‘I Appreciate That Speech’: Trump 2020 Official and Katy Tur Get Heated Over Campaign Events During Pandemic


MSNBC’s Katy Tur and Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh clashed on Wednesday over the Trump team’s campaign events.

Tur started by bringing up the president’s Rose Garden event Wednesday and asked, “Are we going to see more of there, where a Rose Garden event is disguised as a campaign event since the president is not able to hold those big rallies?”

Murtaugh dismissed the “outage” over the president’s speech and said Democrats and the media “don’t want him to communicate with Americans” or hold press conferences.

He said that Trump was hitting back at his Democratic opponent. Tur responded, “He spoke for over 60 minutes, only took a handful of questions at the end. It was a speech that was supposed to be about Hong Kong. He touched on Hong Kong for a moment, and then went off and started talking about a variety of different subjects, a lot of it just was not correct. Are you saying that that wasn’t a campaign event?”

“I’m saying that the president is one who is going to fight back,” Murtaugh said.

He called Trump “the most accessible president that any reporter has ever had access to” and told Tur that “if you talk to your reporters who cover Joe Biden, I bet you they would privately tell you they’re frustrated with being completely unable to ask Joe Biden a single question.”

Chuck Todd jumped in to ask if Team Trump is ‘rethinking your rally strategy” give the concerns about coronavirus all over the country, noting the reports about GOP plans to make the Jacksonville RNC convention an outdoor event.

Murtaugh said there’s plenty of different options for outdoor venues to hold rallies. “The president is very concerned about the safety of all Americans, and if we’re inviting people to come to a rally, naturally, we would be concerned about their safety as well. So those are things we always take into account.”

With respect to the recently cancelled New Hampshire rally, Murtaugh said it was postponed because of the approaching tropical storm.

Tur picked up on what Murtaugh said about safety and reviewed what happened in Tulsa saying, “The governor of Oklahoma has now contracted covid-19, he was not a wearing a mask. Herman Cain was at the Tulsa rally not wearing a mask, he’s contracted covid-19. You’re not going to necessarily require masks at your potentially outdoor events in Jacksonville. I’m confused in how you are protecting those who are coming to your events, but then acting against all of the public health guidelines, including from this administration, on how to do that.”

Murtaugh fired back that’s a “completely inaccurate assertion,” saying it’s ridiculous to link the governor testing positive to the Tulsa rally that took place 25 days ago.

“And secondly,” he continued, “we did take extraordinary steps to protect the people who came to the rally in Tulsa.”

He brought up the temperature checks and the masks and hand sanitizer they handed out, before adding there was no such organized effort with respect to the recent protests.

“And I do not recall MSNBC or CNN or anybody else being concerned about the safety of people who attended those gatherings, but suddenly, when it’s involving a President Trump rally, then these safety measures are paramount. But when it’s large gathering with a political message that MSNBC would agree with, suddenly safety measures are really on the back burner,” Murtaugh said.

Tur wrapped up the segment with this:

“We’ll note the president is the only having indoor rallies or events of that scale in the entire country. Again, the protests were outdoors. All the doctors and health experts say that’s a safer place to hold them. I attended a number of those rallies. Everybody was wearing a mask, hand sanitizer. We just saw the images of those rallies, people were not wearing masks inside the president’s rally, there was not social distancing being practiced. We saw the signs being removed from seats. Handed out hand sanitizer and gave out masks. They weren’t wearing them. And also Dr. Fauci today has said that the incubation period for this disease can be longer than just two weeks.”

Murtaugh remarked, “I appreciate that speech, Katy, thank you.”

There was a bit of an awkward pause before Todd moved on, adding at one point, “And just a reminder, for what it’s worth, there is no editorial view here on any of these newscasts on MSNBC in the daytime.”

You can watch above, via MSNBC.

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: josh@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac