Posts tagged with "MSNBC"

Schumer urges Pence to invoke 25th Amendment to oust Trump from office

January 8, 2021

After Trump supporters stormed Capitol Hill on January 6 in an insurrection that was openly incited by the president in hopes of overturning the November 3 election results, federal legislators began calling for his immediate removal, MSN reports.

“This president must not hold office one day longer,” tweeted presumptive Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York), adding, “The quickest and most effective way—it can be done today—to remove this president from office would be for the Vice President to immediately invoke the 25th amendment. If the Vice President and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress must reconvene to impeach President Trump.”

Indeed, the events Wednesday “stunned the nation and the world,” MSN said, noting, “People watched in disbelief as a swarm of Trump supporters overran police, breached the Capitol building. and ransacked it.” Four people died during the assault, which followed a speech by Trump at a DC-based rally.

During the rally, Trump repeated his false claims that the presidential election—which he lost to Joe Biden by 7 million votes—was “stolen” from him. He spoke to the crowd, encouraging them to march to the building and saying, “You’ll never take back our country with weakness; you have to show strength and you have to be strong.”

But can he be removed from office immediately? Under a provision of the 25th Amendment, the vice president can, with the support of the majority of the president’s cabinet, invoke the the measure and declare Trump unfit for office, which could lead to his early removal.

Under such a scenario, NBC News reports, the vice president would immediately take over as acting president.

Earlier Thursday, Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois), called for Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office, becoming the first Republican to do so.

In an interview with MSNBC, Kinzinger, slammed Trump as “unmoored, not just from his duty, or even his oath, but from reality itself” and said Pence, and the rest of Trump’s cabinet, needed to invoke the measure “to end this nightmare.”

“The president is unfit and the president is unwell. And the president must now relinquish control of the executive branch voluntarily or involuntary,” he said.

Meanwhile, Democratic Representatives David Cicilline, of Rhode Island, Ted Lieu, of California and Jamie Raskin, of Maryland, circulated articles of impeachment against Trump on Thursday.

The legislation accuses Trump of “willfully inciting violence against the government of the United States” and having “gravely endangered the security of the United States,” which they added, “demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office.”

Research contact: @MSN

Ex-RNC Chair Michael Steele rips Trump voters: ‘You’re getting punked’

August 25, 2020

Michael Steele, former chair of the Republican National Committee, had some blunt words on August 23 for GOP stalwarts who voted for Donald Trump during the last presidential election and continue to support him now; as the convention takes place both virtually and in-person in Charlotte, North Carolina this week, The Huffington Post reports.

Speaking on MSNBC a day before the start of the Republican National Convention, Steele warned:

“All y’all want to play this little game that Donald Trump is like you; you’re stupid. You’re being played. You’re getting punked. But what’s so bad about it is you’re complicit in your own punking.

Steele also laughed at the idea that Trump intended to speak on each night of the event—rather than just on the final night, as is traditional.

“Can we stop pretending that this is going to be a Republican National Convention?” he asked. “This is Donald Trump’s reality TV moment.”

Research contact: @HuffPost

A 13-year-old boy delivers his speech with a stutter—and elevates DNC to an emotional high

August 24, 2020

Twenty seconds into his speech on August 20, Brayden Harrington struggled to say his next word, as he undoubtedly knew he would. There was a long pause before the 13-year-old was able to triumphantly say that word: “Stutter.”

It was one of the most moving moments of the night, Vogue reported—and perhaps of the entire Democratic National Convention: a young boy speaking to a national audience about his disability and the 77-year-old man who, drawing on his own experience, was trying to help him overcome it.

Introduced by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the evening’s celebrity emcee, Harrington, dressed in a dusky orange tee-shirt and reading his speech on a white sheet of paper he held with both hands, opened by saying, “My name is Brayden Harrington, and I am 13 years old. And without Joe Biden, I wouldn’t be talking to you today.”

He continued, “About a few months ago, I met him in New Hampshire. He told me that we were members of the same club: We”—and then came the long pause before he completed the sentence—“stutter. It was really amazing to hear that someone like me became [the] vice president. He told me about a book of poems by Yeats he would read out loud to practice. He showed me how he marks his addresses to make them easier to say out loud. So I did the same thing today.

