Chuck Todd Clashes With WH Official Over Trump Reaction to Russia Briefing: He’s Not Concerned About Interference?
Chuck Todd got heated on Meet the Press today with Pence chief of staff Marc Short over a recent briefing about Russian interference wherein it’s been reported President Donald Trump got particularly angry.
Todd directly asked Short if the president believes Russia is trying to interfere in 2020. Short said Russia and other nations have tried to interfere, but said that’s different from “fake news” that Russia’s trying to help Trump.
Todd pressed Short on that briefing, and Short interested there was no assertion that “Russia is trying to benefit Donald Trump.”
“Forget Donald Trump. Why isn’t the president concerned about Russian interference?” Todd asked.
Short didn’t answer and instead said the Trump administration has taken actions to improve election security.
Todd asked if officials are “even allowed to bring this up to the president” before pressing Short on why DNI Joseph Maguire was pushed out.
“March 12th was his end date,” Short said.
“You could have nominated him permanently for the job,” Todd said. Short dismissed the idea Maguire was the top choice to stay.
“Why can’t the president say he wants to deter Russia from interfering in the election?” Todd asked. “His first reaction was it’s made up, it’s Democrat disinformation.”
Short again pointed to what the administration has done but Todd pressed on the president’s own comments, evern saying, “The president continues to use a Russian talking point when it comes to the 2016 interference. He brings up things like Crowdstrike in that phone call. So on one hand, the administration sanctions Russia. The president himself using the bully pulpit lets Russia off the hook.”
Short said Trump is frustrated by “mid-level people’ briefing members of Congress, particularly Democrats like Adam Schiff because then the information gets “leaked out and distorted.”
“So what you’re saying is because he believes it could get leaked, he’s not going to essentially inform the legislative branch of what’s happening?” Todd asked.
Short said no and reiterated that Trump is frustrated with things Schiff has publicly said.
“I go back to the president’s words. What does that do to enhance security? Doesn’t it undermine the very thing you’re telling me you’re doing?” Todd asked.
“The president’s frustration remains more with Adam Schiff and those in the House Intelligence Committee who will not take the information honestly and will not represent it honestly,” Short said.
You can watch above, via NBC.
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