This weekend, “Meet the Press” — now anchored by journalist Kristen Welker, who is replacing Chuck Todd — aired an interview conducted by Welker with former President Donald Trump.
As could be expected considering Trump’s history, the former president pushed an extensive series of misleading and false claims during the discussion, with fact-checks from Welker that some argued were insufficient. And it’s critical here, because it’s not simply about getting one over on Trump. His deceptive rhetoric has been directly tied to deadly violence.
“Oy. Trump says the Capitol Police testified against Nancy Pelosi, and then burned all the evidence,” Norman Ornstein said Sunday on X, the platform formerly called Twitter. “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.” Ornstein is with the American Enterprise Institute, a policy organization.
The situation hearkens back to the infamous debate between Trump and Joe Biden before the 2020 election in which the Republican obsessively interrupted, failing to meet basic standards of human interaction to the extent that would get some fired if they behaved similarly while at work. Ornstein’s rough paraphrase of what Trump said in that interview is — remarkably — very close to the actual remarks. “I understand that the police testified against — listen to me, Kristen,” Trump petulantly complained. “Listen to me. I understand that the police testified against [Pelosi] – the chief, very strongly against her. Capitol Police, they’re great people. They testified against her. And they burned all the evidence. Okay? They burned all the evidence.”
There’s no evidence of some kind of large-scale incineration of evidence collected by the House committee that investigated January 6, which is the context he’s referencing. In fact, a huge collection of evidence originating with that panel’s work is now available on a publicly accessible website! Meanwhile, Trump’s bizarre claims during his discussion for NBC also reached other topics. He alleged, for instance, that “after birth” abortions were a thing. No, Donald, infanticide is not legally protected in the Democrats’ agenda!