“My family often says, ‘When the world feels better,’ before talking about something normal, like going to the movies. We all want the world to feel better. We need the world to feel better. I’m just a regular kid, and in a short amount of time, Joe Biden made me more confident about something that’s bothered me my whole life. Joe Biden cared.

“Imagine what he could do for all of us. Kids like me are counting on you to elect someone we can all look up to, someone who cares, someone who will make our country and the world feel better. We’re counting on you to elect Joe Biden.”

Harrington and Biden had met in February at a campaign event in New Hampshire. After they first spoke on the rope line, the former vice president invited Harrington backstage to continue their conversation and told him about how he had worked to overcome his own stutter.

Biden’s own stutter emerged when he was a child, he told The Atlantic earlier this year. At times, he was tormented for it. He recalled one nun at school calling him “Mr. Buh-Buh-Buh-Biden” and demanding that he repeat a passage from a book, and high-school classmates nicknaming him “Dash”—as in Morse code staccato.

According to the Vogue report, Harrington’s was a stunning opening to a night that would later see Joe Biden accept his party’s nomination for the presidency, and based on the reaction on social media, there were few dry eyes on viewers at home. (According to The Washington Post, a video of Harrington’s address that was shared on Twitter by the Democratic National Convention had been viewed more than 3 million times by Friday morning.)

“I want to say this to Brayden Harrington (the precious young man with a stutter): Young, Sir: You humble me. I am in TOTAL AWE of your courage,” tweeted Pam Keith, the former Navy JAG running for Congress from Florida’s 18th District. “You have a titanic spirit and unshakeable will. You made the worst bully look pathetic, ridiculous, and so very small. I salute you.”

On MSNBC, Claire McCaskill, the former U.S. senator from Missouri, contrasted Biden’s empathetic outreach to this young boy—and then giving him a high-profile speaking slot at the party’s national convention—with Donald Trump’s widely reported mocking of a disabled New York Times reporter during the 2016 campaign. She said his speech might have been, “the most important moment of the night.” (That same point was also made in a tweet by Matthew Miller, a former spokesman for the State Department: “As I watched Brayden Harrington talk about Biden helping him with his stutter, could not stop thinking of the clip of Trump mocking a disabled reporter. What a contrast.”)

And CNN’s Chris Cillizza said, “Holy cow. The Brayden Harrington speech. The courage. My god. I am going to remember that one for a long time.”

But perhaps the most moving tribute came from a woman who herself has struggled to recapture the power of speech. “Speaking is hard for me too, Brayden,” tweeted Gabby Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman who was almost killed during a mass shooting in 2011 and is still recovering from those near-fatal injuries. “But as you know, practice and purpose help. Thank you for your courage and for the great speech!”

Research contact: @voguemagazine

#FireChrisHayes trends after MSNBC host covers Biden sexual assault allegations

April 30, 2020

The host of MSNBC’s show “All-In,” Chris Hayes, sparked backlash from the left when he became the first prime time host on the network to cover a former aide’s sexual assault allegations against presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. As a result, the hashtag #FireChrisHayes began trending on Twitter, The Hill reported on April 30.

Hayes welcomed New York Magazine Writer-at-Large Rebecca Traister to his program Wednesday night, April 29, after she penned an essay, entitled “The Biden Trap,” which was critical of the former vice president for not addressing Tara Reade’s allegations in any interviews—and, thereby, leaving Democratic women supporting his candidacy to answer questions about the allegations for him.

“What this is creating is a perfect storm … where women are being asked … to answer for these charges,” Traister told Hayes. “In part because of the vacuum created by Joe Biden who is not yet really directly answering these questions, and certainly, not doing what I wish he would, which is to say: ‘Please direct your questions about these allegations to me, and not the women that are out there offering their support to my candidacy.”

Biden has conducted dozens of national and local interviews in recent weeks, but has yet to be asked about the allegations, The Hill said. His campaign denied the allegations in a statement on March 28.

