NYT’s Goldberg: Administration Officials Should Be Ashamed They Work for Trump

In the midst of a “powerhouse roundtable” discussion during ABC’s This Week about the Bob Woodward book and the anonymous New York Times op-ed on Sunday, Michelle Goldberg, a columnist for the paper, lashed out at Trump administration officials and declared they should be ashamed that they work for President Trump.

After a discussion between GOP policy expert Lanhee Chen, ABC chief White House correspondent Jon Karl, and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie about how the anonymous op-ed writer may be misleading leaders in how it suggested they stop Trump’s knee-jerk reactions, Goldberg started taking swipes.

“They're talking about contempt and the name of Bob Woodward's book is real fear. Right? You hear over and over and over again, including from people who agree with Trump’s agenda, that he is unfit, that his instability puts us in danger, and that they have to be there to be the adults in the room,” she attacked.

Despite just asserting there were administration officials acting as guardrails to supposedly protect the nation from Trump, Goldberg attacked them. “And I honestly don't understand how people can be part of this and not feel shame and not feel some responsibility for foisting this on this nation,” she bitterly spat.

A couple minutes later, Christie brought it back around and called out Goldberg for her ridiculousness. “[T]he idea that someone should be shamed for working in this administration is an outrageous statement,” he said as Goldberg loudly scoffed and threw up her shoulders.

 

 

Goldberg defended The Times’s decision to run the anonymous op-ed and then took it upon herself to speak for the entire Trump administration and Christie. “The fact is and obviously you know this, nobody in this administration or the number of people in this administration who have any respect for the president is infinitesimal,” she wildly proclaimed.

“That's your opinion. That's just not true. That's just not true. From where you sit you have no respect for the President. That's obvious,” Christie shot back. As the former Governor was continuing his point, Goldberg began to shout over him with names of officials and asking if they respected the President:

GOLDBERG: Do you think John Kelly has respect for the president?

CHRISTIE: I do think John Kelly has respect for the President, because I think John Kelly--

GOLDBERG: You think John Mattis has respect for the President?

CHRISTIE: Jim Mattis, by the way. And I think Jim Mattis does have respect for the President, because if he didn't he'd leave.

With Christie’s answers came Goldberg demanding to know if he thought Woodward was lying in his book. “All I know about what Bob Woodward wrote about me in the book was profoundly wrong,” he explained. “And he never picked up the phone to fact-check with me about a conversation that he quotes verbatim and words he quotes verbatim from me that I never said.”

The is transcript below, click "expand" to read:

 

 

ABC
This Week
September 9, 2018
9:30:14 a.m. Eastern

(…)

JON KARL: I have to tell you from the first weeks of this -- of the Trump administration, I have had top people on his team including people very much with the program generally tell me, “you think it's crazy, you should see the stuff we stop from happening.” That's the theme of the Woodward book. That's the theme of this op-ed

CHRIS CHRISTIE: That's also different though, Jon to say you stop things from happening, can very many what Lanhee [Chen] is talking about, which is that the President says he wants to do something, the advisers get a meeting, they sit down, talk him through it, and talk him out of it. Well, that happens all the time. It happened to me as governor. It happens to principals all the time. You're react to something and say you want to do something, cooler heads prevail or different information comes in and you change your mind. That happens all the time.

MICHELLE GOLDBERG: Yes, but they're not talking about kind of gang of rival style debate. Right? They're talking about contempt and the name of Bob Woodward's book is real fear. Right? You hear over and over and over again, including from people who agree with Trump’s agenda, that he is unfit, that his instability puts us in danger, and that they have to be there to be the adults in the room. And I honestly don't understand how people can be part of this and not feel shame and not feel some responsibility for foisting this on this nation.

(…)

9:32:58 a.m. Eastern

KARL: I think a very interesting question here is: If this person did it as one of those who has publicly denied it, what does The New York Times do with that information? Do they continue to protect somebody who publicly telling a lie?

CHRISTIE: That's why I say that the denials are important. Because I would assume that The New York Times would be responsible enough that if someone is out there outright lying about their participation in something like this, that that would then force them to out this person if they're lying about it.

KARL: They know a public figure is lying about it.

CHRISTIE: And a senior administration official, as they deny it as someone who has responsibility. And let me tell you, the idea that someone should be shamed for working in this administration is an outrageous statement.

GOLDBERG: [Audibly scoffs and shrugs shoulders]

CHRISTIE: It's an absolutely outrageous statement. You're serving your country and if you get to the point-- You have two choices, if you get to the point where the policy differences or the personal differences are profound enough that you can't be proud of being there anymore, then get up and leave. But don't be a coward and write an anonymous thing and then have a news organization be willing to accept that kind of cowardice. Because that's what it is.

GOLDBERG: Well, look, the news organization is not responsible for making sure that members of the administration behave honorably. If members of the administration are behaving dishonorably enough to go out and place op-eds like that, that itself is news. But the fact is and obviously you know this, nobody in this administration or the number of people in this administration who have any respect for the president is infinitesimal, which is why’s been so hard to narrow--

CHRISTIE: That's not true.

GOLDBERG: Which is why it’s been so hard to narrow down who wrote this in the first place.

CHRISTIE: That's your opinion. That's just not true. That's just not true from where you sit you have no respect for the president. That's obvious. But don't tell me that the hard working –

GOLDBERG: Do you think John Kelly has respect for the president?

CHRISTIE: I do think John Kelly has respect for the President, because I think John Kelly--

GOLDBERG: You think John Mattis has respect for the President?

CHRISTIE: Jim Mattis, by the way. And I think Jim Mattis does have respect for the President, because if he didn't he'd leave. Because these are honorable men who have served our country and sacrificed greatly. And if they had no respect for the President, they'd get up and they'd leave.

[Crosstalk]

GOLDBERG: You think Bob Woodward was lying? Do you think he had it wrong in his book?

CHRISTE: Let me tell you something. I can tell you this much. All I know about what Bob Woodward wrote about me in the book was profoundly wrong. And he never picked up the phone to fact-check with me about a conversation that he quotes verbatim and words he quotes verbatim from me that I never said. So all I can tell you is, not that Bob is making things up, but that Bob may, in fact, be relying upon people who are making things up and he didn't do his homework. It's not like I'm inaccessible, George. You can find my number pretty easily. He could call you.

[Laughter]

Bod Woodward could have called George and asked him how to get in touch with me and he didn’t. So that calls it into question.

(…)

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