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WATCH: MSNBC Spooked by Peaceful Crowd of Arizona Trump Supporters



Wednesday night on MSNBC, host Rachel Maddow and NBC correspondent Gadi Schwartz provided the latest depiction of how the liberal media viewing Trump supporters like crazed zoo animals. This time, they exhibited concern and trepidation of how a couple hundred of Trumpers had gathered outside the elections department in Maricopa County, Arizona.

Despite the fact that they hadn’t charged the building, shot anyone, or started rioting, the crowd was treated with more caution than a Black Lives Matter mob that contributed to billions in riot-related damages.

 

 

Maddow tossed to Schwartz with concern, stating that he was “in the middle of quite a crowd there” with Schwartz warning it would “be kind of hard to see just because we’re not turning on our lights” to avoid being “a distraction out here and there are a lot of people that are very — or they have their emotions running extremely high.”

Explaining that the Maricopa County Elections Center was where 400,000 outstanding ballots were being counted, Schwartz slowly moved in on his subjects with a tinge of concern even though “they’re kneeling in prayer.”

Schwartz asserted they were anything but quiet as they were “chanting very loudly” about counting votes and voicing displeasure with Fox News.

But because of that, he said “poll workers that are coming off of shift…have to be escorted out by armed sheriff’s deputies down those stairs and into vans and taken away from here.”

Maddow followed up with a feeling of concern in her voice and Schwartz concurred by mentioning how Arizona “is an open carry state” (even though he didn’t see anyone armed) and some attendees were wearing “bulletproof vests” (click “expand”):

MADDOW: Gadi, I know it may be a little hard for you to hear me because you’re in the middle of that crowd, so let me know if you’re having trouble, but is what you have seen or is what people are attempting there intimidation or would you just describe it as essentially an expression, just a  demonstration that’s peaceful and that is just people are expressing themselves, but isn’t actually designed to actually affect what’s happening there at the counting center?

SCHWARTZ: So far, this is Arizona. If you take a look over here, a lot of times at these types of rallies you see a lot of guns, you see a lot of people with — with long guns, long rifles slung over their shoulders. This is an open carry state, so it’s totally legal. And we don’t see any of that. So there are no people with guns that are out on display. We have seen a couple of people with bulletproof vests, tactical vests up at the front of that crowd. But so far, it’s a boisterous crowd. They’re very aggressive. They’ve got bullhorns and they will let you know exactly how they feel. They think that this election has been stolen by — stolen from the president. But again, so far we’ve tried to just keep a low profile because we don’t want to antagonize the situation. We do want to show you what’s going on because it’s incredibly important. This, again, is the center of Maricopa County’s election processing operation. And right now, as we speak, there are people inside counting those 400 — now I think 330,000 ballots that still haven’t been returned in Maricopa County. And they are going to continue through the night. And this crowd, it looks like it’s going to continue out here. It’s growing, right now it’s about 200 people. We’ve seen it grow just a little bit. More people seem to be expressing interest from outside of Phoenix.

A few minutes later, Maddow followed up by wondering “if there is a police presence there” to protect elections workers because the building was “sort of surrounded and screamed at by these Trump supporters.”

Schwartz replied in the affirmative and had his cameraperson and team walk with him up a ramp and past multiple sheriffs to the building’s entrance where viewers could see the (entirely peaceful) crowd from the top of the steps. 

Once inside, Schwartz boasted that the poll workers and bipartisan counters gave him “hope” versus the “chaos going on outside” that “if we stop and listen, you can hear the chants from outside.”

After he told Maddow that the tabulating wasn’t being distracted by the chants outside, Maddow waxed poetic about Schwartz’s liveshot as if he had reported from a major war zone (click “expand”):

MADDOW: Gadi Schwartz, incredibly reporting. And thank you so much for doing that walk with your crew and thank you to your crew as well. I know you’re in a sometimes what’s a really uncomfortable position out there with those people being agro with you. Please stay safe and thank you for doing this work for us tonight. It’s just incredibly, incredibly invaluable. 

SCHWARTZ: Important to cover. Thanks so much. 

MADDOW: Yeah. You’re watching the first draft of history right here, just great reporting by Gadi Schwartz there. Again, to summarize what you just saw, that is Maricopa County, Arizona, that’s where Phoenix is. Tonight, we’ve already received 70,000-ish ballots out of Maricopa County which didn’t change the lead in Arizona, but changed potentially expectations in terms of who is going to end up on top in that state between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. As Gadi said, in about an hour and a half, we’re expecting another 70,000-ish ballots from Maricopa County. We see those very aggressive Trump supporters gathering outside the Maricopa County Elections Board, making a lot of noise and making it hard for poll workers to end their shifts and get to their cars. But the work proceeds. The vote proceeds.

