NPR Vet: Trump's Take on Biden and Ukraine Could Be 'The 2020 Version of Birtherism'

September 22nd, 2019 10:05 PM

NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson touts she's had "34 great years at NPR," so it's not surprising she's going to offer the dependable liberal hot take on President Trump's newest scandal. Trump accusing Biden of impropriety involving his son's Ukrainian business dealings? On Sunday's This Week on ABC, she broke out the B-word, "birtherism." 

Somehow this B-word does not apply to the Russian collusion conspiracies that Adam Schiff pushed, but Robert Mueller never found. 

MARA LIASSON: Sure, this could end up being like the 2020 version of birtherism. "Oh, Joe Biden did something bad in the Ukraine." The Ukrainians have investigated this formally and said there's no evidence of any wrongdoing. What I am -- my questions about today, he says he wants the transcript released. Does he really want that, or is that "yes I'm going to release my tax returns, and sure I'll talk to Bob Mueller?" We don't know.

But if it is released, this is also different from 2016 in that it's simpler for people to understand. This is one conversation, there is a formal whistleblower complaint through the system. It's not a leaker.

MARTHA RADDATZ: We don't know for sure that whistleblower complaint was about Ukraine.

LIASSON: Right, or about this conversation only. We don't know. But at least these are small numbers or pieces of evidence that Congress is trying to get their hands on. And it involves the president directly talking to a foreign country, not just benefiting from some vague, vast scheme of Vladimir Putin's.

While Adam Schiff pushes this new theme, Rep. Devin Nunes (the anti-Schiff) told Fox's Maria Bartiromo on Sunday "Whoever came up with this scheme -- it looks like somebody was trying to deflect what Biden did back in 2015," Nunes said. "This scheme seems to have backfired on Biden. I mean, Biden's already dropping in the polls."

Nunes added: "These stories first originated back when Hillary Clinton was trying to make sure Biden didn’t get in the race," Nunes said about the allegations about Biden's son. "So now that these have been resurrected, I don’t know who came up with the scheme -- maybe this whistleblower really is not a partisan. We want to hear from that whistleblower, but it sure looks like the scheme has backfired. And, like I said, it looks like this is the end of Biden’s campaign. I really do... his lead is basically down to zero."