Morning After, ABC Finally Shows Llamas Getting Tough With Maduro

After first allowing Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro to spout off lies and conspiratorial statements against the United States on Monday’s World News Tonight, the report on Tuesday’s Good Morning America actually highlighted ABC chief national correspondent Tom Llamas pressing the murderous dictator on his regime’s atrocities.

As he led into his report, Llamas noted that Univision anchor Jorge Ramos and his crew were detained by Maduro after they presented tough questions accompanying video of children eating out of the trash. “Ramos says he was detained and released after asking so tough questions that Maduro found offensive. Now we saw that same flash of anger when we confronted Maduro with a U.N. report showing his regime is responsible for killing hundreds,” he said.

In the latter part of the three-minute-plus segment, Llamas shared clips of him butting heads with Maduro (Llamas seemingly paraphrased Maduro’s responses):

As Venezuelans were clashing with the National Guard, aid trucks were set on fire. You were salsa dancing on TV. Why? Maduro dismissing the bizarre public spectacle saying it was all normal.

And growing angry when I asked about human rights abuses in Venezuela. Why are people who protest you end up either dead or in jail? Maduro calling me a liar saying I, quote, “lie like President Trump”. But I told him a United Nations report says his regime is responsible for killing more than 500 people who have opposed his government.

 

 

I also asked Maduro, with more than 50 countries calling him illegitimate, his people sick and starving and his U.S. oil assets frozen, if this was checkmate. He said far from it,” Llamas added as the report was wrapping up. That was a point he did not mention during his report on World News Tonight.

While it’s good that ABC pressed Maduro on some of the things he’s accused of, for some reason they chose not to report about their deeds when they first bragged about getting the exclusive interview over 12 hours earlier. Ramos actually took the next step and confronted Maduro with actual video and Maduro responded with the brief detention of the Univision crew.

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

ABC’s Good Morning America
February 26, 2019
7:11:35 a.m. Eastern

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Now to the crisis and chaos in Venezuela and the first American interview in years with president Nicolas Maduro. Our chief national affairs correspondent Tom Llamas sat down with the embattled president right after Maduro’s forces engaged in deadly clashes with prosecutors and right before American Jorge Ramos was detained. Tom joins us from Caracas. Good morning Tom.

TOM LLAMAS: George, good morning to you. Ramos says he was detained and released after asking so tough questions that Maduro found offensive. Now we saw that same flash of anger when we confronted Maduro with a U.N. report showing his regime is responsible for killing hundreds. This, as he tells us he wants to sit down and meet with President Trump.

[Cuts to video]

This morning, embattled Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro digging in, facing a challenge to his rule by opposition leader Juan Guaido. Border clashes and widespread protests. This, as is President Trump has called for him to step aside.

But now in a rare interview, Maduro revealing to ABC News who he's really afraid of inside the White House.

Do you fear President Trump? Maduro telling me, he doesn't fear the President but those around him like National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who he says are itching for war and only care about Venezuela for its oil.

If he was standing in this room right in front of you, what would your message be to him? The Venezuelan leader tells me, he wants to sit down with President trump, shake his hand, and start a dialogue. But the President has made it clear what he thinks of Maduro.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Maduro is not a Venezuelan patriot. He is a Cuban puppet.

LLAMAS: Juan Guaido, the man the U.S. and more than 50 other countries now recognize as the interim president, met with Vice President Mike Pence on Monday in Colombia following violent clashes on the border. When Guaido supporters and other Venezuelans desperate for help tried bringing in truckloads of U.S. aid. Aid Maduro refused to let into his country, trucks full of supplies destroyed.

As Venezuelans were clashing with the National Guard, aid trucks were set on fire. You were salsa dancing on TV. Why? Maduro dismissing the bizarre public spectacle saying it was all normal.

And growing angry when I asked about human rights abuses in Venezuela. Why are people who protest you end up either dead or in jail? Maduro calling me a liar saying I, quote, “lie like President Trump”. But I told him a United Nations report says his regime is responsible for killing more than 500 people who have opposed his government.

[Cuts back to live]

I also asked Maduro, with more than 50 countries calling him illegitimate, his people sick and starving and his U.S. oil assets frozen, if this was checkmate. He said far from it. Robin, we have to remember here in Venezuela, whoever controls the military controls the country and right now that's Nicolas Maduro. Robin.

STEPHANOPOULOS: A lot of evidence behind the questions Tom was asking right there.

ROBIN ROBERTS: Absolutely, you're right about that.

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