Chris Wallace of Fox News tried to get presidential adviser Stephen Miller to stipulate to left-wing talking points about President Donald Trump’s feud with the Squad of Democratic congresswomen, but Miller was having none of it.
In a segment on Fox News Sunday, Wallace announced the tilt of the interview from the start. “Send her back,” he said in setting up the segment. “That is the phrase and the debate that has consumed Washington and much of the country this week. Critics of the president’s comments say urging four congresswomen to go back where they came from is hateful.”
Of course, this is not what the president said. He said the congresswomen should try their ideas in their home countries and, if they succeed, “come back and show us how it’s done.”
But after Wallace introduced Miller, he again attempted to deceive. He put Trump’s tweet on the screen and highlighted in yellow the part that reads: “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broke and crime infested places from which they came,” and pointedly excluded the part about coming back to show us how it’s done.
“You are his senior policy adviser and chief speechwriter. His tweets this week about those four congresswomen – and let’s put them up … ‘Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came …’ are the latest in a long string of controversial comments by Mr. Trump, some of which I know that you helped draft. Here are a few.”
He then showed clips of Trump on The View in 2011 saying he wanted to see Obama’s birth certificate.
“There’s something on there he doesn’t want you to see.” Then it flashes to a 2015 clip of Trump saying “They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” That was followed by a later clip from 2015 of Trump saying he was calling for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”
Then, it cuts to Aug. 15, 2017, and Trump’s comments on the racial riots two days before in Charlottesville, Va. “You have many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, OK? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly.”
Wallace then turned to Miller and said, “Why shouldn’t someone see all of that as racist?” Miller pointed to all Trump had done for minorities in terms of job creation and the importance, security-wise, of his immigration work, Wallace changed tacks.
“But when he questioned … there’s a long record here … When he questioned whether or not Barack Obama was an American citizen, when he said the people in his announcement that Mexico was not sending their best … they’re rapist, they’re drug dealers, and some are good people, when he called for a total and complete shutdown of the Muslim ban … something I know you were very involved in … that’s not protecting the American people, that’s playing the race card.”
When Miller responded that the U.S. had just indicted 22 MS-13 gang members, which supported Trump’s statement about some of the Mexicans who were crossing the border, Wallace cut him off. “We’re not talking about hardened criminals,” Wallace said.
“OK, let’s talk about Obama and the birther,” Wallace continued. “You don’t think that questioning whether or not the president of the United States – the first black president – is an American … you don’t think there’s a race quality to that?” Miller pointed out similar questions were raised about John McCain, and Trump also raised the issue of whether Ted Cruz, who was born in Canada, was eligible to be president.
Wallace responded: “There were never race questions about John McCain. There were questions about where he was born, whether they were in the Panama Canal or not. There was never a race question about John McCain.”
Wallace said again that Trump was questioning whether Obama was an American. But Trump was questioning whether Obama was eligible to be president.
Photo by Gage Skidmore
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Author: Brian McNicoll