Tin Foil Time! ABC Promotes Dem Conspiracies: Barr’s Lying, Collusion Still Possible

The folks at ABC News were either desperately in the tank for the Democrats or they needed to get fitted for tin foil hats Thursday evening. Instead of reporting on the growing calls for House Intel Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) to resign his post, as CBS and NBC did, ABC’s World News Tonight carried water for Democrat conspiracy theories suggesting Attorney General William Barr was hiding the truth about collusion and did something improper when clearing the President of obstruction of justice.

From the get-go, fill-in anchor and senior White House correspondent Cecilia Vega was all-in for misleading viewers and spreading doubt about Barr’s summary:

He is feeling vindicated by the conclusion of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. But hanging over his victory lap this new revelation: Mueller’s still secret report is more than 300 pages long. And that is fueling new questions about the Attorney General’s brief summary, just four pages.

After suggesting it was Trump himself who “declared” “full vindication”, ABC senior national correspondent Terry Moran (who sounded like he was reporting from down a well) tried to cast doubt on that fact: “No one outside the Justice Department has actually seen the Special Counsel's report.”

“But, today we learned that it's long, more than 300 pages long. And all we've seen of it is a four-page summary by Attorney General Bill Barr, who says Mueller cleared the President on collusion with Russia,” Moran reported in a skeptical tone, “but could not reach a determination on whether Trump obstructed justice.”

And on obstruction of justice, Moran huffed about how “Barr tackled that himself, declaring there was not enough evidence to charge Trump with a crime.” But that's not the case.

 

 

The letter made clear that both Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein reviewed the Special Counsel’s report, and they jointly “concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.” As a reminder, it was Rosenstein who called for the Special Counsel, to begin with.

In sharp contrast, both the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News highlighted GOP calls for Schiff to resign as chair.

For CBS, political correspondent Ed O’Keefe noted how Schiff refused to let the accusations of Russian collusion go despite the Special Counsel’s findings. “That puts him at odds with Attorney General William Barr's summary of the Mueller…” he said, adding: “In a letter, Republicans on the intelligence panel said that Schiff's ‘actions both past and present are incompatible with his role as head of the committee.’”

NBC White House correspondent Peter Alexander didn’t mention that Schiff was a bitter clinger with those accusations and seemed to suggest the Republicans on the committee were just doing Trump’s bidding: “The President rolling it out as a key talking point for his 2020 re-election. And demanding the resignation of top Democrat Adam Schiff, who repeatedly pushed the collusion theory. Joining him, all nine Republicans on Schiff's House Intelligence Committee.”

On a lighter note, O’Keefe actually seemed to mock Schiff for his ingrained need to seek out cameras and his new found silence. “Schiff is a television fixture, calling out the presidents alleged misdeeds regularly on daytime and late-night shows, and in more than 34 Sunday morning political talk show appearances in the last two years....The normally camera-friendly Schiff said little on Thursday,” he appeared to quip.

The transcripts are below, click "expand" to read:

ABC’s World News Tonight
March 28, 2019
6:32:05 p.m. Eastern

CECILIA VEGA: And we begin with President Trump traveling to Grand Rapids, Michigan to rally supporters. He is feeling vindicated by the conclusion of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. But hanging over his victory lap this new revelation: Mueller’s still secret report is more than 300 pages long. And that is fueling new questions about the Attorney General’s brief summary, just four pages. And as ABC's senior national correspondent Terry Moran found out, even some of the President’s supporters now say let's see the whole thing. Terry starting us off there in Grand Rapids tonight.

[Cuts to video]

TERRY MORAN: President Trump tonight headed to the rally here in Michigan, declaring before he left the White House that he's been fully vindicated by Robert Mueller.

DONALD TRUMP: The result was great. No obstruction. No conclusion. No anything.

MORAN: No one outside the Justice Department has actually seen the Special Counsel's report. But, today we learned that it's long, more than 300 pages long. And all we've seen of it is a four-page summary by Attorney General Bill Barr, who says Mueller cleared the President on collusion with Russia, but could not reach a determination on whether Trump obstructed justice. So Barr tackled that himself, declaring there was not enough evidence to charge Trump with a crime. Democrats aren't taking his word for it.

SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI: Show us the report and we can draw our own conclusions. We don't need you interpreting for us. It was condescending. It was arrogant. And it was not the right thing to do.

(…)

 

CBS Evening News
March 28, 2019
6:31:24 p.m. Eastern

JEFF GLOR: We're going to begin tonight with new information and controversy over the Mueller report. We learned today the report is more than 300 pages long. The Attorney General sent out a four-page summary of that. The Special Counsel said there was no evidence of collusion but left open the question of obstruction. The Attorney General says no on obstruction, but Democrats are demanding the full 300 pages. Republicans want a top Democrat ousted from his post. Here's Ed O’Keefe.

[Cuts to video]

ADAM SCHIFF: I don't think it's okay.

ED O’KEEFE: Democrat Adam Schiff strongly defended himself today against Republican calls for his resignation as chair of the House Intelligence Committee.

(…)

O’KEEFE: He continues to insist that President Trump and his campaign committed wrongdoing during the 2016 election.

(…)

O’KEEFE: That puts him at odds with Attorney General William Barr's summary of the Mueller report and made him the target of the President's ire.

DONALD TRUMP: He should be forced out of office. He is a disgrace to our country.

O’KEEFE: In a letter, Republicans on the intelligence panel said that Schiff's “actions both past and present are incompatible with his role as head of the committee.”

REP. MIKE CONAWAY (TX-R): We have no faith in your ability to discharge your duties in a manner consistent with your constitutional responsibility and urge your immediate resignation.

O’KEEFE: Schiff is a television fixture, calling out the presidents allege misdeeds regularly on daytime and late-night shows, and in more than 34 Sunday morning political talk show appearances in the last two years.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (CA-R): All Americans should be concerned with the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee taking the position of judge and jury.

O’KEEFE: The normally camera-friendly Schiff said little on Thursday.

(…)

 

NBC Nightly News
March 28, 2019
7:03:28 p.m. Eastern

LESTER HOLT: And that wasn't the only drama in Washington where Republicans rose up today against the Democratic head of the House Intel Committee for still insisting the Trump campaign conspired with the Russians; something clearly on President Trump's mind as he hits the road for the first time since that summary of the Mueller report was released. Peter Alexander has details.

[cuts to video]

PETER ALEXANDER: President Trump tonight taking a victory lap, emboldened by the end of the Mueller investigation that found no conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.

DONALD TRUMP: Beautiful conclusion. And there was no collusion at all. There never was. Everybody knew it.

ALEXANDER: The President rolling it out as a key talking point for his 2020 re-election. And demanding the resignation of top Democrat Adam Schiff, who repeatedly pushed the collusion theory. Joining him, all nine Republicans on Schiff's House Intelligence Committee.

ADAM SCHIFF: I will not yield --

ALEXANDER: Today signing this letter, calling for Schiff to step down during a contentious hearing.

REP. CHRIS STEWART (UT -R) You're not accusing someone of getting a parking ticket or stealing a piece of bubble gum, you are accusing the president of treason.

ALEXANDER: Schiff not backing down, angrily rattling off a list of interactions, including that Trump Tower meeting. Still arguing it's collusion.

ALEXANDER: My colleagues may think it's okay that the Russians offered dirt on a Democratic candidate for president. [Transition] But I don't think it's okay. I think it's immoral. I think it's unethical. I think it's corrupt. And evidence of collusion.

ALEXANDER: Tonight, NBC News has learned the Mueller report is 300-plus pages long, and Democrats are demanding Attorney General William Barr turn over the whole thing.

NANCY PELOSI: Show us the report, and we can draw our own conclusions. We don't need you interpreting for us. It was condescending, it was arrogant.

(…)

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Events Mueller Report Bias by Omission Conspiracy Theories Political Groups Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals Trump-Russia probe Broadcast Television ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video Robert Mueller Cecilia Vega Terry Moran Ed O'Keefe Peter Alexander Donald Trump Bill Barr Adam Schiff

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