February 2, 2018

What happened to the Chuck Todd of yesterday, bending himself into a pretzel to make the plight of DACA recipients a "both sides" responsibility?

That Chuck Todd was nowhere in sight on Andrea Mitchell's show this afternoon. What you're seeing instead is a real-time awakening that once again Cable News has been taken for a ride by this so-called president. (Yes, we also know Andrea Mitchell isn't that great at ad lib, but kudos to her for mentioning Fox News.)

ANDREA MITCHELL: Chuck Todd, here you have an echo chamber where people who go to one news organization or another are going to be reaffirmed, the president will watch Fox News and say "you see, I really was being victimized," and by the time the Democratic memo, if they do decide to release something, catches up with it or commentary... even when the so-called torture report, which John McLoughlin just referred to, was released separately by Dianne Feinstein and by the then, minority view from the Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee, they were simultaneously released, so you could at least look at both sets of facts.

CHUCK TODD: Well, it goes to what John McLoughlin talked about earlier when he lamented the fact that this is probably permanently going to change -- I say permanently, it's going to take a good decade, I think, frankly, for the relationship between the legislative branch and the intelligence community to get repaired. This is going to be the partisan skepticism that's going to be there for frankly for some time now, I think. It's going to be something that it's going to make it feel like sort of the relationship that Congress had with the CIA in the '70s, to be honest, and some of that. So it is going to damage that for a long time.

Look, I think it's important to realize what's not in the memo, right?

  • The memo does not make a case that Carter page wasn't a person of interest.
  • The memo doesn't make a good case that anything in the Steele falsified or faked.

I think those are two things that if this memo had, it would make their -- it would actually give them fodder to make the case that this was trumped up in order to go on a quote, "fishing expedition" of Carter Page. But that's the fatal flaw, I think, in the pushback that Republicans are having in trying to go after the investigators here.

They are essentially trying to stir up questions about the motives of the investigators and yet, they have yet to be able to undermine any of the basic facts of the investigation

and then of course, you've got the one giant question that hangs over the head of White House staffers I have talked to who want to believe there's nothing there with the president, and they keep coming, they keep asking the same question. "We don't see it, but what is he afraid of? Why does he keep getting involved in this investigation? Why is he so active? What is he afraid of?" Ultimately, his actions, the president's actions here only raise the suspicion of those that aren't, sort of, in his sort of kool-aid orbit. Outside of the kool-aid orbit, everyone else is wondering...

why is he so trying to thwart this investigation so much?

MITCHELL: And why is he also, in terms of affirmatively not following Congress' mandate by more than 530 votes and following up against Russia with sanctions?

TODD: Oh, mandate, please. He doesn't read the rules. There's no rules.

MITCHELL: It was a veto-proof majority. I know. I know.

TODD: Yeah. He doesn't -- norms are something to be blown through.

Except it's not "norms," it's a law passed by the Congress of the United States. And Trump is violating his oath of office by not upholding the law. And the Republican Congress is letting him get away with it.

Hey Chuck Todd, more on this "kool-aid orbit" and less "both sides" and someday you might be taken seriously in fact-based circles.

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