However, Reade said last month that Biden sexually assaulted her in a secluded part of Capitol Hill when he was a senator in 1993. She was backed up by a former neighbor, her mother, and her brother. She was one of several women who came forward last year to say that Biden’s public touching had made her uncomfortable. He later said he would adjust his behavior.

“The man in question, the nominee, the former vice president, is going to have to address [the allegations],” Hayes argued during the segment. “And not have [former Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate] Stacey Abrams or anyone else, or [Senator] Kirsten Gillibrand [D-New York] do that.”

Abrams is reportedly on a list of candidates Biden is considering to be his running mate. She told CNN’s Don Lemon on Tuesday night that she believed Biden while citing a New York Times investigation written earlier this month, before more corroboration of Reade’s allegations was reported.

“The New York Times did a deep investigation and they found that the accusation was not credible. I believe Joe Biden,” Abrams said.

The Times later pushed back on the assertion that it had cleared Biden of any wrongdoing, The Hill reports. “Our investigation made no conclusion either way,” a Times spokesperson said in a Wednesday statement.

Several journalists praised Hayes for covering the story while knowing the potential for backlash from some on the left.

Reade has said that she confronted Biden’s aides, but the aides Reade listed have gone on the record to say that they were never confronted about the allegation.

Reade also says she filed a complaint with the human resources office in the Senate about the allegations of inappropriate touching. Media outlets, however, have not been able to track down the complaint, according to The Hill.

Reade did not file a police report at the time. She filed one with the Washington, D.C., police last month.

Research contact: @thehill

Vegas mayor wants to reopen city, using citizenry as ‘control group.’ Nevada governor shuts her down.

April 24, 2020

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman—clearly an independent thinker, as well as an Independent politician—offered up the gamblers, sightseers, business travelers, workers, and residents of her city as a “control group” on April 22, in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

Insistent on reopening the 28th most-populated city in the United States for commerce, the mayor said that she would take the risk that the coronavirus curve would spiral upward. I would “love everything open,” Goodman said, “ because I think we’ve had viruses for years that have been here.”

After Goodman noted that the city had only seen 150 deaths from coronavirus, Cooper asked her if the relatively low death toll could be because of the state’s stay-at-home order. “How do you know until you have a control group? We offer to be a control group,” she responded.

Indeed, Newsweek reports, Goodman made a series of cable news appearances this week, during which she called for the city to “get our people back to work.” In an interview with MSNBC on Tuesday, she said that Las Vegas is “ready to get back in business.”

However, there’s at least one powerful person who doesn’t agree with her.

Nevada’s Democratic Governor Steve Sisolak on Wednesday condemned Goodman’s push to reopen her city and asserted that the state is “clearly not ready to open,” according to Newsweek.

Sisolak disagreed with Goodman later on Wednesday during his own appearance on CNN. “We are clearly not ready to open,” the governor said. “We have, sadly, since you did that interview, we now have 187 deaths in the state of Nevada, but over 4,100 positive cases.”

He also vowed never to allow Goodman’s offer to have Las Vegas be a control group by relaxing Covid-19 mitigation restrictions in the city. “I will not allow the citizens of Nevada, our Nevadans to be used as a control group, placebo, whatever she wants to call that,” he said. “I will not allow that.”

Sisolak noted that Las Vegas’ largest trade union, the Culinary Workers Union, had lost 11 members to the novel virus, before saying he’ll do everything in his power to ensure they don’t lose 11 more.

The Culinary Workers Union also rebuked Goodman in a statement released Wednesday, calling her remarks “outrageous.” The group said they support Sisolak’s “plan to protect Nevadans” and “encourage listening to health experts and scientists.”

When asked by Anderson Cooper about his approach to reopening, Sisolak said the state needs a “phased-in approach.”

Research contact: @Newsweek

Trump, Cuomo clash on reopening country

April 16, 2020

President Donald Trump and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo—the latter of whom has risen to greater prominence nationwide and higher performance ratings during the COVID-19 crisis—butted heads this week over who has the power to reopen the country, which has largely shut down in response to the pandemic.

