NewsBusters

NBC & ABC Thrilled By Anonymous Book Decrying ‘Danger’ of Trump

On Friday, journalists on NBC’s Today show and ABC’s Good Morning America were giddy as they touted nasty excerpts from the new book, A Warning, an anti-Trump screed from a supposed anonymous administration official. Despite not knowing the person’s identity or being able to verify a single claim in the book, reporters rushed to label it “explosive” and a “bombshell.”  

“‘Anonymous’ speaks. The new excerpts from the most anticipated book in Washington revealed overnight,” co-host Savannah Guthrie gleefully announced at the top of the Today show. Moments later, she further teased: “The first excerpts from that upcoming book by Anonymous painting a disturbing picture of the President from inside the White House.”

 

 

Introducing a full report on the anonymous gossip-monger, fellow co-host Craig Melvin gushed: “…this morning we are getting our first look at the excerpts of this explosive new book called, A Warning. It is written by the same anonymous person who wrote that New York Times op-ed last year claiming to be part of a resistance inside the Trump administration.”

White House correspondent Kristen Welker breathlessly proclaimed that the excerpts “paint a chilling picture of President Trump as an erratic leader who poses a danger to the country.” In the report that followed, she elaborated:

Overnight, A Warning creating instant shock waves. The anonymous author, who claims to be a senior Trump administration official, paints a picture of a president who is unstable and inept….The author alleges the President can be so erratic that most top administration officials have pre-written resignation letters ready to submit. The writer describing a near-daily “five-alarm fire drill,” where senior officials cancel plans and race to the White House to prevent the President from enacting his latest “wacky or destructive idea.”

Only after all those sensational headlines did Welker admit: “NBC News does not know who the writer is or whether they were in a position to witness what they say transpired.” So then why did it make it on the air?

Undeterred, the reporter went on to cite “separate excerpts published by The Washington Post and not verified by NBC News” in which “the author claims that senior Trump administration officials at one point considered resigning in a ‘midnight self-massacre’ to raise alarm bells about the President.” Welker explained those involved in the alleged plot “ultimately decided not to out of fear it would destabilize government.”

The correspondent continued to boost the unsubstantiated narrative:

According to the Post, the author also discusses Mr. Trump’s fitness for office, describing him as reckless and without full control of his faculties, writing in part, “He stumbles, slurs, gets confused, is easily irritated, and has trouble synthesizing information, not occasionally but with regularity. Those who would claim otherwise are lying to themselves or to the country.”

Welker acknowledged: “The book also contains a number of explosive claims not backed up with evidence, including if a majority of the cabinet were prepared to invoke 25th Amendment to remove the President from office, Vice President Mike Pence would have been supportive.” She pointed out that Pence “vehemently denies” the charge.

“The senior official who wrote an essay in The New York Times last year warning about the President has expanded it into a 259-page book urging voters to replace Trump,” co-host George Stephanopoulos declared on Good Morning America. While admitting that “We still have no idea who anonymous is,” chief White House correspondent Jon Karl still insisted: “The book written by Anonymous describes a staff in revolt against the President they serve.”

The reporter was particularly enthralled with the President being compared to a child: “Anonymous paints a picture of an out-of-control president, ‘like a 12-year-old in an air traffic control tower, pushing the buttons of government indiscriminately, indifferent to the planes skidding across the runway and the flights frantically diverting away from the airport.’”

Wrapping up the segment, Karl touted the author’s self-righteous scolding:

The book follows The New York Times op-ed written by Anonymous more than a year ago that described a “quiet resistance” inside the Trump administration. Now the mysterious author says, “I was wrong…Unelected bureaucrats and cabinet appointees were never going to steer Donald Trump the right direction in the long run, or refine his malignant management style. He is who he is.”

Just imagine if an anonymous Obama administration official had written such a book, it’s hard to believe the liberal media would just run the story without being able to verify any of the details.

Also important to keep in mind, NBC and ABC are the same networks that quashed major scoops regarding sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein by claiming those stories didn’t meet their journalistic standards.

Here is a transcript of the November 8 report on NBC’s Today show:

7:09 AM ET

(…)

CRAIG MELVIN: Savannah, as you just mentioned in fact, this morning we are getting our first look at the excerpts of this explosive new book called, A Warning. It is written by the same anonymous person who wrote that New York Times op-ed last year claiming to be part of a resistance inside the Trump administration. NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker has more on this. Kristen, good morning to you.

