The Meet the Press Trump Interview

So Kristen Welker is now the moderator of Meet the Press, and I’m sorry to say she interviewed Donald Trump for her debut. And I take it the interview was a mess. It was not live but taped and edited, and it was still a mess.

To some political observers, the new interview –where Trump talked over his questioner and received little pushback — was yet another debacle that led American Enterprise Institute scholar and Atlantic contributor Norman Ornstein to declare it was a huge error in judgment.

According to Ornstein, “Oy. Trump says the Capitol Police testified against Nancy Pelosi, and then burned all the evidence. Lie upon lie upon lie. Unchallenged by Welker. Every word out of his mouth is a lie, and he talks over any questioner. Just a colossal mistake to showcase this sociopath.”

After viewing clips from the “Meet the Press’ interview, media critic Dan Froomkin complained, “In these clips, Trump utters about 30 different lies, and there’s zero pushback from Kristen Welker, who instead calls him ‘fired up’ and ‘defiant’ – and ‘the president.’ This is, actually, worse than the CNN town hall in terms of normalizing a maniac.”

I didn’t watch, but I read some of the transcript. Basically Trump just talked over the questions. Welker did attempt to challenge him but he talked overe the challenges. He basically just bulldozed Welker and left her buried under a heap of lies.

He repeatedly refused to answer questions—directly telling Welker “I’m not going to tell you” when asked if he watched the chaos on Jan. 6 from a White House dining room—and made multiple ludicrous claims that were left largely unchallenged, or weakly so. (Democrats want to kill babies after birth! Nancy Pelosi was responsible for Jan. 6!)

NBC produced multiple post-interview fact-checks on air and online, including after each interview segment during the broadcast, but that is no replacement for an on-the-spot confrontation. Presenting an evidence-backed fact check to Trump’s face allows an audience to watch him reject truth in real time. That serves a greater purpose than roundups scattered throughout NBC’s online platforms.

I think the only way you could get him to stop spewing lies and confront the questions being asked of him is with an electric cattle prod.

In other news: This headline is from the Murdoch New York Post:

I suppose it would have to be a right-wing media outlet running that headline. Just as long as it kills her re-election to the House …

Update: This is a long read, but worth it. The article focuses on one of the lesser-known Georgia RICO conspirators, a bail bondsman named Scott G. Hall, and goes into detail how he got mixed up in the conspiracy and what he did.

24 thoughts on “The Meet the Press Trump Interview

  1. I read through most of the MTP interview. I have to disagree with Froompkin that there was no pushback. Trump showed up with the intent to fillibuster and he was fairly successful. But it would have taken a cattle prod to slow Trumpp down. A few examples:

    Welker challenges the "two-tier" system of justice with the example of Hunter Biden's indictment on gun charges. 

    Welker: "…there’s no evidence that the president has any link to his son’s business dealings."

    Welker pointed out through a series of interruptions that the witness who was Hunter's business partner said he never heard Joe discuss business with in of his son's business clients.

    Welker: "…the ballot stuffing. That’s something that’s been debunked."

    Welker:"…Mr. President, they’re not stuffing the ballot boxes."

    Welker: "…you took your case to court in 60 different cases all across the country. You lost that. "

    Welker: "…Mr. President, there’s no evidence of that. And you know there’s no evidence of that."

    Welker: (responding to the claim that the media is against Trump.) "What’s the evidence for that, Mr. President?"

    Welker: "You also added $8 trillion to the national debt. Your GOP challenger Nikki Haley made that point saying, quote, “The truth is that Biden didn’t do this to us. Republicans did this to us.” "

    Welker: (re late-term and post birth abortions) "Mr. President, Democrats aren’t saying that. I just have to, Democrats are not saying that."

    Welker: "Does it bother you though that women say their lives are being put at risk? Do you feel you bear any responsibility, because as you say, you are responsible for having Roe v. Wade overturned."

