Chuck Todd Used Deceptively Edited Clip to Falsely Claim Barr Admitted Flynn Decision Was ‘Political’
“Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd left out key comments from a Thursday interview U.S. Attorney General William Barr did, remarks that undercut the argument Todd tried to make against him.
The mainstream media and Democrats went absolutely bonkers last week after the Justice Department announced on Thursday that they were dropping the case against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Naturally, critics of the decision claimed that it was a political move and rushed to call for an investigation into the DOJ’s handling of the case.
On Sunday, NBC News “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd had on a panel of guests to discuss the issue. During the segment, Todd referenced an interview DOJ Attorney General William Barr did with CBS News senior investigative correspondent Catherine Herridge last Thursday in which Herridge asked him how he felt history would judge the decision:
Herridge: In closing, this was a big decision in the Flynn case, to– to say the least. When history looks back on this decision, how do you think it will be written? What will it say about your decision making?
Barr: Well, history is written by the winner. So it largely depends on who’s writing the history. But I think a fair history would say that it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law. It helped, it upheld the standards of the Department of Justice, and it undid what was an injustice.
Keep Barr’s answer in mind as you read (and then watch) what Todd said to political commentator Peggy Noonan about Barr’s remarks:
CHUCK TODD: You brought up Bill Barr. Peggy Noonan, I want you to listen to this Bill Barr answer to a question about what will history say about this. Wait until you hear this answer. Take a listen.
[BEGIN TAPE] HERRIDGE: When history looks back on this decision, how do you think it will be written?
BARR: Well, history’s written by the winners. So it largely depends on who’s writing the history. [END TAPE]
CHUCK TODD: I was struck, Peggy, by the cynicism of the answer. It’s a correct answer. But he’s the attorney general. He didn’t make the case that he was upholding the rule of law. He was almost admitting that, yeah, this is a political job.
Notice what he left out? This entire sentence from Barr: “But I think a fair history would say that it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law. It helped, it upheld the standards of the Department of Justice, and it undid what was an injustice.”
A lot of conservatives noticed, including Daily Caller’s Greg Price, who put together a video contrasting Todd’s version of Barr’s remarks versus what Barr said in full. Watch below and pay special attention to Todd’s facial expressions. He looks like the cat who ate the canary. He’s really proud of himself here, and clearly believes he’s caught Barr in an admission that supposedly proves the media and Democrats were right about the alleged “political” nature of the decision all along:
Today on Meet The Press, @chucktodd wildly took context out of an answer AG Bill Barr gave about his decision to drop the case into Gen. Michael Flynn.
I cut Todd's segment along with Barr's full answer together. Look at how blatantly dishonest this is. pic.twitter.com/tODOEwL48V
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) May 10, 2020
Barr’s spokeswoman Kerri Kupec posted Todd’s comments and what Barr actually said next to each other. She characterized it as “deceptive editing/commentary,” which is putting it mildly:
Compare the two transcripts below. Not only did the AG make the case in the VERY answer Chuck says he didn’t, he also did so multiple times throughout the interview. pic.twitter.com/PR1ciceMmE
— Kerri Kupec DOJ (@KerriKupecDOJ) May 10, 2020
Several hours after “Meet the Press” aired, Herridge herself tweeted out the interview segment, presumably to correct the record:
#FLYNN Two big moments from our exclusive AG Barr interview @CBSNews “I think a fair history would say that it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law. It helped, it upheld the standards of the Department of Justice, and it undid what was an injustice.” pic.twitter.com/aRtFnnx7da
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) May 10, 2020
On Sunday evening, the “Meet the Press” Twitter account responded to Kupec’s tweet by making this claim:
You’re correct. Earlier today, we inadvertently and inaccurately cut short a video clip of an interview with AG Barr before offering commentary and analysis. The remaining clip included important remarks from the attorney general that we missed, and we regret the error.
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) May 10, 2020
It’s unclear whether Todd runs the account, or someone else. Todd has his own Twitter account, which he hasn’t tweeted from since May 5th as of this writing.
They “regret the error” so much that the only place you can find their admission is in reply to Kupec’s tweet. That reply only shows up on MTP’s “replies” link on their Twitter feed – which you actually have to click on to see. Also, I searched on the MTP website and could not find an acknowledgment of their “error” anywhere.
Fox News veteran journalist Brit Hume mentioned in a tweet the possibility the “error” was intentional:
Interesting that Chuck Todd and his guests seemed unaware of what the full Barr quote actually contained. At least we can hope they were unaware. Otherwise…. https://t.co/dAu3xRmEpj
— Brit Hume (@brithume) May 11, 2020
I’m not inclined to believe this was an innocent mistake, especially when you consider the fact that Barr literally said what Todd said he didn’t say seconds after the comment about history being “written by the winners.”
Also, consider the fact that the Barr/Herridge interview happened three days before that episode of MTP. So Todd and his staff had plenty of time to watch/read the full interview. There’s just no reasonable excuse for why this happened. And at this point, even if Todd does go on air later this week issue a mea culpa, it will too late. The damage has already been done.
Which, come to think of it, was probably the whole point.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
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