NBC Hypes 'New Bombshell': Mueller Report Is 'More Damaging' for Trump Than Barr Let On

April 4th, 2019 1:47 PM

NBC’s Today was the most excited broadcast morning show on Thursday about the "new bombshell," the front-page New York Times story claiming some of Mueller’s investigators are concerned that “because Mr. Barr created the first narrative of the special counsel’s findings, Americans’ views will have hardened before the investigation’s conclusions become public.”

Left out of the latest narrative: if this investigation is nonpartisan and non-political and only about making sure that crimes were not committed, why are investigators panicking anonymously about the political reception of the report, about “first narratives” and “hardened” impressions? 

Co-host Savannah Guthrie announced "there are investigators now coming forward and complaining that the Attorney General painted too positive of a picture when he summarized their yearslong investigation." Then she turned to White House correspondent Kristen Welker, who claimed Mueller team members accused Barr of "leaving out critical facts":

KRISTEN WELKER: In a new bombshell overnight, The New York Times reporting some on Robert Mueller's team say his report was more damaging than Attorney General Bill Barr revealed in his four-page summary of the nearly 400-page document. Citing government officials' and others familiar with investigators' “simmering frustrations," The New York Times said some of Mueller's prosecutors have told associates the Attorney General failed to adequately portray the findings of their inquiry. Adding the special counsel's conclusions were more troubling for President Trump than Barr indicated. NBC News has not independently confirmed the report.

Overnight the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, reacting. 

REP. ADAM SCHIFF: It is concerning.The best remedy is transparency.

WELKER: The president's outside attorney Rudy Giuliani telling NBC News “This is from disgruntled Mueller staffers who are rabid Democrat supporters.”

All of it adding to the mounting pressure on the Attorney General with the House Judiciary Committee authorizing a subpoena Wednesday, demanding to see the entire Mueller report.

REP. JERROLD NADLER: We're going to work with the attorney general for a short period of time in the hope that he will reveal to us the entire Mueller report and all the underlying materials. [edit] But if that doesn't work out, then in very short order we will issue the subpoenas.

Welker didn't spend any seconds on how Nadler's demands today for every detail of the Mueller probe is starkly at odds with Nadler's take on President Clinton and the Starr Report in 1998. On September 9 of that year, he told PBS talk show host Charlie Rose that "much of this material is federal rule 6(e) material, that is material that by law — unless contravened by a vote of the House — must be kept secret. It’s grand jury material. It represents statements which may or may not be true by various witnesses, salacious material, all kinds of material that it would be unfair to release." He said his committee needed to put the brakes on disclosures: "as a matter of decency, and protecting people’s privacy rights, people who may be totally innocent third parties — what must not be released at all."

Nadler fervently opposed impeachment [check out the video at 8:21] . "At a bare minimum, that means the president's accusers must go beyond hearsay and innuendo, and beyond demands that the president prove his innocence of vague and changing charges." 

Trump defenders would certainly question the impression of the Times (and by extension, NBC) that Mueller's probe is "one of the most consquential government investigations in American history."