    Welker: "But Mr. President, again, no one is calling for a child to be killed after birth. No one is calling for that to be allowed — "

    Welker: "Well, the charges you’re facing don’t have anything to do with the Presidential Records Act. But let me ask my question so we can get to foreign policy."

    Welker: (re Georgia)  "He said “they looked into it.” The election had been certified three times — 

    Welker: (re claims of evidence of fraud) "You were going to hold that press conference, but you never did, with the evidence."

    Welker: " — I just want to be clear, though. Are you saying you needed those votes in order to win? Are you acknowledging you didn’t win?"

    There's more but you get the point. If you read the BS Trump was spewing, your blood pressure will go up. Mine did. IMP, the natural reaction of an informed person is rage that Trump can be allowed a podium for such putrid crap. Should the media cover Trump? Ethically, are journalists under some moral obligation to ignore him? 

    IMO, the press has to cover Trump. They should not just allow him to blather unchallenged lies. And Welker did not. But Trump is the most bombastic liar of my lifetime – and I'm 70. A media personality IS under a professional obligation to treat Trump with respect because he is a former president. The cattle prod isn't allowed.

    And Trump is VERY good at promoting his lies. Any journalist is at a disadvantage and there is no way to level the playing field. Other than with fact-checking and pushback during the interview. But no journalist will take Trump down.

    There is an arena where Trump is at a natural disadvantage if he is the liar and con man I believe him to be. That's a court of law. He's gonna be the guest of honor in no less than four jurisdictions in a series of criminal trials. 

    I got the class in admissible evidence when I was looking at a trial. I'd bet big money that Trump does not have ANY evidence of significant voter fraud. (By 'significant', I mean big enough to change the outcome of the election.) Trump would be a fool to take the stand, but he might bet that he can get away with wild claims from the stand that his lawyers won't be able to introduce in any other way. If you wonder what claims, read the interview. That's the stuff Trump wants the jury to include in consideration which no judge is going to allow. And Trump thinks that he can steamroll a judge like he blew past Welker.

    I agree Trump scored WAY more points against her than she scored against Trump. That's not Welker's fault, IMO. She tried but she does not have the ownership of the stage in the way a judge does. If these cases go to trial before the election, that's when Trump will go down in flames.

    Trump probably will not take the stand. He wants to. His ego is telling him to. His lawyers have explained that in a federal courtroom, seasoned prosecutors will cut Trump into tiny pieces.  But I'm not sure he won't demand to speak in his defense.

    What Trump is going to do is try his case in the media, and not just on Fox. Trump has to get to a broad swath of potential jurists. He will wind up "testifying" in his trials because the non-sworn testimony is still admissible in court. Which I'd be willing to bet Trump's lawyers are trying to get thru his skull tonight.


    • It is really quite remarkable. What Trump does in almost all his speech is to barrel through a chain of unrelated lies and finish with a seemingly firm point that is really only vaguely relevant to the topic at hand. He doesn't talk, he filibusters. It's stuff and nonsense.

      I agree that the reaction to Welker has been a little too harsh.

      • It is remarkable, sickening at the same time having known this blowhard psycho was President – but still remarkable.  Described as "flooding the zone", "gish gallup", "fillibluster".  Imagine he has done this his entire life, talking himself into stuff and then talking himself out of stuff in the same manner, in any or all professional and personal interactions.  He has honed this skill over decades, and its really all that he has – just the knack for stringing together an endless bunch of self-serving expressions too fast for anyone to keep up with the lies and contradictions in real time.  And the simultaneous distracting hand motions while he blabbers; like he's sculpting a pile of shit into a work of art.

        • What's remarkable is watching Matt Gaetz, and to a lesser extent Marjorie Taylor Greene – aping these same rhetorical tactics:  Insisting that Up is Down (lying at every turn), and flaunting the rules (to destroy the institutions) whenever possible. They're his proteges.

          Greene in particular is angling to be Trump's VP. A nightmare scenario is watching her become President when Trump dies. That's what she's aiming for.

