News In 5 Minutes

News When You Want It

Fauci Crumbles Woodward Narrative, ABC & CBS Ignore



Even as Dr. Anthony Fauci completely dismantled the anti-Trump narrative being pushed by Bob Woodward regarding the President’s handling on the coronavirus pandemic, on Thursday, the Democratic Party shills at ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS This Morning couldn’t be bothered to mention the remarks from the usually vaunted health expert. Meanwhile, NBC’s Today show briefly acknowledged Fauci’s statement, but only for a pathetic 16 seconds.

“Bombshell tapes. President Trump admits to playing down the coronavirus threat in recordings with veteran journalist Bob Woodward,” ABC co-host and former Clinton White House hack George Stephanopoulos hyperventilated at the top of GMA. He happily declared: “Overnight, the President on defense as Joe Biden accuses him of betraying the country.”

 

 

n the report that followed minutes later, correspondent Cecilia Vega sneered: “Overnight President Trump trying to justify misleading the American public on just how deadly the coronavirus is.” A clip ran of Trump explaining: “I can’t be jumping up and down and scaring people. I want people not to panic and that’s exactly what I did.”

Rather than cite Fauci telling Fox News White House correspondent John Roberts on Wednesday that he “didn’t get any sense that [Trump] was distorting anything,” Vega instead turned to “Joe Biden on the campaign trail in Michigan calling it a betrayal.” Which was followed by a soundbite of the Democratic nominee ranting:

He knew how deadly it was. It was much more deadly than the flu. He knew and purposely played it down. Worse, he lied to the American people. He knowingly and willingly lied about the threat it posed to the country for months. It’s beyond despicable. It’s a dereliction of duty. It’s a disgrace.

Opening NBC’s Today show, co-host Hoda Kotb announced:

Growing fallout after journalist Bob Woodward releases his interviews with President Trump at the start of the pandemic. The president acknowledging the risk of the virus but downplaying it to the American people. This morning, his defense of that decision….And the new questions facing him and his administration over their handling of the crisis.

In the later report, correspondent Peter Alexander eagerly piled on the hysteria: “These are stunning revelations right from the President’s mouth….The backlash has been swift. This book leaving many of the President’s aides and allies blind-sided.”

After hyping the Woodward tapes, Alexander did quickly point out: “Dr. Anthony Fauci stressing Wednesday that the President was not the misleading then we public.” Fauci was shown telling FNC’s Roberts: “When we would get up in front of the press conferences which were very, very common after our discussions with the President, he really didn’t say anything different than a we discussed when we were with him.”

 

 

Despite that clear rejection of Woodward’s assertions, Alexander ran a clip of the Watergate journalist wailing on CBS’s 60 Minutes: “This is the tragedy. A president of the United States has a duty to warn. The public will understand that. But if they get the feeling that they’re not getting the truth, they then you’re going down the path of deceit and cover-up.”

Like ABC, Alexander made sure to also recite Biden campaign talking points: “Campaigning in Michigan Wednesday, Democratic nominee Joe Biden slammed President Trump for play downplaying the virus, calling it ‘a life and death betrayal of the American people, beyond despicable and a disgrace.’”        

Leading off the coverage on CBS This Morning, co-host and Democratic donor Gayle King breathlessly touted “the startling news on the coronavirus and the President of the United States.” She then insisted to viewers:

We now all know that President Trump intentionally downplayed the threat of the pandemic for months, potentially worsening the severity of this crisis. On March 19th, it’s on tape, the President told journalist Bob Woodward, quote, “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down because I don’t want to create panic.”     

Fellow co-host Tony Dokoupil rushed to blame Trump for COVID deaths: “Since then the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus has risen from 265 to more than 190,000. Health experts say with stronger restrictions, many of those deaths could have been prevented. It’s one of many revelations in Woodward’s new book…”

After playing the obligatory soundbite of Biden trashing the President, correspondent Paula Reid wrapped up the segment with this: “The President says he did not want to invoke fear, but throughout his campaigns and this administration, the President has repeatedly leaned into people’s fears about immigration, crime, even low-income housing.”

Why even include clips of Biden when reporters already have the Democrat’s campaign message of the day memorized?

Later, in the 8:00 a.m. ET hour, King and 60 Minutes correspondent John Dickerson decided that the Woodward tapes were as big a scandal as Watergate.

