NBC News’ Chuck Todd is in hot water after the network acknowledged that a deceptively edited clip of Attorney General Bill Barr discussing the Michael Flynn case aired during his “Meet the Press” broadcast on Sunday.
After an uproar from other journalists and the President, the network conceded the mistake hours later. However, there is still no word on whether Todd will apologize on-air.
Asked by CBS News’ Catherine Herridge how history would judge the DOJ’s decision to move to dismiss the Flynn case, Barr initially responded, laughing: “Well, history is written by the winners, so it largely depends on who’s writing the history.”
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
After the brief clip aired, Todd remarked that he was “struck 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 was a political job.”
In the full clip, which the NBC show did not air, Barr immediately went on to state explicitly that, in fact, he felt “the Flynn decision upheld the rule of law.”
“I think a fair history would say it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law,” Barr said. “It upheld the standards of the Department of Justice, and it undid what was an injustice.”
In response, the “Meet the Press” Twitter account posted: “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.”
But, the show did not say it would apologize on-air or if Todd will be terminated.
Late Sunday, President Trump tweeted that “Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd” should be fired, saying he “knew exactly what he was doing.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 11, 2020
The Justice Department on Thursday moved to drop its case against Flynn after internal memos were released raising serious questions about the nature of the investigation that led to Flynn’s late 2017 guilty plea of lying to the FBI as his legal fees mounted.
One of the documents was a top official’s handwritten memo debating whether the FBI’s “goal” was “to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired”; other materials showed efforts by anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok to pursue Flynn on increasingly flimsy legal grounds.