ABC, NBC Hide Polls Showing Trump Leading, Cry Russia Interference

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As of Thursday, there were two sets of data from respected pollsters that showed President Trump pulling ahead his Democratic rivals nationally and in at least one key swing state. But conveniently leaked information to The New York Times provided excellent cover to ABC’s World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News as it allowed them to ignore the polls and set the groundwork to falsely claim any Trump victory in November was the sole result of Russian interference.

According to The Times, the House Intelligence Committee was briefed by U.S. intelligence officials who asserted that Russia was trying “to get President Trump reelected.” And these broadcast networks, in particular, ate it all up, as NBC White House correspondent Peter Alexander did here:

And tonight The New York Times is reporting that intelligence officials briefed lawmakers that Russia is interfering in the 2020 campaign to try to get President Trump reelected. The Times says the President was so upset about that briefing, worried Democrats would use it against him that he pushed out the last director of national intelligence.

Over on ABC, sensationalist anchor, David Muir had a field day. “And we begin tonight with that developing headline involving the President and Russia, and a new intelligence report that says Russia is right now reportedly trying to help the President get re-elected,” he announced.

The network seemed to revel in how angry it made the President, with chief White House correspondent and White House Correspondents Association president Jon Karl reporting (click “expand”):

 

 

Tonight, The New York Times reports intelligence officials told the House Intelligence Committee, in a classified briefing, that, quote, “Russia was interfering in the 2020 campaign to try to get President Trump re-elected.” The Times reports the briefing infuriated President Trump, especially the presence in the briefing of Adam Schiff, the Democrat who led the impeachment in the House.

(…)

According to another report in The Washington Post, the President called in then-acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire to the Oval Office for a, quote, “dressing down” last Friday.

In stark contrast, the CBS Evening News reported on the conversation from that briefing and noted there was “bipartisan pushback” to the report.

“The director of national intelligence's top staffer on election security, Shelby Pearson, told lawmakers Russia is working to help President Trump get re-elected. However, sources say there was intense bipartisan push-back on her assertions and questions about the strength of the evidence,” reported chief White House correspondent Major Garrett.

CBS also wasn’t afraid to show their viewers one of the polls that had Trump surging. “The [Democratic] infighting comes as polls from some key swing states find all of the Democrats on stage last night would defeat President Trump in Michigan and Pennsylvania,” noted political correspondent Ed O’Keefe, citing the Quinnipiac poll. “But the President would beat all of them in Wisconsin.”

On Tuesday, an Economist/YouGov poll found that Trump was leading a generic Democrat by over 50 percent, 52-48. The poll also discovered that people suspected that all of the individual Democratic candidates would “probably lose” to Trump. Only 29 percent felt that either former Vice President Joe Biden or Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) could beat Trump. And they’re tied at the high end.

This was the terrible news that ABC and NBC didn’t want to admit to their audiences. It was also interesting that CBS didn’t note the YouGov poll as well, considering they’ve teamed up as recently as the New Hampshire primary to conduct such a survey.

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

ABC’s World News Tonight
February 20, 2020
6:32:02 p.m. Eastern

DAVID MUIR: Good evening and it's great to have you with us here on a very busy Thursday night. And we begin tonight with that developing headline involving the President and Russia, and a new intelligence report that says Russia is right now reportedly trying to help the President get re-elected.

House leaders were briefed already. And ABC News had confirmed that angered the President. We already reported here he removed his acting director of national intelligence. The President announcing in just the last 24 hours that acting Director Joseph Maguire would be replaced.

And tonight, multiple reports now, that move came after the President learned Maguire's staff had briefed leaders in Congress. ABC's chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl leading us off.

[Cuts to video]

JON KARL: Tonight, The New York Times reports intelligence officials told the House Intelligence Committee, in a classified briefing, that, quote, “Russia was interfering in the 2020 campaign to try to get President Trump re-elected.” The Times reports the briefing infuriated President Trump, especially the presence in the briefing of Adam Schiff, the Democrat who led the impeachment in the House.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: These people have vicious. Adam Schiff is a vicious, horrible person.

KARL: According to another report in The Washington Post, the President called in then-acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire to the Oval Office for a, quote, “dressing down” last Friday.

ABC News has confirmed the report. Sources tell us the President believed Democrats would use the information from the briefing against him. In the past, the President has praised the acting Director of National Intelligence.

TRUMP: Admiral Maguire is a very talented man.

KARL: But now, one week after that election security briefing, Maguire is out. His replacement? Ambassador to Germany Richard Grennell, a staunch Trump loyalist with no intelligence experience.

[Cuts back to live]

MUIR: Jon Karl with us tonight from the White House. And Jon, we know the new acting director of national intelligence has been openly skeptical about Russian meddling in the 2016 election and now we have these new headlines tonight.

KARL: Yes. Back in 2016, Grennell wrote an opinion piece for Fox News that called the intelligence community's findings on Russian interference unproven. He also added that Russian interference – Russian misinterferance[sic] had been around for decades.

But David, I am told by two senior officials that Grennell will not be on the job long that the President will nominate a director of national intelligence soon, possibly within days and it will not be Grennell.

MUIR: All right, more to come on this. Jon leading us off, thank you.

 

NBC Nightly News
February 20, 2020
7:05:25 p.m. Eastern

(…)

PETER ALEXANDER: Also tonight, the President facing new backlash after naming another combative political ally as the nation's spy chief. Rick Grennell, the U.S. Ambassador to Germany and a fierce Trump advocate now-acting director of national intelligence, overseeing the CIA and 16 other agencies. Democrats questioning his lack of intelligence experience. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arguing his “sole qualification is his absolute loyalty to the President.”

[Cuts back to live]

And tonight The New York Times is reporting that intelligence officials briefed lawmakers that Russia is interfering in the 2020 campaign to try to get President Trump reelected. The Times says the President was so upset about that briefing, worried Democrats would use it against him that he pushed out the last director of national intelligence. Lester.

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential Foreign Policy Russia Bias by Omission Conspiracy Theories Polling Political Groups Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Broadcast Television ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video Peter Alexander David Muir Jonathan Karl Donald Trump

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