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NBC & ABC Urge Klobuchar to Pressure GOP on Impeachment

During a mid-afternoon break in the Senate impeachment trial on Thursday, both NBC and ABC brought on 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar for softball interviews. Anchors urged the Minnesota Senator to put pressure on her GOP colleagues to vote for witnesses and drag out the proceedings.  

“So what do you think about how these arguments are resonating with Republican senators? Are you getting any body language clues?,” Nightly News anchor Lester Holt asked Klobuchar during NBC’s special coverage. She claimed that Republicans were “looking down at their shoes” and warned that they would “have a real heavy heart…if they end up voting against witnesses.”

 

 

Holt followed up: “Do you think that the case has been made that will perhaps make the idea of witnesses a bit more likely? Do you think there’s been enough here that maybe has put some pressure on that issue?”

Moments later, Meet the Press host Chuck Todd implored Klobuchar:

Senator, whenever there is a stalemate in the Senate, you’re usually among the group of senators that tries to find a gang to break it up, right? I know that that is your thing. Well, this is one of those moments….I know you’re having conversations. Have any of them turned into negotiations?

“You know how to read these guys, you know how to read them on the other side,” Todd declared. He hoped for any sign of cracks in the GOP opposition to witnesses: “Are you getting a sense that there’s some of these more independent-minded senators that are ready to like, ‘Oh, can’t we cut a deal!’?”

Klobuchar argued: “I just see them looking guilty, looking concerned about the evidence that’s coming forward…”

On ABC, Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos engaged in the same wishful thinking with the Democrat: “What’s your sense of whether these arguments are making any headway with your Republican colleagues, the colleagues – the Republicans that are going to need to vote to get these witnesses and documents?”

He further wondered: “Are there any kind of back-channel talks going on? Have you tried to lobby any of those Republican senators?”

Klobuchar assured him: “Sure. I have talked to them about we need – we are just asking for four witnesses. You do not want to be the one that looks back at time and say I was part of this cover-up. I think a lot of them have a sense of legacy.”

While both networks sympathized with Klobuchar being taken off the campaign trail by the impeachment trial of President Trump, none of the journalists pointed out the obvious conflict of interest of having the 2020 candidate act as a juror in deciding whether the political opponent she’s running against should be removed from office.

Here is a transcript of January 23 exchange on NBC:

3:05 PM ET

(…)

LESTER HOLT: So what do you think about how these arguments are resonating with Republican senators? Are you getting any body language clues? What’s your thought?

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR [D-MN]: Well, I do see a lot of them looking down at their shoes. I would be – have a real heavy heart if I were them, if they end up voting against witnesses.

(…)

HOLT: Do you think that the case has been made that will perhaps make the idea of witnesses a bit more likely? Do you think there’s been enough here that maybe has put some pressure on that issue?

(…)

CHUCK TODD: Senator, whenever there is a stalemate in the Senate, you’re usually among the group of senators that tries to find a gang to break it up, right?

KLOBUCHAR: That’s correct, yes.

TODD: I know that that is your thing. Well, this is one of those moments. And I know you have a personal relationship at times that’s worked well with Lindsey Graham. People like Lamar Alexander, people like James Langford. Tell me, I know how you are, I know you’re having conversations. Have any of them turned into negotiations?

(…)

TODD: You know how to read these guys, you know how to read them on the other side. Are you getting a sense that there’s some of these more independent-minded senators that are ready to like, “Oh, can’t we cut a deal!”? I mean, I know how they – are you seeing that yet, or no?

KLOBUCHAR: I just see them looking guilty, looking concerned about the evidence that’s coming forward that the House managers, the plea for our democracy. This idea that, “Hey, come on, at some point all of this evidence is going to come up, and do you want to be part of this cover-up, too? This will be your legacy.”

(…)

Here is a transcript of the exchange on ABC:

3:13 PM ET

(…)

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s talk about that question of witnesses. I mean, that seems to be the key question before the Senate right now, even before you get to acquittal or conviction. What’s your sense of whether these arguments are making any headway with your Republican colleagues, the colleagues – the Republicans that are going to need to vote to get these witnesses and documents?

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR [D-MN]: Well, I think that right now it’s hard to tell, George. They’re looking down at their shoes a lot.

(…)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me pick up on that. Are there any kind of back-channel talks going on? Have you tried to lobby any of those Republican senators?

KLOBUCHAR: Sure. I have talked to them about we need – we are just asking for four witnesses. You do not want to be the one that looks back at time and say I was part of this cover-up. I think a lot of them have a sense of legacy.

(…)

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