Just when you thought they couldn’t go any lower or get any dirtier. In the midst of their September 11th broadcast, NBC Nightly News took below the belt shots at President Trump. They juxtaposed the number of deaths in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria with those killed 17 years ago. Then they made it seem as though he was “commemorating” the anniversary of the attack by “pumping his fist,” all while ignoring the son of a 9/11 victim begging Democrats to stop playing games with the event.
As NBC was transitioning from their Hurricane Florence coverage to a report about 9/11 first responders coming down with illnesses from the toxins at Ground Zero, the network took time to scoff at Trump’s claims of government preparedness for the coming hurricane.
Anchor Lester Holt morbidly compared the Maria death toll to that of 9/11. “But he also praised his own much-criticized response last year to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, despite the official death toll recently being raised to nearly 3,000 people. That's almost as many lives lost in the September 11th attacks,” he declared as if Trump himself was solely responsible.
NBC White House correspondent Kristen Welker seemed skeptical of President Trump’s assurances from the Oval Office on Tuesday. “Tonight, President Trump is insisting his administration is as ready as anyone has ever been to deal with hurricane Florence. The President describing the storm as tremendously big and wet,” she appeared to mock.
After playing a clip of the President calling the response to Hurricane Maria an “unsung success,” Welker touted the response from “[o]ne top Democrat calling those comments offensive.”
In an effort to continue to make the President look as terrible as possible, Welker brushed over his attendance and speech at a memorial service for the 9/11 victims on United Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. “Mr. Trump started his day in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, commemorating the 17th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, greeting supporters at the airport by pumping his fists,” she reported as if that was the only notable thing he did there.
NBC Nightly News was the only network evening program not to run a soundbite of the President’s speech or read a quote from it. The CBS Evening News played two clips from the speech. “We remember the moment when America fought back,” Trump said. “They bravely charged the cockpit. They attacked the enemy. They fought until the very end.”
“The President saying the ‘field is now a monument to American defiance,’ and ‘a message to the world: that America will never, ever submit to tyranny,’” reported anchor David Muir during ABC’s World News Tonight.
NBC’s use of 9/11 to slime the President came just hours after Nicholas Haros, the adult son of 9/11 victim Frances Haros, begged Democrats to stop using his mother’s death for “political theater.” “This year, a representative of the House referred to our loss as just another incident. This year, a network commentator said the President’s performance in Helsinki was a traitorous act as was 9/11,” he lamented during the New York City 9/11 Memorial name reading.
“Please stop using the bones and ashes of our loved ones as props in your political theater. Their lives, sacrifices, and death are worth so much more. Let’s not trivialize them or us. It hurts,” he requested.
The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:
NBC Nightly News
September 11, 2018
7:08:32 p.m. Eastern [1 minute 23 seconds]
LESTER HOLT: President Trump in the Oval Office late today said the federal government is, quote, "absolutely and totally prepared to respond to Florence." But he also praised his own much-criticized response last year to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, despite the official death toll recently being raised to nearly 3,000 people. That's almost as many lives lost in the September 11th attacks. Our Kristen Welker joins us live from the White House. What's the latest?
KRISTEN WELKER: Lester, good evening. Tonight, President Trump is insisting his administration is as ready as anyone has ever been to deal with hurricane Florence. The President describing the storm as tremendously big and wet. And when asked about lessons learned from those storms that devastated Puerto Rico last year –
DONALD TRUMP: The job that FEMA and law enforcement and everybody did working along with the governor in Puerto Rico, I think was tremendous. I think that Puerto Rico was an incredible, unsung success.
WELKER: One top Democrat calling those comments offensive given that nearly 3,000 people died as a result of Hurricane Maria. Mr. Trump started his day in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, commemorating the 17th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, greeting supporters at the airport by pumping his fists. The President has canceled two campaign rallies to monitor the storm this week Lester.
HOLT: Kristen Welker, thank you.