The memo proves -- I reviewed hundreds and hundreds of FISA applications for two attorneys general. I did that job for two years. The omission of a material fact is a big deal and that –

TODD: You don't know there's an omission of that material fact though, Hugh! We actually don't know that it’s true!

HEWITT: I believe it is fairly -- I will rely on the fact they did not say DNC/HRC, they said political.

TODD: Political opponent.

HEWITT: Political opponent. If I'm reviewing that and tell the attorney general, “by the way, this came from the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign” and that's not in the memo, we go back to the FBI -- there was no division of national security at that time -- and we send it back and put it in.

If you were a corporate executive in America and you did a quarterly earnings report that showed income from a source and you did not describe that source as sketchy, shady, or suddenly compromised, you would go to jail. And people ought to think about a FISA warrant as a quarterly report and hold it to the same standard.

All that said, you and I talked on the radio. They oversold it. They should have put it out there without saying anything about it and they have hurt themselves as a result. Rod Rosenstein is not going to get fired, the special counsel is not going to get fired but this does hurt the FBI with the FISA courts.

(…)


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