Any evidence, like Dr. Fauci’s comments, that runs counter to the narrative the leftist media wants to push will simply be censored or downplayed in a desperate attempt to damage Trump.

The hit piece on ABC was brought to viewers by State Farm, to NBC viewers by Kohl’s, and to CBS viewers by Google. You can fight back by letting these advertisers know what you think of them sponsoring such content.

Here is a full transcript of the September 10 report on ABC’s GMA:

7:03 AM ET

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And right now we get to that bombshell revelation from Bob Woodward. Tapes of President Trump admitting to deliberately downplaying the coronavirus despite knowing how deadly a threat it posed to our country. The tapes rocked the White House, drew immediate fire from Joe Biden, and Trump scrambled to control the damage last night. Cecilia Vega tracking it all from the White House. Good morning, Cecilia.

CECILIA VEGA: George, good morning to you. You said it, there are tapes. And so the President is not denying misleading the American public. He says flat out this was his strategy, by playing down the virus’s threat he says he was trying to keep people from panicking.

Overnight President Trump trying to justify misleading the American public on just how deadly the coronavirus is.

TRUMP: I can’t be jumping up and down and scaring people. I want people not to panic and that’s exactly what I did.

VEGA: But that is not what he told Bob Woodward in conversations recorded for the veteran journalist’s new book, Rage, heard in audio excerpts obtained by CNN. Just days after National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien ominously warned the President that the virus, quote, “Will be the biggest national security threat you face in your presidency,” the President sounded the alarm in a February 7th phone call with Woodward.

TRUMP: It goes through air, Bob. That’s always tougher than the touch. You know, the touch, you don’t have to touch things. Right? But the air, you just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed. And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than your – you know, even your strenuous flus. This is more deadly. This is five per – you know, this is five percent versus one percent and less than one percent so this is deadly stuff. You know? So this is deadly stuff.

VEGA: “Deadly stuff” in that call, but not long after that, the President was telling Americans the virus was no worse than the flu.

TRUMP: You may ask about the coronavirus, which is, you know, very well under control in our country.

TRUMP: This is a flu. This is like a flu. Within a couple of days it’s going to be down to close to zero. That’s a pretty good job we’ve done.

VEGA: From the White House to Twitter, the President saying, “So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common flu. Nothing is shut down, life and the economy go on. Think about that!” Ten days later, President Trump striking a very different tone, admitting in another call with Woodward that he wasn’t telling the public how bad the virus really was.

TRUMP: Just today and yesterday, some startling facts came out. It’s not just old, older people –

BOB WOODWARD: Yeah, exactly.

TRUMP: – young people. It’s plenty of young people.

WOODWARD: It’s clear just from what’s on the public record, that you went through a pivot on this to, “Oh, my god, the gravity is almost inexplicable and unexplainable”?

TRUMP: Well, I think, Bob, really, to been honest with you –  

WOODWARD: Sure, I want you to be.

TRUMP: I wanted to, I wanted to always play it down, I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.

VEGA: But the very next week at the White House –  

TRUMP: We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.

VEGA: And days after that.

TRUMP: It will go away and we’re going to have a great victory. I want to keep the country calm. I don’t want panic in the country.

VEGA: The reality today, more than 190,000 Americans dead. Joe Biden on the campaign trail in Michigan calling it a betrayal.

JOE BIDEN: He knew how deadly it was. It was much more deadly than the flu. He knew and purposely played it down. Worse, he lied to the American people. He knowingly and willingly lied about the threat it posed to the country for months. It’s beyond despicable. It’s a dereliction of duty. It’s a disgrace.

VEGA: Now the book isn’t even officially out until next week though some journalists have obtained copies. President Trump says he’s not read it. That of course is not stopping him from bashing the book already, he called it boring, a political hit job by, quote, “rapidly fading Bob Woodward.”

George, perhaps the most curious thing about all this, you know, the President did 18 on-the-record interviews with Woodward over eight months. Some of them late-night calls with no aides around.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And 17 of them on tape. Meantime, this is not the only revelation in the book, Cecilia. It also revealed new tensions between the President and military leaders.

VEGA: Big tension, George. Woodward quotes the President as using some extremely disparaging words about his top generals, the same word he used, you’ll remember in that Access Hollywood tape. He allegedly told his trade advisor the generals care more about alliances than they do about trade deals. And on the flip side, Woodward says a source told him that former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was so concerned about the country’s fate under President Trump that Mattis said there may come a time when they have to take collective action, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Still unfolding right now and as this was unfolding yesterday, thank you, Cecilia.  

