Liberal media partisans played up Lester Holt's interview with President Trump as the most important combat of Trump's presidency. Just as they prodded Holt to pound away at Trump in the first debate (and then he failed to challenge Hillary Clinton on anything), Holt was the designated hit man in Thursday's interview, expected to create and underline a "credibility crisis" for the White House. But don't they remember how Holt "winced" to Hillary Clinton in January of 2016 at anyone suggested she might be seen by someone as (gasp) dishonest...why that must hurt her feelings!
LESTER HOLT, ANCHOR, NBC NIGHTLY NEWS: I want to ask you about a moment at the town hall the other day. A young man, a Bernie Sanders supporter, stood up and said young people don’t trust you.
TAYLOR GIPPLE, CNN’s TOWN HALL ON JAN 25: I’ve heard from quite a few people my age that they think you’re dishonest.
HOLT: And when he said that, I winced. And I was wondering, you’ve obviously been in tough battles, political battles, but do you get your feelings hurt sometimes?
Holt’s next question: “What frustrates you the most about perceptions about you?” Perhaps he needed to hold a Kleenex box to support her as she works through being called a liar. By contrast, Holt wasn't feeling Donald Trump's pain or wincing at any accusation against the man who beat Hillary.
At the top of the show, Holt proclaimed "The president contradicting the White House story and his own vice president, saying he was going to fire Comey no matter what!"
It's funny how Trump's unsubstantiated claims, like being wiretapped at Trump Tower, are underlined as baseless, yet Holt and his colleagues constantly push the still-unsubstantiated conspiracy theory of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, as if it will be substantiated any day now. Take this representative snippet (and note the constant interruptions):
HOLT: What you said a moment ago about supporting the idea of investigation. A lot of people would find it hard to believe that the man who just said that tweeted very recently it's a total hoax. It's a taxpayer charade.
TRUMP: Oh, I think that looking into me and the campaign -- look, I have nothing to do -- this was set up by the Democrats. There is no collusion between me and my campaign and the Russians. The other thing is the Russians did not affect the vote. And everybody seems to think that.
HOLT: There is an investigation under way though, an FBI investigation. Is that a charade?
TRUMP: Well, I don't know if it's an FBI or if it's -- there's so many investigations. I don't know if it's an FBI investigation or if it's Congress, if it's the Senate and the House...
HOLT: Well, James Comey testified there was an FBI investigation...
TRUMP: Well, yeah, but I think they're also helping the House and the Senate. So, you probably have FBI. But you have House, you have Senate. They have other investigations.
HOLT: But when you put out tweets it's a total hoax. It's a taxpayer charade. And you're looking for a new FBI director, are you not sending that person a message to lay off?
TRUMP: No, I'm not doing that. I think that we have to get back to work. But I want to find out -- I want to get to the bottom. If Russia hacked -- if Russia did anything having to do with our election, I want to know about it.
HOLT: Well, there's already -- there's already intelligence from virtually every intelligence agency that yes, that happened.
TRUMP: I'll tell you this. If Russia or anybody else is trying to interfere with our elections, I think it's a horrible thing and I want to get to the bottom of it. And I want to make sure it will never, ever happen.
HOLT: Were you angry with James Comey when he went public and said he can't support your unsubstantiated charges of wiretapping -- that your predecessor wiretapped you?
TRUMP: I was surprised he said it, but I wasn't angry. There's a big thing going on right now which is spying. And it's -- you can call it anything you want. The unmasking and the spying. And to me, that's the big story right now. That's a very, very big story.
HOLT: You didn't take that as a sign of disloyalty that he came out and contradicted you?
TRUMP: No, I didn't -- I didn't -- I don't think of it as loyalty. I mean, I want whoever the director is, I want him to do the right thing.
HOLT: And what about when he went public and said that there was in fact an FBI investigation looking at your campaign and Russia? Did that anger you? I -- I ask that because...
TRUMP: Well, I -- I -- you know I have that...
HOLT: ...there's a -- a sense that you...
TRUMP: ...I have that...
HOLT: ...that there was a building anger.
TRUMP: No, no, no. I -- I know every once in a while, you'll see that in the newspaper, anger somebody will report or they'll have false sources that maybe don't exist because of the media -- the way the media is. No.
I will tell you, I think that -- I want very simply a great FBI director.
Then Holt introduced a Hallie Jackson story pulling apart all the shifting statements about the Comey firing from different White House staffers. Okay, but what about the shifting statements of the media coming apart in the testimony of acting FBI director Andrew McCabe? Jackson only aired a snippet of McCabe against the White House, insisting Comey was popular inside the FBI.
JACKSON: In a Senate hearing, the acting FBI director defended the man he replaced.
McCABE: Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI, and still does to this day.
Late in the newscast, Holt was at it again, noting the Trump team was setting up a voter-fraud task force: "The President and the White House repeatedly made unsubstantiated statements about voter fraud, including Mr. Trump's claim he only lost the popular vote from quote, millions of people who voted illegally."
It remains unsubtantiated that "millions of people" voted illegally in 2016. But keep in mind that many assertions the media denounced as unsubstantiated are assertions the media have no desire to substantiate. They never call it "unsubstantiated" when the Left claims voter fraud is non-existent.