Chuck Todd: North Korea Summit Just Trump Looking for 'Good Press'

NBC’s self-proclaimed political referee and moderator of Meet the Press, Chuck Todd, called a foul on President Trump during Sunday Today claiming this week’s upcoming summit with North Korea was nothing more than a “photo-op”. He also suggested Trump’s goal was just to get “good press” like the last time.

After host Willie Geist gawked at how the summit would be going on at the same time as a House hearing with the President’s former personal lawyer, Todd suggested (without explanation) that Trump was downplaying expectations and just looking to boost himself. “Well, look he has shifted the goalpost of trying to play down what's going to come out of it. I think the President is just looking for good press.

I mean, let’s just be frank. He felt like he got a good press after the last one and he figures another photo-op might do that, but it does look like there really is not a lot,” Todd opined. “I mean, I think he wants to be able to say something: ‘I ended the Korean war.’ Right? That’s technically not happened. Maybe he walks away from that.”

Todd’s suggestion that the liberal media gave the President “good press” for the last summit was totally laughable. Just look at how NBC and MSNBC covered last year’s summit.

“So after all the pomp and circumstance, what comes next? How does the U.S. hold North Korea to its commitment to denuclearize after its broken nuclear promises in the past,” anchor Lester Holt condescendingly wondered during NBC Nightly News on June 12.

 

 

This is the same network that sings their praises to former President Obama for working with the murderous regimes of Cuba and Iran, but they scolded Trump for working with Kim. “In Singapore, smiles and a stroll from Kim Jong-un but back home, a U.N. report paints a much more grim picture. One of extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, crimes against humanity,” chided correspondent Hallie Jackson that same evening.

On MSNBC, the day before the summit, host Stephanie Ruhle was actually concerned the summit would lead to a “winning news cycle” for Trump. On the day of the summit, they were even arguing that the meeting was not historic.

But on Sunday Today, Todd was certain that nothing interesting or groundbreaking was going to happen:

I will be honest, Willie, it is telling to me that the national security adviser, John Bolton, is not even going. He says he's staying back to monitor events in Venezuela. Not an insignificant thing going on there. Don’t get me wrong. The Vice President going there to Columbia tomorrow, very important for them to be monitoring that situation. But if something big was going to happen with North Korea, I promise you that John Bolton will be there.

On top of writing off the summit, Todd was excited about the House Democrats writing up a resolution to block President Trump’s national emergency declaration regarding illegal immigration. He even seemed to suggest that Republican support would show their interest for impeachment. “If you can stand up against the President on this. You’re probably willing to stand up against him on other things that may come up legally in the United States Senate. It’s an interesting test vote,” he declared.

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

NBC’s Sunday Today
February 24, 2019
8:08:14 a.m. Eastern

(…)

WILLIE GEIST: Interesting. This will be going on while the President of the United States is in Vietnam holding a summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. We remember the President came out of the summit with Kim Jong-un in Singapore back in June effectively declaring victory on denuclearization. What is the President wanting to get out of this one? And has he begun to shift the goalpost of what people should expect afterward?

CHUCK TODD: Well, look he has shifted the goalpost of trying to play down what's going to come out of it. I think the President is just looking for good press. I mean, let’s just be frank. He felt like he got a good press after the last one and he figures another photo-op might do that, but it does look like there really is not a lot. I mean, I think he wants to be able to say something: “I ended the Korean war.” Right? That’s technically not happened. Maybe he walks away from that.

I will be honest, Willie, it is telling to me that the national security adviser, John Bolton, is not even going. He says he's staying back to monitor events in Venezuela. Not an insignificant thing going on there. Don’t get me wrong. The Vice President going there to Columbia tomorrow, very important for them to be monitoring that situation. But if something big was going to happen with North Korea, I promise you that John Bolton will be there.

GEIST: Yeah, and what a split screen of the President in Vietnam and Michael Cohen on Capitol Hill at the same time.

Let me ask you about what’s happening now in the House with regards to the national emergency that the President has declared. You had Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats putting forward a resolution of disapproval. In other words, they are voting to block the national emergency. If it gets to the Senate, obviously, they’d have to swing some Republicans because that body is controlled by Republicans. Is there any chance this national emergency will be prevented or is this more of a symbolic move by House Democrats?

TODD: I imagine it will be will be symbolic but it’s not an insignificant piece of symbolism here. The question will be, how many Republicans join Democrats? There will be Republicans that join Democrats in this resolution. How many in the House? Is it a dozen-ish or so would be my guess. The more interesting vote is in the Senate, we already know Lisa Murkowski has said she is going to vote with the Democrats on this. How many more?

You know what it will tell you, Willie? If you can stand up against the President on this. You’re probably willing to stand up against him on other things that may come up legally in the United States Senate. It’s an interesting test vote.

GEIST: And by the way, there is a long list of Senate Republicans who spoke out against the idea of the national emergency beforehand. We’ll see they vote on it now that it’s been signed.

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