April 27, 2022

Listen to Carol Leonnig. (From Tuesday's Deadline: White House.) Republicans lie to their constituents, some of whom are violent nutjobs, and those whose job it is to be concerned about domestic national security are reasonably worried that there will be "blood in the streets" (her words!) over the loss of a Secretary of State office in 2022, because of Tucker Effing Carlson.

CAROL LEONNIG: Disinformation is a huge, huge worry for national security officials in the United States going back for three decades. ...[H]ere in our country, we have Republican members of the party -- and I'm zeroing in on them because that's the news that we're dealing with in the last several weeks -- Republican members of the GOP saying one thing privately and telling their constituents over and over again the opposite. Marjorie Taylor Greene, while being a fringe bizarre example, was very worried that the president should calm down the rioters storming the Capitol so that no one was killed. That's what she really believed and felt, but that's not what she's telling her voters, and what we know in America, is that it works to get on television and repeat over and over a lie. It convinces people. The more they see this on television, not in the newspaper, I'm sorry to say, but on television, the more they will believe it. And that's why those stats are so high. 75% of Republicans believe the election was rigged because Donald Trump told them over and over again on television. We've got to figure that out because it also stokes a domestic extremism, an unbalanced population that is looking for a conspiracy, looking for a way to serve, looking for a way to be a soldier, and that's what brought us January 6th. And going forward, the national security firmament is extremely fearful of what's going to happen in the next election. I don't mean the next presidential election. I mean the midterms. They don't want blood in the streets as a result of a series of people claiming, hey, the election was rigged and I didn't win my secretary of state position. They don't want that disorder and chaos, which can be stoked easily on Tucker Carlson's show or any television medium.

Later in the show, Leonnig said Republican lawmakers are SCARED to contradict those whackjobs in their base, for verifiable reasons.

NICOLLE WALLACE, HOST: And Carol, just to bring it back to sort of the national security focus right now, it's on protecting the democracy and the fight between Ukraine and Russia, and there's an echo and there's this elephant in the room. With everything that is said, there's something that is unsaid, and I wonder if you have any insight into how some of these leaders feel about our democracy at home?

LEONNIG: Well, if you're talking about national security leaders and how they feel about what's happening at home, they're very aware that both -- there's an internal threat, an inside threat in this country, and there's an external threat. They know foreign governments including Russia's intel operations, have been able to stoke the division in this country that's already so raw and painful for all of us to watch, at least, you know, two-thirds of the country willing to believe certain things that are demonstrably false because their leaders say it or because, more importantly, the leader of the Republican party right now, Donald Trump, says it. So that's the inside threat. Then the -- forgive me, that's the external threat. Then there's the insider threat, some of what Russia is doing to and has done in the past to divide our country, divide our populace, stoke division and chaos, Republicans are willing to go along with and are amplifying and/or enabling. I think what they -- you know, I think I first said it on your program because you asked the best question, which was I have interviewed very senior Republican members of Congress who say they are afraid of their constituents at home.

They're afraid if they tell them what's really going on, what's really happening, that this is -- that this is all manufactured almost like an enormous astroturf lobby campaign. They're afraid of their own constituents. That fear is a physical fear as evidenced by the way Romney was personally attacked as he flew back to certify the election, attacked on an airplane, assaulted, not beat up, but physically accosted and approached and scowled at by people at an airport as he tried to come back and do his duty in Congress.

WALLACE: And it was so shocking when you said it and so profound and it is corroborated over and over and over again. There's this great new reporting from these two "Times" reporters but it's corroboration of the same theme that we keep coming back to, that Republicans tell the truth when they're alone and no one's watching, but they lie to their voters, and I'm sure you're right about why they do so.

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