On a recent episode of NBC’s Meet The Press, host Chuck Todd played a clip of Attorney General Bill Barr that was selectively edited in order to deliberately misconstrue his words.
President Donald Trump didn’t take the mischaracterization lying down, and he responded by defending Barr and calling for Todd to be fired, as the New York Post reports.
NBC selectively edits Barr
The issue started when Todd aired footage of Barr being interviewed by CBS News’ Catherine Herridge about the Justice Department’s decision to drop its case against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
In it, the attorney general can be heard seeming to gloat, saying, “History is written by the winner. So it largely depends on who’s writing the history.”
Todd said he was “struck by the cynicism of the answer” and claimed that Barr wasn’t concerned about upholding the rule of law. In fact, a look at the interview’s transcript shows that in his full answer, Barr actually said the opposite.
“Well, history is written by the winner. So it largely depends on who’s writing the history,” Barr conceded. “But I think a fair history would say that it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law.”
The attorney general concluded by saying, “[The decision to drop the case] helped, it upheld the standards of the Department of Justice and it undid what was an injustice.”
“We regret the error”
In a tweet on Sunday, the president demanded “Sleepy Eyes” Chuck Todd’s removal for engaging in “fraud.” Trump also referred to Comcast (NBC’s parent company) as “Concast.”
“He knew exactly what he was doing. Public Airwaves = Fake News!” the president declared, before going on to tag the Federal Communications Commission along with its chairman, Ajit Pai.
Trump wasn’t the only one to take issue with Todd’s behavior, as Department of Justice spokeswoman Kerri Kupec made her thoughts known as well.
“Not only did the AG make the case in the VERY answer Chuck says he didn’t, he also did so multiple times throughout the interview,” she tweeted. Meet The Press later responded to Kupec with something of an admission that it had selectively edited the footage and taken Barr’s words out of context.
“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 show acknowledged. “The remaining clip included important remarks from the attorney general that we missed, and we regret the error.”