A spokesperson for the Justice Department is accusing NBC News of deceptively editing an interview with Attorney General William Barr.
In a tweet on Sunday afternoon, Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec blasted NBC News’ Chuck Todd for a segment he aired on the government’s decision to drop its prosecution of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
“Very disappointed by the deceptive editing/commentary by [Chuck Todd] on [Meet The Press] on AG Barr’s CBS interview,” Kupec said in a tweet.
She continued, “Compare the two transcripts below. Not only did the AG make the case in the VERY answer, Chuck says he didn’t, he also did so multiple times throughout the interview.”
Very disappointed by the deceptive editing/commentary by @ChuckTodd on @MeetThePress on AG Barr’s CBS interview.— KerriKupecDOJ (@KerriKupecDOJ) May 10, 2020
Compare the two transcripts below. Not only did the AG make the case in the VERY answer Chuck says he didn’t, he also did so multiple times throughout the interview. pic.twitter.com/PR1ciceMmE
During a segment on “Meet The Press,” Todd played a clip of an interview Barr did with CBS News on Thursday where he was asked how he thought history would view the decision to drop the prosecution of Flynn.
However, the video Todd played only contained part of Barr’s answer. “Well, history is written by the winner. So it largely depends on who’s writing the history,” Barr is seen saying in the clip.
“I was struck, Peggy, by the cynicism of the answer. It’s a correct answer, but he’s the attorney general. He didn’t make the case that he was upholding the rule of law,” Todd said, adding, “He was almost admitting that, yeah, this is a political job.”
Watch the video below:
In the full transcript of the CBS News interview, Barr continued his response, “But I think a fair history would say that it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law. It helped, it upheld the standards of the Department of Justice, and it undid what was an injustice.”
However, Todd did not reference that portion of the transcript.
In several clips from the interview, posted by CBS News, Barr’s comments are cut off at the same point as the NBC News clip.
Watch that interview below:
The Justice Department decided to drop its prosecution of Flynn on Thursday, as IJR reported.
In a motion in court, the department said, “The Government has determined, pursuant to the Principles of Federal Prosecution and based on an extensive review and careful consideration of the circumstances, that continued prosecution of this case would not serve the interests of justice.”
That move led to allegations that the Justice Department had become politicized and drew swift backlash.
But in an interview with CBS hours later, Barr explained the decision to drop the case, “Our duty, we think, is to dismiss the case.”
He added, “A crime cannot be established here.”