Here is a full transcript of the report on NBC’s Today show:

7:03 AM ET

HODA KOTB: We are, though, going to begin with the fallout over what President Trump didn’t say publicly about the coronavirus at the start of the pandemic.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: That’s right. Journalist Bob Woodward has now revealed tapes of his multiple interviews with the President, one in early February in which the President talked about how deadly the virus was. But then later, weeks later in another interview, the President saying he was deliberately playing down the threat of the virus to avoid panic.

KOTB: NBC White House correspondent Peter Alexander has the very latest from the White House. Hey, Peter, good morning.

PETER ALEXANDER: Hey, Hoda, Savannah, good morning to both of you. These are stunning revelations right from the President’s mouth, admitting to Bob Woodward weeks before the first confirmed coronavirus death here in the U.S., that he knew the virus was airborne, easily transmissible, and that it was deadly. And that despite that he repeatedly publicly minimized the threat it posed to Americans to avoid a panic, he says. The backlash has been swift. This book leaving many of the President’s aides and allies blind-sided.

It’s President Trump on tape and on the record. In his new book, Rage, veteran journalist Bob Woodward writes that on January 28th, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien warned the President about the virus outbreak in China, saying it “will be the biggest national security threat you face in your presidency.” Ten days later, Mr. Trump said this to Woodward, in excerpts of recordings published by The Washington Post.

DONALD TRUMP: You just breathe the air, that’s how it’s passed. And so that’s a very tricky one, and that’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than your, you know, even your strenuous flus.

ALEXANDER: That’s what he said privately, but in public later that month, he was still downplaying the severity and the spread of the virus.

TRUMP: This is a flu, this is like a flu.

ALEXANDER: Throughout that period of time, into early March, the President kept holding packed campaign rallies. On March 19th, President Trump again talking to Woodward, delivered this candid assessment.

TRUMP: Now it’s turning out it’s not just old people, Bob. But just today and yesterday, some startling facts came out. It’s not just old, older people –

BOB WOODWARD: Yeah, exactly.

TRUMP: – young people. It’s plenty of young people.

WOODWARD: It’s clear just from what’s on the public record, that you went through a pivot on this to, “Oh, my god, the gravity is almost inexplicable and unexplainable”?

TRUMP: Well, I think, Bob, really, to been honest with you –  

WOODWARD: Sure, I want you to be.

TRUMP: I wanted to, I wanted to always play it down, I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.

ALEXANDER: On Wednesday, President Trump publicly acknowledged his strategy to minimize the threat.

TRUMP: I think if you said in order to reduce panic, perhaps that’s so. The fact is I’m a cheerleader for this country. I’m not going to drive this country or the world into a frenzy. We want to show confidence, we want to show strength. We want to show strength as a nation. And that’s what I’ve done.

ALEXANDER: Dr. Anthony Fauci stressing Wednesday that the President was not the misleading then we public.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: When we would get up in front of the press conferences which were very, very common after our discussions with the President, he really didn’t say anything different than a we discussed when we were with him.

ALEXANDER: While the author addressed the President’s early awareness of just how deadly the virus was.

WOODWARD [CBS, 60 MINUTES]: This is the tragedy. A president of the United States has a duty to warn. The public will understand that. But if they get the feeling that they’re not getting the truth, they then you’re going down the path of deceit and cover-up.

ALEXANDER: Campaigning in Michigan Wednesday, Democratic nominee Joe Biden slammed President Trump for play downplaying the virus, calling it “a life and death betrayal of the American people, beyond despicable and a disgrace.”

So why would the President speak to Woodward 18 times? The president’s aides say he was frustrated by his betrayal in Woodward’s first book on his presidency. That time he didn’t participate and he fumed at the time that had he spoken to Woodward it would have been a had more positive portrait. So this time he did, over the objections of some of the senior staff, hoping he could shape the narrative in his favor. But now he is attacking the book as a political hit job. Hoda and Savannah?  

KOTB: Alright, Peter Alexander for us at the White House for us. Peter, thanks.     

GUTHRIE: And a programming note, Bob Woodward will join us live, it’s his first exclusive live interview, to talk about the new book and his conversations with the President. That is coming up on Monday on Today.    

