Tag Archives: George Stephanopoulos

Who are we to believe: Trump or Comey?

I am unable to watch in real time the interview that former FBI Director James Comey gave to ABC News; we have spotty TV reception in our RV park at the moment, so I’ll have to catch up with it in the next day or two.

However, I am able to read much of the interview on the link attached here.. 

I am struck by something about the interview that Comey gave to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. It is that he is recounting one-on-one encounters with Donald John Trump, the president of the United States.

I also am left to wonder: Whose recollections of those meetings should I believe? The former FBI director known to be a meticulous note-taker of such meetings, or the president who has demonstrated time and again to be a serial liar?

Let me think. I believe I’ll go with Comey’s assertion of what transpired in those meetings.

It’s impossible to prove much of Comey has alleged occurred during those meetings, whether the president intended to torpedo Comey’s work as FBI director.

I’m just struck by how Trump responded in advance of the televised interview, the name-calling and petulant tone of his tweets.

Comey said he believes Trump is “morally unfit” for the office of president. He doesn’t believe the president is suffering from dementia or is otherwise mentally unfit. It’s the man’s moral compass that gives Comey such cause. He mentions how Trump treats women like “meat.”

That is the kind of assessment that Comey has concluded after meeting privately with Trump.

It also is going to make the nation ask itself: Who is the more trustworthy man in this exchange?

I’ve made my call.

Hoping to head off Trump Fatigue

I might need an intervention.

News junkie that I am, I usually cannot resist watching cable and broadcast news channels’ discussion of current events, of public policy and, yes, even politics.

Until now.

I awoke this Sunday morning and decided to avoid the weekly news/commentary/analysis talk shows. I didn’t watch George or Chuck on ABC or NBC, respectively. I had no particular desire to listen to the talking heads on “This Week” or “Meet the Press.”

Why? I fear it’s because of the subject matter: Donald John “Smart Person” Trump, the current president of the United States of America.

The guy is starting to wear me out. We’re not even at the 100-day mark in his presidency. Good grief! That means we have another nearly four years to go before the next presidential election!

Heaven help us. Or maybe just me.

I don’t intend to stop commenting on this clown’s tenure as president; I consider contributions to High Plains Blogger to be a form of therapy. I might even be able to fend off the Trump Fatigue I fear is beginning to overtake me.

Maybe I just need a day or two — or maybe three or four — away from the TV set.

Wish me luck. I’ll extend the same to you.

Trump aide sings the boss’s tune

Donald J. Trump clearly has much to learn about being president of the United States.

However, he’s got one task down pat: He has instructed his senior White House staff to utter the same lies the boss does.

Senior policy adviser Stephen Miller was in the dock today, telling TV news talk show hosts the lie Trump keeps spouting about massive voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election.

Miller failed to provide a shred of evidence to prove what he said, which is that vehicle loads of illegal voters were taken to New Hampshire to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The proof? Miller didn’t provide any. “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos sought repeatedly to get Miller to prove what he alleged. Miller came up empty. He offered nothing.

Indeed, a Federal Elections commissioner has demanded that Trump provide evidence of the allegations he has leveled against state and local elections officials.

Miller has promoted the same falsehoods as the boss. He has continued to delegitimize the electoral process by saying things that either (a) are demonstrably false or (b) cannot be proven.

Absent any proof, many of us are left to conclude that none exists.

Meanwhile, the president continues to perform his role of liar in chief — and his lieutenants are following his shameful example.

‘Take the oil,’ Trump says; how, sir?


Donald Trump said the following over the weekend …

“You know, if you stop transportation, I mean, you’re talking about the blood – the blood of the world and we’re going to have to be very, very strong … We’re going to have to take away the energy, the fuel, the money from ISIS.”

It’s a position he’s stated several times while running for the Republican presidential nomination. I do not yet know the answer to this question: How does a President Trump (perish the thought) plan to “take away the energy”?

The Islamic State is getting it from sources in the Middle East. It’s likely some form of black market transaction process. Or it could be done up front and in the open.

Either way, Trump’s assertion that we must take the oil, seize control of it connotes a serious military involvement that the candidate — so far — has said would be a mistake. In the same conversation he had Sunday morning with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Trump described the Middle East as a “quagmire.”

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t heard a politician ever suggest it is in the country’s best interests to thrust our cherished young American men and women into a quagmire.

So … how would Trump propose to take that oil?

Talk to us, Donald.


Cliché went missing this morning

This morning began like most Sunday mornings for my wife and me.

We awoke. Got cleaned up. Had some breakfast.

Then I turned on the TV to watch a news-talk show, ABC’s “This Week.”

The discussion was quite lively. George Stephanopoulos interviewed Donald Trump, Rick Perry and Mike Huckabee — all of whom are running for the Republican Party presidential nomination.

Then he went to the roundtable discussion, which included the usual eclectic blend of pundits on the left and the right. They all weighed in with their views of the week’s political news, which of course was dominated by the Republican joint appearance Thursday night and Trump’s rather ghastly reference to one of the moderators and the question she asked about Trump’s views regarding women.

But as the discussions ended after an hour on the air, I was struck by something I didn’t hear.

It was the sound of the world’s most annoying cliché: “At the end of the day … ”

It’s become the cliché du jour of talking heads and politicians.

My theory about the phrase is this: Public officials, usually politicians, like to say the phrase to set up what they think is the most profound statement they can deliver on a given subject.

“At the end of the day, George … the world is going to spin off its axis and is going to crash into the sun.”

But over the past few years — and it hasn’t been that many years since someone introduced it into our contemporary political vernacular — it’s become overused in the extreme. I’ve heard pols use it multiple times in a single run-on sentence.

