September 26, 2016

While discussing the upcoming presidential debate and whether or not it was a good idea for Trump to threaten to have Gennifer Flowers sitting in the front row in response to the Clinton campaign inviting Mark Cuban, Meet the Press host Chuck Todd told former McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt that he could understand why the Trump campaign might have invited a "grieving Benghazi mother" instead.

Never mind that, as Tom Boggioni at Raw Story noted:

Todd failed to mention that multiple GOP-led investigations into the loss of four men in Benghazi in 2012 — including Ambassador Christopher Stevens — found no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Maybe Todd should just refrain from giving the Trump campaign advice altogether about who it would "make sense" to bring to the debate, instead of pushing right wing memes we would normally hear if we tuned into Fox.

Full transcript of the exchange above via NBC:

CHUCK TODD: Obviously, the Donald Trump campaign may or may not be following through with Trump's pledge to bring Gennifer Flowers, there's some question here. My guess is others are trying to talk him out of it. But you guys did this in '04. Give an example of gamesmanship that you did.

STEPHANIE CUTTER: Well, I seem to recall that we had some 9/11 widows in the audience in 2004 just to make the point that we had a lot of work to do to get back on track in Afghanistan and Iraq took us off course. And Iraq took us off course because of Bush not telling the truth about weapons of mass destruction.

What Clinton and Trump are doing are trying to throw each other off their game. The difference is Hillary Clinton is doing it with a legitimate businessman, also, a celebrity. And as John Podesta put it earlier on your show, Trump is just jumping right down in the sewer and swimming in it by inviting Gennifer Flowers. I think part of what you want to do in putting somebody in the audience is to reinforce a positive about your campaign or make a legitimate point about your opponents. What he's doing is not going to help him.

CHUCK TODD: Steve Schmidt, it would have made more sense to me had Trump responded with bring a grieving mother of one of the Benghazi grieving family members, that seems to be- would have been the counter that would have made policy sense.

STEVE SCHMIDT: Well, you just saw the effectiveness of the tactic. It was clearly designed to provoke Donald Trump and it provoked Donald Trump, it provoked Donald Trump into going down the Gennifer Flowers rabbit hole, as opposed to doing what you're suggesting, Chuck. And tomorrow, one of the big tasks that Donald Trump has on this debate stage, can be comport himself like an American President should comport himself?

Is he going to be able to be seen by the American people as a plausible Commander-in-Chief, somebody who could address the nation in a crisis? And I think she's going to try to push his buttons all through this debate and get a volcanic eruption, like you saw throughout the primary debates.

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