MSNBC's Wallace Urges Congressional Republicans to Begin 25th Amendment Hearings

Reacting Wednesday to the anonymous New York Times op-ed written by a Trump administration official on MSNBC's Deadline: White House, host Nicolle Wallace seized on the op-ed's mention of the 25th Amendment to call on Congressional Republicans to begin hearings on removing Trump to do their part in carrying out the 25th Amendment.

Wallace said that the op-ed highlighted the need for “a serious debate about the 25th Amendment in this country.” Anti-Trump Republican and former Congressman David Jolly brought up Bob Woodward's upcoming book, arguing that it, along with The Times op-ed, raises the question of “whether or not the President is actually fit to perform the duties of the office.” Wallace then asked: “Why won’t Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, today, convene a hearing on the 25th Amendment?”

 

 

Jolly attempted to answer by describing Republicans’ failure to act on the liberal fantasy as “failings of personal integrity.” He also directed a message to “every single Republican on Capitol Hill,” Trump administration officials who spoke to Bob Woodward anonymously and the author of The Times op-ed: “It is okay as fellow humans and fellow Americans to suggest you have failed yourself, you have failed your family and you have failed your fellow countrymen by not talking about this publicly.”

Wallace argued that the op-ed justified “immediate Congressional hearings to find out who they (the cabinet secretaries) were.” Wallace then shared her master plan: “I would haul up every single cabinet secretary. I would, you know, you have to protect an anonymous source, but I would haul up political appointees from every agency and ask who talked about invoking the 25th Amendment and what did you see?”

Former Democratic Congressman Steve Israel replied by crushing Wallace’s dreams of non-stop hearings: 

It will not happen with this majority in Congress. There is a midterm election in 61 days and 19 hours. And it is just a matter of political fact that going into a midterm election, your President determines your survival. They will not abandon him. They will not investigate him. They will not subpoena him because as much as they love the country, they love their seats in Congress.

But Israel also promised Wallace: “In a Democratic majority, many of these anonymous sources may actually have to come out of anonymity when they’re responding to subpoenas. And the only way there will be subpoenas is if you have a different majority in the House of Representatives.”

Wallace later suggested to the Associated Press's Jonathan Lemire: “I can’t get it through my head, Jonathan Lemire, why Republicans don’t want to protect the country from a President who is described by someone who works for him as being so unstable that his own cabinet talked about the 25th Amendment.”

Lemire explained to Wallace that “the only Republicans who stand up to him (President Trump) are those who are not facing voters for reelection.”

Meanwhile, NBC has already admitted that the American people don't quite have the same obsession with President Trump’s tweets and the Russia investigation as perhaps the media would have thought. Although they have not really had a chance to ask, surely Americans living outside of the media bubbles feel equally as uninterested about the new obsession with the 25th Amendment, which the left and the media now see as the most expedient way to remove President Trump from office.  

A transcript of the relevant portion of Deadline: White House is below. Click “expand” to read more.

Deadline: White House

09/05/18

04:26 PM

NICOLLE WALLACE: I want to read to you again from this because the 25th Amendment and the conversation about invoking the 25th Amendment was something that even Steve Bannon had weighed in on in interviews. It was never clear whether he intended or didn’t intend for them to be made public. We have to assume the evil geniuses among us usually intend for them to be in the stream of information. But let me read the chunk about the 25th Amendment and ask you if this should be a more robust debate in this country, if people should not be doing this, as you said, anonymously, but if we should be having a serious debate about the 25th Amendment in this country. “Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet…,” that’s within Donald Trump’s cabinet…“of invoking the 25th amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the President. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until- one way or another- it’s over.” I have never in my life read something like that from someone who is a political appointee to a sitting President, saying “until one way or another it’s over.” What are those ways?

DAVID JOLLY: So, so, there is a fundamental lack of competence that perhaps has not reached the 25th Amendment, right? The suggestion the President doesn’t understand he can’t manipulate the Department of Justice, he can’t manipulate the free press. A friend of mine who served for a year and found himself in The Situation Room looking at the Presidential Seal and said, I can’t do this anymore. This doesn’t represent the dignity of the country and the office that I signed up to serve. That reflects a fundamental lack of competence by this President. But what continues to come out in the Woodward book and in writings like this is whether or not the President is actually fit to perform the duties of the office. This is where we desperately need the oversight of a Congress that will actually provide real oversight as envisioned by the founders where Republicans have failed, why people like myself as a Republican suggest we need divided government in January because we need somebody to put teeth into oversight.

WALLACE: Why hasn’t that started? Why not today? Why won’t Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, today, convene a hearing on the 25th Amendment?

JOLLY: A lot of times we talk about politics, sometimes we need to talk about integrity. These are failings of personal integrity, Democrats, Republicans, whoever they might be, but in this case Republicans…

WALLACE: Well, who are they, are they Paul Ryan, are they Mitch McConnell?

JOLLY: Of course, every single Republican leader on Capitol Hill, every person who writes anonymously in The New York Times, everybody who is willing to talk to Bob Woodward but then says they didn’t, these are failings of personal integrity. And it is okay as fellow humans and fellow Americans to suggest you have failed yourself, you have failed your family and you have failed your fellow countrymen by not talking about this publicly.

WALLACE: This seems like the kind of writing that would drive all these men and they’re all men unfortunately and to no offense, into their offices to figure out what to do. You now have a whistle blower at the highest level of the Trump administration, writing in The New York Times for publication that there were early whispers within the cabinet…cabinet secretaries talked about invoking the 25th Amendment. This seems to justify immediate Congressional hearings to find out who they were. I would haul up every single cabinet secretary. I would, you know, you have to protect an anonymous source, but I would haul up political appointees from every agency and ask who talked about invoking the 25th Amendment and what did you see? Because if as Bob Woodward reports, they wanted to…the President wanted to assassinate Assad, he wanted to…Mattis had to explain how he was protecting the country from World War 3. We have a more serious problem than right/left polarization.

STEVE ISRAEL: Nicolle, it will not happen with this majority in Congress. There is a midterm election in 61 days and 19 hours. And it is just a matter of political fact that going into a midterm election, your President determines your survival. They will not abandon him. They will not investigate him. They will not subpoena him because as much as they love the country, they love their seats in Congress.

(CROSSTALK)

ISRAEL: After that, in a Democratic majority, many of these anonymous sources may actually have to come out of anonymity when they’re responding to subpoenas. And the only way there will be subpoenas is if you have a different majority in the House of Representatives.

WALLACE: I understand. I worked in a Republican White House with Henry Waxman, I am very familiar with that. Let me just read a couple more things, though, to understand the author of this because this is a, it would appear this is a Republican who writes this, this person talks about sort of being a disappointed Republican. The author of the anonymous op-ed this afternoon in The New York Times writes that “although he was elected as a Republican, the President shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets, and free people. At best, he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings. At worst he has attacked them outright.” I can’t get it through my head, Jonathan Lemire, why Republicans don’t want to protect the country from a President who is described by someone who works for him as being so unstable that his own cabinet talked about the 25th Amendment.

JONATHAN LEMIRE: All right. We’ve seen it time and time again, the only Republicans who stand up to him are those who are not facing voters for reelection. They’re retiring or that, in this case, Senator McCain, who were gravely ill and were not going to run again. That’s what we’re seeing. I think, what it is very interesting to see who this…perhaps this person will be outed or not. But the speculation about who this author is will run rampant here in the hours ahead. Now first of all, I should say, The White House has not responded to requests for comment yet. So they’re not weighing in at this time.

MSNBC Deadline: White House David Jolly Jonathan Lemire Nicolle Wallace Donald Trump
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