MSNBC’s histrionics over a genuinely peaceful protest was made possible by advertisers such as Priceline and Subaru. Follow the links to the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.

To see the relevant MSNBC transcript from November 4, click “expand.”

MSNBC election coverage
November 4, 2020
10:33 p.m. Eastern

RACHEL MADDOW: We’re going to go now to Gadi Schwartz in Arizona. And specifically, you should know this, he is outside the county elections department for Maricopa County, which is downtown Phoenix. Now, we have been reporting tonight on new ballots coming in from Maricopa County that are giving us a lot of new insight into the potential match-up here between President Trump and Vice President Biden. But as you can see, Gadi is in the middle of quite a crowd there. Gadi, what’s going on? 

GADI SCHWARTZ: Yeah, and Rachel, it’s going to be kind of hard to see just because we’re not turning on our lights. We don’t want to be a distraction out here and there are a lot of people that are very — or they have their emotions running extremely high. So anytime these lights come on, you see people running towards the cameras and then they start screening and they’ve got bullhorns. So, here’s what’s going on. It’s very important that we show you what’s happening outside of the Maricopa Elections Center right now. You see that behind me, that’s where they’re counting those 400,000 ballots that are still outstanding, that could really change the course of the — the entire election in 2020. They’ve got some sheriff’s officers up that are blocking the entrance of the — the election center. We’re going to walk this way here. And one of the things that we’ve seen is, right now they’re kneeling in prayer, but one of the things we’ve seen is them chanting very loudly “count that vote, count that vote,” and then we’ve got poll workers that are coming off of shift and the poll workers have to be escorted out by armed sheriff’s deputies down those stairs and into vans and taken away from here. So this is the types — the type of scene that we’re seeing. We’re going to get a little closer here. We don’t want to get too close, a lot of people in the crowd are — are not wearing masks. We’re keeping a respectful distance. But a loud and boisterous crowd. You’ll start hearing them start up here. And they’re actually chanting “Fox News sucks, Fox News sucks.” The reason why they’re chanting that is because Fox News called Arizona for Biden yesterday and a lot of people are angry about that. We have not called Arizona. A lot of other organizations have made that decision not to call Arizona. It is much too close right now, but this is a scene outside of the Maricopa Election Center. And we’re going to keep an eye on what’s going on here, Rachel. 

MADDOW: Gadi, I know it may be a little hard for you to hear me because you’re in the middle of that crowd, so let me know if you’re having trouble, but is what you have seen or is what people are attempting there intimidation or would you just describe it as essentially an expression, just a  demonstration that’s peaceful and that is just people are expressing themselves, but isn’t actually designed to actually affect what’s happening there at the counting center?

SCHWARTZ: So far, this is Arizona. If you take a look over here, a lot of times at these types of rallies you see a lot of guns, you see a lot of people with — with long guns, long rifles slung over their shoulders. This is an open carry state, so it’s totally legal. And we don’t see any of that. So there are no people with guns that are out on display. We have seen a couple of people with bulletproof vests, tactical vests up at the front of that crowd. But so far, it’s a boisterous crowd. They’re very aggressive. They’ve got bullhorns and they will let you know exactly how they feel. They think that this election has been stolen by — stolen from the president. But again, so far we’ve tried to just keep a low profile because we don’t want to antagonize the situation. We do want to show you what’s going on because it’s incredibly important. This, again, is the center of Maricopa County’s election processing operation. And right now, as we speak, there are people inside counting those 400 — now I think 330,000 ballots that still haven’t been returned in Maricopa County. And they are going to continue through the night. And this crowd, it looks like it’s going to continue out here. It’s growing, right now it’s about 200 people. We’ve seen it grow just a little bit. More people seem to be expressing interest from outside of Phoenix. And so we’ll continue to monitor it, Rachel. 

MADDOW: Gadi, have the people who are there, you described it as about 200 people, have they been trying to get in? 

SCHWARTZ: Yes. So earlier in the evening, it started when we saw a group of people with cameras, they had cell phones, and they said they were journalists. They — I couldn’t catch what organization or what streaming service they were using, but they made their way inside, and they were livestreaming as soon as they went in. One person was wearing a bulletproof vest, a tactical vest. And they were saying they had journalists, that they had a First Amendment right to be there. I think two of them were not wearing masks, so pretty quickly the people inside of the polling center here or the people inside of the processing center asked them to wear masks, asked them for their credentials, told them that, you know, the space was limited inside but wanted to talk to them outside. And then the situation escalated. Those livestream cameras came out and people were kind of yelling at the poll workers inside. The voices raised to a point where the sheriff’s department came in. There’s a bunch of sheriff’s deputies all around. And they asked the people to leave. They went down to the state capitol. They met up with another group. And then about 20, 30 minutes later, you’ve got about 100, 200 people that are gathered here outside of the Maricopa election center. 