  2. I nominate Mehdi Hasan for MTP moderator. That guy can fact-check in real-time.

    But the reality is that Trump would never sit for an interview with anyone who wasn't a pushover.

  3. I liked rhetorician Jennifer Mercieca's remarks on the campaign speech over on Hitler's Radio, aka X.

    I like your cattle prod, but I fear it is indelicate. I was thinking of replacing his image with one of Barney the purple dinosaur, and cutting his mike. But then, he would never come back, perhaps a good thing/

  4. Hi, all!

    I'm back!

    As Mark Twain once said, "Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated."

    After 5 weeks in the hospital, and 2 1/2 intestinal surgeries – with a small tumor removed – the doctors think I'm finally strong enough, and I feel good enough, to go to rehab.

    I took this time to take some breaks from reading and commenting on politics.  And much of everything – truth be told.

    For a while I tried to keep up with all of you here, but most days I didn't feel good enough to focus on reading – let alone commenting.

    But hopefully, that's all past me now.

    And BTW:  Thanks Doug and Uncledad for reaching out.  But until this past Monday, I lacked the energy to think.  So, sorry I didn't answer back.

  5. The world seems a lot brighter today. The gulog is on the recovery path. It is news at its best.  

  6. If there is any positive aspect of tRump repeatedly getting major interview time I think it is the inevitability that he reaches a saturation point in the public mind, and I like to think perhaps that point is already reached.  Spouting the same outrageous BS over and over, it is just simply incredibly boring.  It only fools the same people who he already had fooled and though they would never admit it, they must be at least a little tired of it all too.

    • My thoughts exactly. I'm looking forward to Judge Chutkin putting a clamp on his mouth (ass) at the end of this month. He might be intending to provoke her to claim his first amendment rights are being denied. But no matter what benefit Trump gains in bellowing his nonsense, Judge Chutkin knows what the damage to our democracy will be if she fails to reign him in. I believe she has the courage to act decisively.

  7. OT, I fear the Ken Paxton acquittal (Texas) was a dress rehearsal for what the fascists will be doing in the US House. Bannon and Charlie Kirk got their army of wingnuts to phone the Texas Republicans to acquit. They were threatened with a Trumpist primary challenger if they didn't comply.

    I expect a similar scenario to play out with Biden's impeachment, although it will go nowhere in the Senate, at least until 2024. If the Rs take both the House and Senate, it will be game over for a Democratic president.

  8. I watched.  Nothing.  I agreed with one of the cast members who saw meaning in what questions that Trump refused to answer.  Yes, what was not said was the best part of the interview and the most meaningful.  It is good that it was edited.  More editing could not have hurt the interview at all.  I am really not sure what part was important enough to be left in.  The sound of one hand clapping?

  9. moonbat,

    I didn't get the card.

    But thanks – it's the thought that counts!


    And thank you all for the positive vibes you sent my way.  There's no doubt in my mind that helped in my worst moments!!!  :'-)


    PS:  I'm in rehab.


    Hopefully I won't be here too long.

  10. I didn't watch the interview, I refused to allow NBC the benefit of my one set of eyes in the viewership stats.  And that's the reason they interviewed Trump, for ratings.  There was no news value, absolutely nothing new, in anything that was asked or answered.  Welker didn't ask any questions that hadn't already been asked, Trump didn't tell any lies in response we haven't heard ad nauseum before; in essence, we learned nothing new.  

    If MTP wanted to do something newsworthy, to kick off the season with its new host, why not interview Joe Biden?  Just about everything he would have to say about his presidency would be news, given how the media just ignores his numerous, substantial accomplishments.  Not to mention he's the current president.  Then again that's the very reason they wouldn't; instead they interview a twice impeached, three time losing, four time criminal "indictee" wallowing in 91 criminal counts.  With the Trump "interview" was their train wreck and with it they demonstrated its less about newsworthy content and educating viewers, as it is about clicks and views for ratings.


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