August 30, 2018

Showing a clip of the interview that Trump is now saying Lester Holt "fudged," Mika B. was pretty ticked off this morning.

"That was President Trump more than a year ago in that headline-grabbing interview. With NBC's Lester Holt admitting that he fired former FBI director James Comey because of, quote, 'this Russia thing," she said.

"Now the president is claiming out of the blue on Twitter this morning that the tape was, quote, 'fudged.' He's been tweeting all morning, by the way, too hard to keep up with him and most of them are too stupid to keep up with, including this one. But this one is important. Importantly stupid. Jeffrey Goldberg, because not only is he attacking NBC's chairman Andy Lack, our boss, with stupid rumors, but also he's going after the truth. Attacking NBC News saying that Lester Holt got caught fudging the interview. He's trying to shape the truth around the reality that he wants people to believe and, yes, I will get it. This is a leading question. But how dangerous is this?"

"It's dangerous. How about that for an answer?" Goldberg said.

"In ordinary times, a president who made an unfounded assertion, an assertion that he had not supported would be called upon this morning to say show us immediately the proof that a leading television network, a leading newscaster and his people quote, unquote 'fudged' a tape. That will happen, but the White House is -- and the people who are protecting the president from certain realities will not respond the way others traditionally respond which is come up with a proof or apologize for an unfounded and dangerous assertion. We're in new territory territory here. There are no checks on the president's unbelievable willingness to turn the media into the, quote unquote, 'enemy of the people.' That's where the Republican congress has come into play, but so far hasn't."

Mika asked David Ignatius what this parallels.

"Well, we see countries in which leaders attempt to manipulate the press, deny reports, alter what people clearly see in their own eyes and it is shocking to think that we may be entering a period like that in the United States," he said.

"We all watched Lester Holt's interview with President Trump. Fudge the tape. We watched a continuous flow of comments. When the president this week said that he was bothered by Google search results and he thought that they were being spun against him, I had a shiver down my back thinking, 'This president means now to challenge the way in which we get information from the internet. so I think we're entering a dangerous territory."

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