The Justice Department on Sunday accused NBC’s Chuck Todd of deceptively editing a sound bite from Attorney General William P. Barr to make it look as if he said nothing about upholding the rule of law, when in fact he did.
Justice Department spokesperson Kerri Kupec tweeted a transcript of last week’s CBS interview with Mr. Barr alongside Mr. Todd’s comments Sunday on “Meet the Press,” saying she was “very disappointed by the deceptive editing/commentary.”
Mr. Todd played an excerpt of the interview with CBS’s Catherine Herridge in which Mr. Barr was asked how history would view his effort to dismiss the charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
In the excerpt played by Mr. Todd, the attorney general said: “Well, history’s written by the winners. So it largely depends on who’s writing the history.”
Mr. Todd followed up by saying that he was struck 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,” said Mr. Todd, according to the transcript. “He was almost admitting that, yeah, this is a political job.”
As Ms. Kupec pointed out, however, Mr. Todd left out the rest of the attorney general’s response, in which Mr. Barr referred specifically to the rule of law.
Mr. Barr’s full answer was: “Well, history is written by the winner. So it largely depends on who’s writing the history. 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.”
Ms. Kupec asked readers to compare the two transcripts.
“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,” she tweeted.
NBC’s “Meet the Press” responded late Sunday in a tweet acknowledging that the network “inadvertently and inaccurately cut short a video clip.”
The Washington Times has reached out to NBC News for comment.
“The remaining clip included important remarks from the attorney general that we missed, and we regret the error,” said the tweet.