ABC, NBC Edit Out Biden Telling Press How to Cover Trump 'Whistleblower' Story

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Despite that there were still few facts known and a whole lot of speculation about the allegations made by the anonymous and so-called “Trump whistleblower,” ABC and NBC were more than willing to throw their weight behind the effort. Their Sunday coverage seemed to come at the behest of former Vice President Joe Biden, who on Saturday yelled at Fox News reporter Peter Doocy and demanded the press “ask the right questions” about President Trump.

Biden’s demand came during a media scrum at the Iowa Steak Fry after Doocy asked the former VP about allegations Trump had made about his son, Hunter Biden, and his business dealings with Ukraine. The soundbite was shared by Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield on Twitter (click “expand”):

Here’s what I know. Trump deserves to be investigated. He is violating basic norm of a president. You should be asking him the question: “why is he on the phone with a foreign leader trying to intimidate a foreign leader?” If that’s what happened. That’s appears what happened. You should be looking at Trump. Trump’s doing this because he knows I'll beat him like a drum. And he's using the abuse of power and every element of the presidency to do something to smear me. Everybody looked at this, and everybody whose looked at this has said there’s nothing there. Ask the right questions!”

During their Sunday morning broadcasts, ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Sunday Today shared Biden’s strong words against the President and asked what the VP would probably consider as the right questions. Except, they edited out his instructions to the press.

ABC reporter Rachel Scott blatantly cut around Biden’s directions to the press while pushing the claims about President Trump (click “expand”):

SCOTT: The Wall Street Journal reports President Trump repeatedly pressed the Ukrainian president to investigate Biden's son who served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company when his father was vice president.

BIDEN: Trump’s doing this because he knows I'll beat him like a drum. And he's using the abuse of power and every element of the presidency to do something to smear me.

SCOTT: Biden pointing to a call between President Trump and the leader of Ukraine reportedly at the center of a whistleblower complaint from an intelligence official.

 

 

Her next soundbite of Biden was his line about Trump deserving to be investigated. She also included a hard to believe bit about Biden claiming he had “never” talked to his son about his “overseas affairs”. Meanwhile, the liberal media claimed it was impossible that Donald Trump Jr. didn’t tell his father about the infamous Trump Tower meeting.

Over on NBC, White House correspondent Kelly O’Donnell sounded almost robotic as she was seemingly doing Biden’s biding:

The President’s cascade of social media on this has been all about taking attention off his own conduct and whether he crossed a line with a foreign leader. And instead, he’s trying to drive attention toward Joe Biden, who’s been drawn into the fight and is calling the President of a serial abuser of power.

In another clip from that press scrum, shared on ABC, Biden suggested Trump would “do whatever he has to do, but this crosses the line.” Interesting how O’Donnell was using his phrasing.

O’Donnell also cut around Biden’s instructions to the press (click “expand”):

O’DONNELL: The tactic hit a nerve for Biden.

JOE BIDEN: Trump’s doing this because he knows that I will beat him like a drum and he's using the power and every element of the presidency to try to do something to smear me.

O’DONNELL: The President also tried to deflect attention by branding the secret whistleblower complain, “Ukraine witch hunt.”

(…)

O’DONNELL: In Iowa, a frustrated Biden called the President's actions outrageous.

BIDEN: Why is he on the phone with a foreign leader trying to intimidate a foreign leader? If that’s what happened.

But she did admit that “NBC News did not confirm the reporting” against President Trump. O'Donnell also had the nerve to whine that Trump tweeted out an "edited video" of his allegations against Biden when it was a compilation of media reports and reactions on the story.

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

ABC’s Good Morning America
September 22, 2019
8:03:05 a.m. Eastern

EVA PILGRIM: Now to the race for 2020. Democratic contenders dishing out their pitches for the White House at the Iowa steak fry. The presidential hopefuls trying to pick up momentum at the caucus event. Meanwhile, the hot topics on the menu, a report that President Trump urged Ukraine's president to investigation Joe Biden's son and a poll showing a new frontrunner for the Democrats. ABC’s Rachel Scott is in Des Moines with more. Good morning to you, Rachel.

RACHEL SCOTT: Good morning, Eva. Yes, nearly the entire Democratic field was in Iowa trying to gain traction in this key early-voting state. But it was that whistleblower controversy that dominated much of the conversation.

(…)

SCOTT: But for the party's early frontrunner, it was also a chance to take a swing across the aisle. Joe Biden on defense fending off attacks from President Trump.

JOE BIDEN: He'll do whatever he has to do, but this crosses the line.

SCOTT: The Wall Street Journal reports President Trump repeatedly pressed the Ukrainian president to investigate Biden's son who served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company when his father was vice president.

BIDEN: Trump’s doing this because he knows I'll beat him like a drum. And he's using the abuse of power and every element of the presidency to do something to smear me.

SCOTT: Biden pointing to a call between President Trump and the leader of Ukraine reportedly at the center of a whistleblower complaint from an intelligence official. The inspector general found that complaint credible and one that might require the notification of Congress. But the Justice Department and acting director of national intelligence blocked it from being shared.

BIDEN: I’ve never spoke to my son about his overseas affairs.

PETER DOOCY: So, how do you know --

BIDEN: Here’s what I know, I know Trump deserves to be investigated. He is violating every basic norm of a president.

SCOTT: The former VP demanding that the President release the transcript of the call in question. Some of his 2020 rivals echoing his concerns, accusing President Trump of potentially abusing his power.

(…)

 

NBC’s Sunday Today
September 22, 2019
8:02:11 a.m. Eastern

WILLIE GEIST: But let’s begin this morning with the intense focus on a telephone conversation in July between President Trump and the president of Ukraine. An issue now at the center of the presidential campaign. President Trump on the offensive this weekend tweeting at least a dozen times about the allegation that the President pressured Ukraine that takes action that could damage Joe Biden's campaign. A whistleblower passing along, quote, “urgent concern” about that call. NBC's White House correspondent Kelly O’Donnell has the latest details. Kelly, good morning.

KELLY O’DONNELL: Good morning, Willie. The President’s cascade of social media on this has been all about taking attention off his own conduct and whether he crossed a line with a foreign leader. And instead, he’s trying to drive attention toward Joe Biden, who’s been drawn into the fight and is calling the President of a serial abuser of power.

[Cuts back to live]

The President's whistleblower strategy, a Twitter defense. “Trump did nothing wrong” and to Twitter attack. Repeatedly fueling unsupported allegations against political rival Joe Biden. The President posted claims, including an edited video, alleging Biden used influence in Ukraine to help his son, Hunter's business interest there. But no evidence of wrongdoing was found. The tactic hit a nerve for Biden.

JOE BIDEN: Trump’s doing this because he knows that I will beat him like a drum and he's using the power and every element of the presidency to try to do something to smear me.

O’DONNELL: The President also tried to deflect attention by branding the secret whistleblower complain, “Ukraine witch hunt.”

The allegation centers on a July call between President Trump and the Ukraine President Zelensky. The Washington Post and New York Times report that Mr. Trump urged Ukraine to look into the Biden family according to people briefed on the call, who also said the President did not discuss U.S. military aid to Ukraine. NBC News did not confirm the reporting.

(…)

O’DONNELL: In Iowa, a frustrated Biden called the President's actions outrageous.

BIDEN: Why is he on the phone with a foreign leader trying to intimidate a foreign leader? If that’s what happened.

(…)

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