Here is a full transcript of the report on CBS This Morning:

7:04 AM ET

GAYLE KING: But first, we’ll begin with this, the startling news on the coronavirus and the President of the United States. We now all know that President Trump intentionally downplayed the threat of the pandemic for months, potentially worsening the severity of this crisis. On March 19th, it’s on tape, the President told journalist Bob Woodward, quote, “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down because I don’t want to create panic.” For months after that, he compared the virus to a flu.

TONY DOKOUPIL: While privately noting that it is more deadly than even the more strenuous flus. Since then the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus has risen from 265 to more than 190,000. Health experts say with stronger restrictions, many of those deaths could have been prevented. It’s one of many revelations in Woodward’s new book Rage, published by Simon & Schuster, a division of Viacom CBS. Paula Reid is at the White House for us. She has been following this. Paula, good morning to you. How is the President responding?

PAULA REID: Good morning. Tony, President Trump is addressing this controversy head on. Yesterday he took questions from reporters where he defended his actions, but now he’s also disparaging Bob Woodward. Even though over the course of seven months, he sat down for 18 on-the-record interviews with the legendary journalist. Woodward said he approached this assignment the same way he approached his work in Watergate. He wanted to know what the President knew and when he knew it. On February 7th, Bob Woodward spoke to the President who had just talked with close Xi Jinping the day before. In audio recordings obtained by The Washington Post, Mr. Trump admitted to Woodward the severity of the virus.

TRUMP: It goes through air, Bob. That’s always tougher than the touch. You know, the touch, you don’t have to touch things. The air, you just breathe the air. That’s how it’s passed. It’s also more deadly than your — even your strenuous flus. This is more deadly. This is five percent versus one percent and less than one percent, you know. So this is deadly stuff.

DONALD TRUMP: Our country is stronger today!

REID: Even after acknowledging the virus was airborne, the President held at least seven indoor rallies. Despite knowing the flu was not more deadly, Mr. Trump continued to say otherwise.

DONALD TRUMP: We’re finding very little problem. Very little problem. Now you treat this like a flu.

REID: By downplaying the threat, Americans lost time to prepare.

TRUMP: We’re prepared, and we’re doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.

REID: Then in March, Mr. Trump told Woodward the virus was a threat to younger Americans.

REID: Now it’s turning out it’s not just old people, Bob. But today and yesterday, some startling facts came out. It’s not just older –

BOB WOODWARD: Yeah. Exactly.

TRUMP: People. Plenty of young people.

REID: But then in the following weeks, the President was urging states and schools to reopen saying this:

TRUMP: We’d like to see the schools open early next season and on time. It’s incredible how the — very unique how the children aren’t affected.

REID: In a shocking admission, on the same day the death toll in the United States reached 265, the President volunteered to Woodward that he was intentionally misleading the country.

TRUMP: I think, Bob, really, to be honest with you —

WOODWARD: Sure, I want you to be.

TRUMP: I wanted to — I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down.

WOODWARD: Yes —

TRUMP: I don’t want to create a panic.

REID: One study from May estimates that shutdown delays in the early days of the pandemic could have cost up to 54,000 lives.

GOV. PHIL MURPHY (D-NJ): We would have had a stay-at-home mandate put in place. All of which we did and did it about as early as American state. But we would have done it earlier and undoubtedly would have saved lives.

REID: But on Wednesday, the President doubled down his decision to lie about the severity of the virus.

TRUMP: The fact is I’m a cheerleader for this country. I love our country. And I don’t want people to be frightened. I don’t want to create panic, as you say.

REID: Mr. Trump’s Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, blasted the President.

JOE BIDEN: He knew how dangerous it was. Now while this deadly disease ripped through our nation, he failed to do his job on purpose. It was a life-and-death betrayal of the American people.

REID: The President says he did not want to invoke fear, but throughout his campaigns and this administration, the President has repeatedly leaned into people’s fears about immigration, crime, even low-income housing. Now Woodward, who is still associated with the Washington Post, is also facing some criticism and questions about whether he should have published this evidence that the President was trying to downplay a deadly pandemic sooner. Woodward responded to questions about that yesterday saying that he wanted time to be able to vet the President’s statements more thoroughly before publishing them. Anthony?        

ANTHONY MASON: Paula, thank you.



Source link