MADDOW: Gadi, let me also just ask you if there is a police presence there. You described some of the elections workers who are inside that building that is being sort of surrounded and screamed at by these Trump supporters, they’ve had to be escorted out by police officers or by law enforcement as they’ve come to their cars when they come to the end of their shift. Is there a visible police presence or sheriff’s deputy presence in terms of protecting that site? 

SCHWARTZ: Yeah, if you permit me just for a second, I’m going to tell my crew, hey, guys, we’re going to go back up, because I want to show you exactly what it looks like from a higher vantage point. Hold on real fast. [TO SHERIFF’S DEPUTY] Can we come by? Thanks so much. [TO MADDOW] So, this is some of the sheriff’s protection around the building. And so you’ve got sheriff’s officers that are positioned all around the building. They are blocking access and they’re also escorting people out. [TO SHERIFF’S DEPUTY] Howdy. Thank you. [TO MADDOW] And then I’m going to show you what it looks like when these poll workers come out the front door, people that are working at the elections here. [TO SHERIFF’S DEPUTY] Howdy, howdy.

SHERIFF’S DEPUTY: They all with you.

SCHWARTZ [TO SHERIFF’S DEPUTY]: Yeah, they’re all with me. Thank you so much. [TO MADDOW] Alright, so this is what it sounds like, this is what it looks like. Inside, you’ve got people that are working on counting those votes. And then they come over here, let me just give you this shot right here, this is what it looks like. And then I’m going to take you inside here real fast, if we can, cause I just want to show you what it looks like. Because we’ve got a little bit of chaos going on outside. Then inside, this is the — this is the area where it’s being processed. And I want to show you something that is just — it gives me hope, whenever we cover election, especially after you see a lot of people that are upset, we’ve got all the cameras in here, we’ve got other crews. But I want to show you this right over here. Right here, these are poll workers. One is a Democrat. One is a Republican. There are independents in there. And they’ve become friends throughout this process. They are tabulating these ballots. They know how precious their responsibility is and they come together and this is something that happens across the country. Republicans and Democrats making sure that everything is fair, everything is above board and that’s what we’re seeing. It’s a very slow process here in Maricopa County. I think a lot of people are hoping for those ballots to come a little bit faster, but it is a methodical process and so this is the calm that’s happening in this room. Meanwhile, if we stop and listen, you can hear the chants from outside, Rachel. 

MADDOW: I was just going to ask you, ambiently, from where you’re standing with your own ears, you can hear that noise outside, but it’s not so distracting that you can’t do your work there? 

SCHWARTZ: Yeah, they — they continue to work. I think they can hear it, we can definitely hear it in here. We hear the chants. We hear people angrily shouting and yet, here they are, making sure that these ballots are ready to be loaded into these tabulators, and these tabulators will spit out those ballots at 6,000 to 8,000 ballots an hour. So hopefully we’ll have some results. Just a quick update, we’ve seen about 70 to 80,000 ballots that have been released right around 7:00 local time here. We understand that right about — in about an hour and a half there’s going to be another batch that comes out. It’s probably not going to be bigger than that 70,000 ballots that we saw earlier, but we are going to see them continue to trickle out of Maricopa County and this is — this is how it’s happening. This is what it looks like here inside of this building. 

MADDOW: Gadi Schwartz, incredibly reporting. And thank you so much for doing that walk with your crew and thank you to your crew as well. I know you’re in a sometimes what’s a really uncomfortable position out there with those people being agro with you. Please stay safe and thank you for doing this work for us tonight. It’s just incredibly, incredibly invaluable. 

SCHWARTZ: Important to cover. Thanks so much. 

MADDOW: Yeah. You’re watching the first draft of history right here, just great reporting by Gadi Schwartz there. Again, to summarize what you just saw, that is Maricopa County, Arizona, that’s where Phoenix is. Tonight, we’ve already received 70,000-ish ballots out of Maricopa County which didn’t change the lead in Arizona, but changed potentially expectations in terms of who is going to end up on top in that state between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. As Gadi said, in about an hour and a half, we’re expecting another 70,000-ish ballots from Maricopa County. We see those very aggressive Trump supporters gathering outside the Maricopa County Elections Board, making a lot of noise and making it hard for poll workers to end their shifts and get to their cars. But the work proceeds. The vote proceeds.



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