NBC’s Chuck Todd has apologized for airing an edited clip of William Barr’s interview with CBS reporter Katherine Herridge during which the attorney general responded to a question about the dismissal of charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
‘I wanted to talk for a moment about something that occurred on Sunday’s edition of Meet the Press,’ Todd began during his on-air apology on Tuesday.
‘During the program, we aired a soundbite from a CBS News interview with Attorney General Bill Barr. In the bite that we aired and commented on, Mr. Barr was asked how he thinks the history of his decision to end the prosecution of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn will be written.
‘Mr. Barr answered, quote: ‘History is written by the winner, so it largely depends on who’s writing the history.’
‘In the full version of the interview and transcript, he went on to say, ‘But I think a fair history would say that it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law.’ Now, we did not edit that out. That was not our edit. We didn’t include it because we only saw the shorter of two clips that CBS did air,’ Todd explained.
Chuck Todd (pictured) has apologized for airing an edited clip of William Barr’s interview with CBS reporter Katherine Herridge during which the attorney general responded to a question about the dismissal of charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn
The host continued: ‘We should have looked at both and checked for a full transcript. A mistake that I wish we hadn’t made and one I wish I hadn’t made. The second part of the Attorney General’s answer would have put it in the proper context.
‘Had we seen that part of the CBS interview, I would not have framed the conversation the way I did, and I obviously am very sorry for that mistake. We strive to do better going forward.’
NBC has also apologized for ‘inaccurately’ cutting a portion of an interview. But that apology didn’t satisfy President Donald Trump, who tweeted both Sunday and Monday that Todd should be fired.
The incident took place during a roundtable discussion, when Todd was speaking to author Peggy Noonan about the Justice Department’s decision not to prosecute Flynn.
That’s when Todd played a portion of an interview that Barr gave last Thursday to CBS News.
When Barr was asked by reporter Herridge what history would say about the decision, Barr replied that ‘history is written by the winner. So it largely depends on who’s writing the history’.
Todd said that he was struck by the cynicism of that answer. ‘It’s a correct answer,’ Todd said. ‘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.’
But Barr actually said what Todd accused him of not saying.
The incident took place during a roundtable discussion, when Todd was speaking to author Peggy Noonan about the Justice Department’s decision not to prosecute Flynn
A spokeswoman for the Department of Justice was the first to point out the mistake and accused Todd of deliberately editing the clip of Barr (pictured during Thursday’s CBS interview)
Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec ended up tweeting a side-by-side transcript of the CBS interview compared with the excerpt used by Meet The Press
On Sunday, NBC admitted to ‘inadvertently and inaccurately cutting short a video clip’ and have apologized for making the error
Today on Meet The Press, @chucktodd wildly took context out of an answer AG Bill Barr gave about his decision to drop the case into Gen. Michael Flynn.
I cut Todd’s segment along with Barr’s full answer together. Look at how blatantly dishonest this is. pic.twitter.com/tODOEwL48V
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) May 10, 2020
In apologizing for the mistake, NBC tweeted on Sunday: ‘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.’
But Trump launched a new round of salvos at Todd on Monday morning, complaining that Meet the Press performed a ‘sleazy hit job’ on Barr.
‘He should be FIRED by Concast. If done by a Republican, would be ‘prosecuted,” Trump tweeted Monday.
The president launched an all-out Twitter assault against Todd, who he frequently derides as ‘Sleepy Eyes,’ on Sunday.
President Donald Trump launched a new round of salvos at NBC’s Chuck Todd on Monday, calling for the host to be fired
A spokeswoman for the Justice Department was the first to point out NBC showed an abbreviated clip.
But CBS’ Evening News played the same edited clip of their interview with Barr. The fuller clip played on the network’s morning show CBS’ This Morning.
A spokesperson for the Justice Department, Kerri Kupec ended up tweeting a side-by-side transcript of the CBS interview compared with the excerpt used by NBC’s Meet The Press.
Kupec stated she was ‘very disappointed by the deceptive editing/commentary’.
‘He didn’t make the case that he was upholding the rule of law,’ said Todd during his segment on Sunday. ‘He was almost admitting that, yeah, this is a political job.’
However Kupec noted that Todd’s clip specifically left out the rest of the attorney general’s response, in which Barr referred to the rule of law.
‘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.
Critics of Barr have suggested that the decision to drop charges against Flynn was politically-motivated protect or keep scrutiny away from President Trump.
Barr was long critical of the counterintelligence investigation that led to Flynn’s ouster and conviction for lying to FBI investigators.