Two coalitions on both coasts announced by nine Democratic governors—and including including Cuomo and California Governor Gavin Newsom— have eclipsed the president’s authority-saying they will form plans on when and how to start reopening their states, with little mention of the president, The Epoch Times reports.

And they have the authority to do it, for two reasons:

  • First, according to the Centers for Disease Control, states “have police power functions to protect the health, safety, and welfare of persons within their borders.”
  • Second, the president, himself, delegated authority for the coronavirus mitigation effort to the governors early on, instead of risking responsibility for the (possibly unsuccessful) effort at the federal level.

However, Trump told reporters late on April 13 that he, alone, had the authority to decide when to reopen the country; and then reversed himself at another point during the briefing, saying that the governors could decide when to reopen their states.

“We will soon finalize new and very important guidelines to give governors the information they need to start safely opening their states,” he said, referencing a new committee he formed to explore when and how to reopen.

Asked what would happen if some states refuse to reopen, Trump suggested those governors would be voted out of office.

“They’re going to open. They’re going to all open. They want to open. They have to open. They have to get open. Every one of those states, people want to go,” the president said. “We have local government that hopefully will do a good job and, if they don’t do a good job, I’d step in so fast.”

The situation is different in some states that have seen few cases of the CCP virus, compared with some of the hardest-hit states such as New York, Louisiana, and Michigan, Trump said.

Vice President Mike Pence backed the president, The Epoch Times reported, remarking, “Throughout the long history of this country, the authority of the president of the United States during national emergencies is unquestionably plenary,” or absolute.

“You can look back through times of war and other national emergencies,” he said.

“It is possible for federal, state, local, and tribal health authorities to have and use all at the same time, separate but coexisting legal quarantine power in certain events. In the event of a conflict, federal law is supreme,” the agency stated.

In direct opposition, Cuomo, who has veered between praising and criticizing Trump, said early on April 14 that Trump shouldn’t try to force states to reopen.

Noting that Trump is not a “king,” Cuomo told MSNBC’s Morning Joe hosts, “The only way this situation gets worse is if the president creates a constitutional crisis.”

“If he says to me, ‘I declare it open,’ and that is a public health risk or it’s reckless with the welfare of the people of my state, I will oppose it.”

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer also pushed back on Trump’s assertions while California Governor Gavin Newsom, who has repeatedly referred to that state as a “nation-state,” said the West Coast compact will focus on reopening based on “health—not politics.”

Trump responded to Cuomo on Twitter, claiming the New York governor has been calling him every day “begging for everything,” including items that should have been the state’s responsibility, such as new hospitals and ventilators.

“I got it all done for him, and everyone else, and now he seems to want Independence! That won’t happen!” Trump wrote.

Research contact: @EpochTimes

Parnas: Trump gave the orders on Ukraine; Giuliani, Pence, and Barr were ‘on the team’

January 17, 2020

The White House reeled as more damning evidence on the Ukraine plot emerged this week, even as the House voted to release its two articles of impeachment to the Senate.

Lev Parnas—the indicted associate of the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who has been implicated in an alleged attempt to coerce Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky—told Rachel Maddow of MSNBC in an exclusive and explosive interview aired on January 15, “… Trump knew exactly what was going on.”

“He was aware of all my movements. I wouldn’t do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the president. I have no intent, I have no reason to speak to any of these officials,” Parnas revealed.

“I mean, they have no reason to speak to me. Why would President Zelenskiy’s inner circle or Minister Avakov or all these people or President Poroshenko meet with me? Who am I? They were told to meet with me. And that’s the secret that they’re trying to keep. I was on the ground doing their work,” Parnas said.

Zelenskiy was elected president in April, defeating incumbent Petro Poroshenko. Arsen Avakov is Ukraine’s interior minister, NBC News reported.

On Tuesday, the network said, House Democrats released records as part of the evidence that attorneys for Parnas turned over to House impeachment investigators, which show that Giuliani requested a private meeting with Zelenskiy, then the president-elect, with Trump’s “knowledge and consent.”

