Brokaw: 'It’s Tough to See How' Holder Keeps His Job

June 2nd, 2013 1:51 PM

The ice seems to be cracking beneath Attorney General Eric Holder's feet.

When asked by NBC Meet the Press host David Gregory Sunday if Holder is going to "stay in the job" given the leaks investigation scandal, former NBC Night News host Tom Brokaw replied, "Boy, I think it’s tough to see how he does" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

TOM BROKAW, FORMER NBC NIGHTLY NEWS ANCHOR: I talked over the weekend to a very, very senior ex-intelligence official from United States government, and he laughed. He said, "Look, this administration and all prior administrations have used classified material when it’s been to their political advantage." And he was astonished by the way that Eric Holder, the chief legal officer of the United States, has recused himself in the Associated Press case. So we still have a way to go here, David.

DAVID GREGORY, HOST: Do you think-- you’ve seen these kinds of investigations before meaning the Judiciary Investigation Committee, investigation of the Attorney General, this could be elongated. You have this morning on The New York Times government officials talking off the record or on background about his effectiveness. Does he stay in the job?

BROKAW: Boy, I think it’s tough to see how he does at this case, but it’s up to the president. That-- what we’re seeing in The New York Times today is that familiar Washington two-step. Officially, getting the endorsement of people like David Axelrod and-- and the spokesman for the president, but at the same time, there’s another part of that two-step that is going on which people are saying it would be better if he left. It would be better for the president to get this cleaned up.

He has become obviously the lightning rod for a lot of the criticism just on this panel and certainly in Republican circles. From a political point of view, one of the ways that you can measure the impact of all of this and the fairness of it is think if this had happened in the Bush administration with John Ashcroft as the Attorney General. You know full well that the Democrats and the left would be going very hard after them with these issues that are in play.

To be sure, Brokaw is no Walter Cronkite, but if Holder has lost him, the Attorney General's in a heap of trouble.

Also interesting was Brokaw's final comment concerning how the left would be reacting if the players in this scandal were named Ashcroft and Bush.

Indeed, it would be far different particularly in the media.

Why might that be?