President Donald Trump made repeated calls for “Meet the Press” anchor Chuck Todd to be fired after the show admitted that Sunday’s interview with Attorney General William Barr was “inadvertently and inaccurately cut short.”
“Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd should be FIRED by ‘Concast’ (NBC) for this fraud. He knew exactly what he was doing. Public Airwaves = Fake News!” tweeted the president Sunday night, tagging the Twitter accounts for the Federal Communications Commission and its chairman Ajit Pai.
On Monday morning, he tweeted the FCC again: “THIS IS A DISGRACE, EVEN WORSE THAN @NBC USUALLY IS, WHICH IS REALLY BAD. SLEEPY EYES MUST BE FIRED!” “Sleepy Eyes” is Trump’s nickname for Todd.
On Sunday, “Meet the Press” played an excerpt from Barr’s CBS News interview in which he discussed Michael Flynn and said “history is written by the winner” — but didn’t play the rest of his comments: “But I think a fair history would say that it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law. It helped, it upheld the standards of the Department of Justice, and it undid what was an injustice.”
Sunday’s “Meet the Press” cut of the CBS News interview mirrored the one shown on Thursday’s CBS Evening News, which ended after Barr said “history is written by the winner, so it largely depends on who’s writing the history.” Friday’s CBS This Morning aired the clip in full, expanding it to include Barr’s statement about upholding the rule of law.
Sunday, after playing the shorter clip, Todd remarked on Barr’s “cynicism,” then said, “It’s a correct answer, but he’s the attorney general. He didn’t make the case that he was upholding the rule of law. He was almost admitting that, yeah, this is a political job.”
After Department of Justice spokesperson Kerri Kupec posted side-by-side transcripts of Barr’s full comments and those that were aired on the NBC News program, the “Meet the Press” Twitter account issued a reply.
“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 remaining clip included important remarks from the attorney general that we missed, and we regret the error,” it said.
It was after Federalist senior editor Mollie Hemingway replied that “a tweet in no way covers the error” that Trump jumped into the Twitter thread with his initial call for Todd’s firing.
Trump then spend part of Monday morning retweeting everyday user accounts criticizing Todd and NBC News.