The evidence appears to bolster Democrats’ argument that Giuliani was doing Trump’s bidding by trying to dig up dirt on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee.

In response to Parnas’ interview, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Thursday morning, “These allegations are being made by a man who is currently out on bail for federal crimes and is desperate to reduce his exposure to prison.”

“The facts haven’t changed — the president did nothing wrong and this impeachment, which was manufactured and carried out by the Democrats has been a sham from the start,” Grisham said.

In a statement to “The Rachel Maddow Show” while the program was airing, Giuliani denied that he told Ukrainian officials that Parnas spoke on behalf of Trump.

“Never,” Giuliani responded when asked whether Parnas was speaking for Trump.

Asked whether he believed Parnas was lying, Giuliani said, “All I can say is the truth.” Giuliani said of Parnas, “He’s a very sad situation.”

The president, himself, continued to stick to the same script, tweeting, “Cryin’ Chuck Schumer just said, “The American people want a fair trial in the Senate.” True, but why didn’t Nervous Nancy and Corrupt politician Adam “Shifty” Schiff give us a fair trial in the House. It was the most lopsided & unfair basement hearing in the history of Congress!”

The impeachment articles against Trump center on an alleged campaign by Trump to pressure Zelenskiy to announce investigations into Biden and his son Hunter, who served on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma in 2014 until he left last year.

“Yeah, it was all about Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and also Rudy had a personal thing with the Manafort stuff. The black ledger,” Parnas told Maddow.

Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, is serving a 7½-year prison sentence for tax evasion and violating federal lobbying laws after having been charged

Parnas also told the MSNBC anchor that Vice President Mike Pence’s planned trip to attend Zelenskiy’s inauguration in May was canceled because the Ukrainians did not agree to the demand for an investigation of the Bidens. “Oh, I know 100% . It was 100%,” he said.

Asked whether Pence was aware of a “quid pro quo” around the visit, Parnas replied by quoting Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, who said during the House impeachment inquiry: “Everybody was in the loop.”

Maddow said her show asked for comment from Pence and had not received a response.

Parnas said Attorney General William Barr was also likely aware of what was going on. Parnas said that he never spoke with Barr but that “I was involved with lots of conversations” that Giuliani and another person had with Barr in front of him.

“Mr. Barr had to have known everything. I mean, it’s impossible,” Parnas told Maddow. “Attorney General Barr was basically on the team.”

Asked about Trump’s denial that he knows him, Parnas said, “He lied.”

Parnas said he wants to testify in the Senate impeachment trial. “I want to get the truth out,” he said, “because I feel it’s important for our country.”

The impeachment trial has been scheduled to start on January 21.

Research contact: @NBCNews

FEC chair states unconditionally that accepting ‘oppo research’ from a foreign national is illegal

October 7, 2019

We told him so: Federal Election Commission (FEC) Chair Ellen Weintraub on October 4 stated unconditionally that accepting any kind of “opposition research” from a foreign national or government is illegal under U.S. elections law.

In an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Weintraub again refuted President Donald Trump’s position that there is nothing wrong with listening to foreign intelligence about his 2020 political opponents.

As far back as June 16, in an exclusive interview with ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos, the president reacted to a question about whether he would accept information from foreigners—such as China or Russia—for his reelection campaign, or choose to hand it over to the FBI, by saying, “I think maybe you do both.”

He added at the time, “I think you might want to listen; there isn’t anything wrong with listening. If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said] ‘we have information on your opponent.’—oh, I think I’d want to hear it.”

And this week, he called on China publicly to provide that information.

“The law is pretty clear,” Weintraub said to co-host Willie Geist. “It is absolutely illegal for anyone to solicit, accept or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with any election in the United States.”

“I don’t want to comment on the specifics,” Weinstein added of Trump’s call for Biden to be investigated by foreign governments, including Ukraine, the UK, and China. “I’m just here to explain the law. That’s part of my job, and I think this is a moment in America where it’s really important that the American people understand what the law is.”

According to a report by The Hill, the FEC chief has weighed in on social media in the past on statements made by Trump, including earlier this year when Trump talked to ABC.

