Todd to Trump: You Holding Migrant Kids ‘Hostage’? ‘Prepared to Lose?’

It was President Trump’s first interview with NBC’s Meet the Press since taking office, and political director and moderator Chuck Todd was not going to waste his opportunity to confront the President from the left.

In contrast with his softball interviews with some of the 2020 Democratic candidates, Todd wasn’t afraid to get in the President’s face about topics like immigration. Todd demanded to know if Trump was holding migrant kids “hostage” at the border and whether or not he was “prepared to lose” in 2020.

“Let's talk about what’s happening now. Your administration, you're not doing the recreation, not even schooling these kids anymore. You’ve gotten rid of all that stuff,” Todd raised his voice. “It looks like these kids are being used as some sort of -- is it hostage? It’s like they’re being held hostage.

Trump reminded Todd that the kids were put in a terrible situation because human traffickers were exploiting them for asylum claims. “But now they’re politically being used,” Todd asserted. “But why let the political debate hurt these children? They could be impacted for years!”

Todd was schooled when the President explained that Congressional Democrats refused to change the asylum laws and allocate the proper funds to Homeland Security. “[W]hich they refuse to do because they think it's good politics, everything would be solved immediately [if they gave the funds to DHS],” the President added.

On the topic of immigration, Todd strangely pressed Trump on how frustrated he was that his “border numbers are worse than Obama's?” What kind of question was that? Obama and Trump didn’t control how many attempted to cross the border illegally. The more people tried to cross the higher the capture rate went.

 

 

Trump responded by crediting how good the economy had gotten under his administration. Todd tried to counter the economic argument by sticking a chart in the President’s face and giving the credit to Obama (Click “expand”):

TODD: Let me show you this chart. You see that chart?

TRUMP: No.

TODD: It's the unemployment rate from the peak of the recession.

TRUMP: Right.

TODD: Your economy is great. I'm not saying it's not great. But this recovery started and in the 28 months you've been president and the last 28 months of Obama's presidency, he averaged more new jobs than your first 28.

Of course, Todd failed to mention that Obama’s administration (with the help of the liberal media) tried to get people to buy into their suggestion that we should never expect to have low unemployment ever again.

Speaking of ridiculous questions, one of Todd’s first questions was about what candidate-Trump would have to say about his failures as president:

TODD: What would candidate-Trump have said about a president who on his watch had Iran shooting down a drone, a Venezuela dictator thumbing his nose at you, ObamaCare still on the books, and no results yet on the border?

Towards the end of the interview, Todd rudely grilled Trump on the 2020 election. Asking: “Are you prepared to lose?

Keeping to that topic, Todd wanted to get Trump on the record regarding one of the greatest fears of those suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome: the unconstitutional third term and beyond (Click “expand”):

TODD: You have joked about a third. You've joked about these things.

TRUMP: I only joke. I joke and I say, watch, I will drive Chuck Todd crazy.

TODD: Okay. You will accept—[Laughter]

TRUMP: Yes --

TODD: You will accept the result, you will accept whatever happens in 2020?

TRUMP: Sure. Sure.

TODD: You're going to be, you may not like it and walk out.

“In fact, I said at a speech recently. I said, ‘watch, we'll drive the media crazy. Let's go for a third term and then a fourth.’ And some of the media said, ‘he is going to do it,’” Trump mocked.

Meanwhile, Todd had asked failed Texas Senate candidate turned 2020 hopeful, Beto O’Rourke about what “three of four books” defined him.

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

NBC’s Meet the Press
June 23, 2019
10:38:00 a.m. Eastern

(…)

CHUCK TODD: What would candidate Trump have said about a president who on his watch had Iran shooting down a drone, a Venezuela dictator thumbing his nose at you, ObamaCare still on the books, and no results yet on the border?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, let’s take a look. Let’s take a look.

TODD: What would candidate Trump say about that?

(…)

10:38:52 a.m. Eastern

TODD: Does it frustrate you that your border numbers are worse than Obama's?

TRUMP: No, people are coming up because the economy is good. They’re pouring up because the economy is so good. Obama had a lousy economy it was a dead economy.

TODD: Can I ask you about that?

TRUMP: Our economy—

TODD: Let me show you this chart. You see that chart?

TRUMP: No.

TODD: It's the unemployment rate from the peak of the recession.

TRUMP: Right.

TODD: Your economy is great. I'm not saying it's not great. But this recovery started and in the 28 months you've been president and the last 28 months of Obama's presidency, he averaged more new jobs than your first 28.

TRUMP: That's because he started off with such a bad base.

TODD: Okay, but is it not a continuous--

(…)

10:43:36 a.m. Eastern

TODD: He had readymade foils. His FED chair can slow down the economy. Democrats are the ones hurting him on the border. Jeff Sessions, worse mistake he made. Those are – Those are people to blame if things aren't going right.

(…)

10:45:16 a.m. Eastern

TODD: I'll tell you, I don't believe he ever would have ordered the strike. I’ll just be honest with you. The person that I've interviewed and known for a long time and his positions on this, but he -- he was reveling in the fact he had everybody confused.

(…)

10:51:37 a.m. Eastern

TODD: Let's talk about what’s happening now. Your administration, you're not doing the recreation, not even schooling these kids anymore. You’ve gotten rid of all that stuff.

TRUMP: We're doing a fantastic job under the circumstances. The Democrats aren't even approving giving us money. Where's the money? You know what, the Democrats are holding up the humanitarian aid.

TODD: It looks like these kids are being used as some sort of -- is it hostage? It’s like they’re being held hostage.

TRUMP: Well, they are being used. They are being used by very bad people on the other side.

TODD: But now they’re politically being used.

TRUMP: They are getting paid. Money is being made using them because our laws are so bad. Because if you have a child, you have an advantage. You know that better than anybody.

TODD: But why let the political debate hurt these children? They could be impacted for years.

TRUMP: If the Democrats would change the asylum laws and the loopholes, which they refuse to do because they think it's good politics, everything would be solved immediately.

(…)

10:57:27 a.m. Eastern

TODD: Are you prepared to lose?

TRUMP: No, probably not.

TODD: [Laughter] Very—

TRUMP: Probably not.

TODD: You cho --

TRUMP: It would be much better if I said, “yeah”. It will be much easier for me to say, “well, yes.” No, I'm probably not too prepared to lose. I don’t like to lose. I haven't lost very much.

TODD: You didn't like the fact you lost the popular vote. That bothered you, didn't it?

(…)

10:59:49 a.m. Eastern

TODD: You have joked about a third. You've joked about these things.

TRUMP: I only joke. I joke and I say, watch, I will drive Chuck Todd crazy.

TODD: Okay. You will accept—[Laughter]

TRUMP: Yes --

TODD: You will accept the result, you will accept whatever happens in 2020?

TRUMP: Sure. Sure.

TODD: You're going to be, you may not like it and walk out.

TRUMP: In fact, I said at a speech recently. I said, “watch, we'll drive the media crazy. Let's go for a third term and then a fourth.” And some of the media said, “he is going to do it.”

(…)

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