This morning, though, the phrase was MIA.

May it never be found.

Now it's Stephanopoulos on the block

What gives with media superstars who keep making serious professional “mistakes”?

Brian Williams fibs about being shot down during the Iraq War and he gets suspended by NBC News.

Bill O’Reilly fibs about “covering” the Falklands War while reporting from a safe distance … but he’s still on the job at Fox.

Now it’s George Stephanopoulos giving 75 grand to the Clinton Foundation and then failing to report it to his employers or to his ABC News viewers.


ABC calls it an honest mistake. It’s standing by the “Good Morning America” co-host and moderator of “This Week.”

It’s been known for 20 years that Stephanopoulos was an avid supporter of Bill and Hillary Clinton. He worked in the Clinton White House as a senior political adviser. Then he made the switch to broadcast journalism and by most accounts — yes, some conservatives haven’t been so charitable — he’s done a credible job.

Why did he give to the Clinton Foundation — with one of its principals, Hillary Clinton, running for president? He said he’s deeply interested in two issues the foundation supports: the fight against deforestation and HIV/AIDS.

OK, fine. Has he not heard of, say, Greenpeace and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation who fund efforts to fight those very causes? If he was interested more in the causes and less in the people who champion them, then he could have given to any number of reputable foundations to carry on those battles.

He didn’t. Now his reputation as a journalist has been called into serious — and legitimate — question.

Stephanopoulos isn’t the first political hired hand to make the transition to TV news. Diane Sawyer once wrote speeches for President Nixon and the late Tim Russert once was a key aide to New York Gov. Mario Cuomo. They made the switch. Others have gone into political commentary after working for partisan pols — or themselves been politicians — on both sides of the aisle.

None of them, though, gave large sums of money to overtly political foundations while working as journalists or pundits or commentators.

George Stephanopoulos has created a huge mess for himself — and for his colleagues.

Step aside, George Stephanopoulos

I hope it doesn’t come to this, that the Republican National Committee forces George Stephanopoulos to do the right thing.

My hope is that he does it himself.


Stephanopoulos, host of the ABC-TV weekend news-talk show “This Week,” has revealed that he gave $50,000 to the Clinton Foundation. Hillary Rodham Clinton, of course, is running for president of the United States. Stephanopoulos’s credibility as an impartial journalist has been compromised beyond repair and he must not cover any aspect of the political campaign that’s beginning to unfold.

He didn’t reveal the donation until he was forced to do so by conservative media organizations.

This doesn’t look good for someone I’ve always trusted to be impartial — and bipartisan — in his questioning of political figures.

His contribution to the Clinton Foundation ties him directly — and monetarily — to the Democrats’ leading presidential candidate. He cannot possibly be seen as a neutral participant in any debate involving Hillary Clinton.

Surely he knows that. Just as surely he knows what he has to do.


NBC journalist faces conflicting interests

Chuck Todd wears an important hat for NBC News as moderator of “Meet the Press.”

He must remain impartial and he must be clear of any association with a partisan political campaign. And by “any association,” that means the woman in his life, his wife.


It turns out that Kristian Denny Todd is assisting former U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., as he considers whether to run for president in 2016. Kristian Todd is one of those Democratic “strategists” who assists people in public life.

Meanwhile, her husband is going to be covering the still-growing 2016 campaign and all its players. That must include former Sen. Webb, for whom his wife is working in an unpaid basis.

Todd’s role as a major news network’s main political reporters must be free of any association with a partisan campaign.

Let’s be clear about a thing or two. First, Todd isn’t the first network personality to make that crossover. Others include: George Stephanopoulos of ABC, who once worked in the Clinton White House; Pete Williams of NBC, who was spokesman for the Pentagon in the George H.W. Bush administration; Diane Sawyer of ABC, who once wrote speeches for Richard Nixon; the late Tim Russert of NBC, who worked for New York Gov. Mario Cuomo and the late Sen. Pat Moynihan of New York.

This kind of political affiliation involves both parties.

If Mr. and Mrs. Todd are going to allow this kind of association with a potential presidential candidate to continue, it falls on Chuck Todd to ensure that he doesn’t pull his punches with his wife’s boss if and when he gets the chance.

Be very careful, Chuck.


Ingraham joins ABC … so what?

Media Matters is a left-wing journalism watchdog group that takes great delight in exposing Fox News Channel’s big lie that it is the “fair and balanced” cable news network.

I agree — usually — with Media Matters’s take on Fox.

However, I think the group if off base in attacking ABC News for hiring conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham as its newest “contributor.”


Why go after Media Matters on this one?

Well, I am one who likes to see news/commentary outlets offer wide-ranging points of view. Do I agree with Ingraham’s world view? No. However, she isn’t the first conservative voice to be heard on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday news talk show. Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol is a regular on the show, as was syndicated conservative columnist George Will before he left ABC to join the Fox News Channel’s Sunday talk show as a contributor.

ABC, as does NBC’s “Meet the Press,” quite often invites conservatives and liberals to sit at the same round table to discuss issues of the day. They debate. They even argue.

What is so wrong with that?

CNN, arguably the pioneer news network, does much the same thing on any of its myriad political talk shows. Newt Gingrich and Van Jones — a rightie and a leftie, respectively — are regulars on CNN’s revamped “Crossfire” program.

I don’t see why ABC is getting so worked up over Ingraham. Yes, she’s provocative and she occasionally crosses — what I consider, at least — the line of good taste and decency in making her points.

You’ve heard the old term about the “marketplace of ideas.” It’s broad, wide, deep and varied. Let all voices be heard. We’ll be the judges of who’s right or wrong.