“Is this thing on?” Weintraub tweeted at the time.

Research contact: @thehill

Ex-RNC chairman: ‘Trump is wetting his pants’

October 1, 2019

Former Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman  (2009-2011) Michael Steele on Monday mocked the GOP’s response to a whistleblower complaint that led to the launch of a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, The Hill reported.

“On this particular day, the GOP decided on a new strategy to address the #WhistleblowerComplaint,” Steele tweeted, at 10:16 a.m. (ET), posting a gif of a woman trying to sweep away ocean waves.

Steele, who is now an analyst with MSNBC, as well as a columnist for the The Root, also commented on an interview conducted by Fox News with White House Advisor Stephen Miller—who said on air: “The president of the United States is the whistleblower, and this individual is a saboteur trying to undermine a democratically elected government.”

To that, Steele tweeted, “What a load of crap. Yeah, Trump has been the whistleblower in his own Admin. Just stupid.”

Indeed, on Sunday morning, talking to host Ayman Mohyeldin on MSNBC, Steele said that President Trump’s constant tweets about the whistleblower showed that the leader of the free world was “wetting his pants a little bit. This has him nervous. There’s real concern here.

After the president tweeted at 6:53 p.m. (ET) on Sunday that he deserved to meet his accuser and claimed that “they”—meaning the media and the U.S. House of Representatives’ leadership—“represented a perfect conversation with a foreign leader in a totally inaccurate and fraudulent way,” Steele noted that “flashing tweets” from President Trump were “his way of trying to get control of something he’s losing his grip on.”

The whistleblower tweets from Trump also raised concern in other quarters—from the “Deep Throat” of this impeachment case. Indeed, Newsweek reported that Andrew Bakaj, the whistleblower’s lawyer, said, “The events of the past week have heightened our concerns that our client’s identity will be disclosed publicly and that, as a result, our client will be put in harm’s way.

However, the Trump tirade continued. At 8:30 a.m. (ET), the president tweeted: #FakeWhistleblower.

Research contact: @thehill

Moscow Mitch denies he is aiding Kremlin

August 1, 2019

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) is angered by his new nickname, Moscow Mitch. On July 29, he strode to the Senate floor to defend his decision to block an election security bill and lashed out at critics who suggested he was helping Russia—complaining that they had engaged in “modern-day McCarthyism” to “smear” his record.

“The[y] … [don’t] let a little thing like reality get in their way,” said McConnell in a nearly 30-minute speech , according to a report by The Washington Post.

The Republican ringleader—who has blocked every bill passed by the Democratic House during this session—saw fit to say, “They [perceived] the perfect opportunity to distort and tell lies and fuel the flames of partisan hatred, and so they did.”

McConnell was responding primarily to an opinion column by The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, published July 26 under the headline, “Mitch McConnell is a Russian asset.”

The majority leader used what is usually a speech on the Senate’s upcoming workweek to issue an angry denunciation of the column and some liberal commentators on MSNBC—accusing Senate Democrats of helping fan the liberal flames, the news outlet reported.

Last week, former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified to Congress about Russian interference in the 2016 election and about whether President Trump had tried to obstruct the inquiry. Casting Russian sabotage as a serious threat to the United States, Mueller warned that interference efforts were happening “as we sit” in the hearing rooms.

Hours after Mueller’s testimony, Democrats tried to get the Senate to vote on bipartisan election security legislation. Republicans objected. The next day, Democrats tried to get a vote on a bill that would have authorized hundreds of millions of dollars to update voting equipment. McConnell objected, The Washington Post noted.

Fred Hiatt, The Post’s editorial page editor, defended Milbank’s column and criticized the GOP leader for invoking McCarthyism.  “Dana Milbank’s column was a legitimate exercise in commentary, making the argument that Senator McConnell’s blocking of elections-security legislation will harm the United States and work to Russia’s advantage. Of course it’s equally legitimate for Mr. McConnell to express a contrary view, but the Milbank argument has nothing to do with McCarthyism,” Hiatt said in a statement.

Research contact: @washingtonpost