Media, Dems use selectively edited clip to make Trump sound like tyrant

Media, Dems use selectively edited clip to make Trump sound like tyrant
Donald Trump, White House lawn (Image: YouTube screen grab)

It is now clear that the Democrats and their water carriers in the media will stop at nothing in their three-year-long crusade to impeach Donald Trump and, they hope, weaken his chances of reelection in the process.

Over the weekend, the House Judiciary Committee released what is in effect a set of impeachment guidelines that affirmed, among other things, that a president may be impeached for “illegitimate motives” even if his actions are “legally permissible.” Welcome to the world of thought crimes.

But making up the rules as they go along isn’t enough for the Left if their job includes swaying as many voters as they can. They also need to put words in the president’s mouth, as Adam Schiff did during his “dramatic reading” of the transcript of the call between Trump and the president of Ukraine.

Sometimes they need to take words out. Such was the case during the hearings last week featuring “experts” in constitutional law. The Democrats played a brief video clip of Trump saying, “Article II allows me to do whatever I want.” Asked to respond to the clip, Noah Feldman of Harvard Law School said, “As someone who cares about the Constitution, [Trump’s words] struck a kind of horror in me.”

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But, as Breitbart’s Joel Pollak notes, Trump’s words, which were uttered in June during an interview with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos, have been cherry-picked, divorced from their original context. Here is the complete video, followed by a transcript of the relevant portion:

Look, Article II, I would be allowed to fire Robert Mueller. Assuming I did all of the things, I said I want to fire him. Number one, I didn’t. He wasn’t fired. Number one, very importantly but more importantly, Article II allows me to do whatever I want. Article II would allow me to fire him. I wasn’t going to fire him. You know why — because I watched Richard Nixon firing everybody and that didn’t work out too well. [Emphasis added]

The president was clearly citing Article II in reference to his powers with respect to Mueller in his capacity as special counsel, but the Democrats distorted his words to make it seem as though he was claiming absolute power.

And now the media are running the same truncated video. Pollak again:

Elie Honig, a CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, repeated the Democrats’ false and misleading edit — first on Thursday, then again on Friday — in special segments explaining the case against President Trump.

Chris Matthews of MSNBC played a similar, deceptively-edited clip of the speech on Hardball on Wednesday, following the hearing. Likewise, Joe Scarborough of MSNBC misquoted Trump on Thursday morning’s edition of Morning Joe: “The President of the United States says, ‘Article II gives me the power to do whatever I want to do.’ That’s actually — that’s what [Russian President Vladimir] Putin would say.”

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles is a freelance writer and regular contributor to "Liberty Unyielding."