On PBS, Mark Shields Says House Intelligence Committee is Led by 'Outrageous Adolescents'

PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff asked her regular Friday pundits David Brooks and Mark Shields to evaluate the Robert Mueller probe after a year. Shields, for his part, took out a verbal baseball bat and began attacking House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes as not only stupid and immature, but as the 21st century equivalent of Joe McCarthy:

MARK SHIELDS: What we do know, Judy, is that the Senate Intelligence Committee is composed of grownups and led by Senator Burr and Senator Warner, and they deserve credit. The House Intelligence Committee is led by just outrageous adolescents who are about as deep as a birdbath.

At the same time, I think what we learned is that the defense of Donald Trump, led by himself and Rudy Giuliani, is to savage and torment, denigrate, vilify and libel Bob Mueller. Bob Mueller happens to be an American who turned down an eight-figure income to be a major corporate lawyer, instead became a public servant. He’s a man who volunteered and carries the wounds of battle from having been a Marine platoon leader in Vietnam. He is a public servant.

He has not said a word. He has not given an interview. He has not leaked to anybody. And he stands vilified by Trump and Giuliani and their cohorts and their outriders. It is indefensible. And they are trying to exact the same damage upon the Justice Department of the country, the FBI and this country that Joe McCarthy did on the State Department, which has never fully recovered from his libelous attacks.

Someone who imagines Brooks as a civil centrist might think he would find this analysis too vicious. Wrong. As usual, David Brooks chimed in with "Yes, I don’t disagree with that. I would just say, I observe politically, I do think if Trump fired Mueller tomorrow, the Republican Party would back him. Because I think Fox News has created a predicate. They have done thousands of surveys and investigations about Mueller as a political operative."

None of these people noticed CBS News did a poll and found a majority view the Mueller probe as politically motivated.

Brooks gave the first analysis on this subject, which was milder than Shields, but also ignored any new developments in the last 48 hours about Obama's government spying on the Trump campaign. 

BROOKS: What we have learned is that it’s a pretty broad-ranging investigation. There’s a lot of dirty businesses, a lot of guilty pleas already, a lot of people brought under indictment. So it’s a real investigation, investigating what looks like real crimes.

As for the collusion charge, we know there were many more meetings between the Trump people and the Russians than we thought before. There was a meeting in Trump Tower. And so there’s clearly more smoke there than we knew before a year ago. What we don’t have is actual evidence of real collusion, and particularly by an awareness of the president himself. That may be still out there, but that part, we still don’t have.

The Mueller section comes at the very end of the segment: 


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PBS News Hour David Brooks Mark Shields Robert Mueller Devin Nunes
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