KRISTEN WELKER: Hi, Craig, good morning to you. Excerpts of A Warning paint a chilling picture of President Trump as an erratic leader who poses a danger to the country. And this morning, the White House is firing back forcefully.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: “Anonymous” and Alarming; First Excerpts Describe Trump as Dangerous to U.S.]

Overnight, A Warning creating instant shock waves. The anonymous author, who claims to be a senior Trump administration official, paints a picture of a president who is unstable and inept, according to excerpts obtained by MSNBC. The author alleges the President can be so erratic that most top administration officials have pre-written resignation letters ready to submit. The writer describing a near-daily “five-alarm fire drill,” where senior officials cancel plans and race to the White House to prevent the President from enacting his latest “wacky or destructive idea.”

NBC News does not know who the writer is or whether they were in a position to witness what they say transpired.

In separate excerpts published by The Washington Post and not verified by NBC News, the author claims that senior Trump administration officials at one point considered resigning in a “midnight self-massacre” to raise alarm bells about the President. But ultimately decided not to out of fear it would destabilize government. According to the Post, the author also discusses Mr. Trump’s fitness for office, describing him as reckless and without full control of his faculties, writing in part, “He stumbles, slurs, gets confused, is easily irritated, and has trouble synthesizing information, not occasionally but with regularity. Those who would claim otherwise are lying to themselves or to the country.”

The author staying behind closed doors the President makes racist and misogynistic remarks, including comments about a woman’s appearance, make-up, and weight. Even referring to some women as “sweetie” and “honey.”

The book also contains a number of explosive claims not backed up with evidence, including if a majority of the cabinet were prepared to invoke 25th Amendment to remove the President from office, Vice President Mike Pence would have been supportive. It’s a claim the Vice President vehemently denies.

MIKE PENCE: I never heard any discuss in my entire tenure as vice president about the 25th Amendment.

WELKER: Overnight, the White House called the author a “coward” and denounced the book as a “work of fiction.”

Now, there is still no indication of who this anonymous author is, but the person writes that they’re speaking out for the good of country and may come forward at some point.

(…)

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

7:11 AM ET

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS:  We’re gonna move on now to that new book about the Trump White House from an insider named “Anonymous.” The senior official who wrote an essay in The New York Times last year warning about the President has expanded it into a 259-page book urging voters to replace Trump. Our chief White House correspondent Jon Karl has the details. Good morning, Jon.

JON KARL: Good morning, George. We still have no idea who anonymous is. The author is described only as a “senior Trump administration official,” but we don’t know if it is a current official or a former official. The book written by Anonymous describes a staff in revolt against the President they serve.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: “Anonymous” Book Bombshell; New Details on “Anonymous” WH Official’s Explosive Trump Claims]

The book, entitled A Warning, isn’t out for another 11 days, but The Washington Post obtained an early copy. It claims senior officials were so alarmed by the President’s behavior last year that they considered a “midnight self-massacre,” a mass resignation in protest. But they decided against it because they believed it would cause even more chaos.

Anonymous paints a picture of an out-of-control president, “like a 12-year-old in an air traffic control tower, pushing the buttons of government indiscriminately, indifferent to the planes skidding across the runway and the flights frantically diverting away from the airport.”

The unnamed author also accuses the President of routinely making crass comments about women and their appearance, and using racist language to describe migrants crossing the southern border. “We get these women coming in with like seven children,” Trump said, according to the book. “They are saying, ‘Oh, please help! My husband left me!’ They are useless, they don’t do anything for our country. At least if they came in with a husband, we could put him in the feels to pick corn or something.”

The book follows The New York Times op-ed written by Anonymous more than a year ago that described a “quiet resistance” inside the Trump administration. Now the mysterious author says, “I was wrong…Unelected bureaucrats and cabinet appointees were never going to steer Donald Trump the right direction in the long run, or refine his malignant management style. He is who he is.”

The White House response comes in the form of a statement from Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, who writes, quote, “The coward who wrote this book didn’t put their name on it because it is nothing but lies.”

STEPHANOPOULOS: Jon, are they speculating behind the scenes who it might be?

KARL: Oh, they’ve been doing that for over a year, George. But I don’t know that they’re any closer to figuring out who it is.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Okay, Jon Karl, thanks very much.

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