In a letter to lawmakers last Friday, U.S. Attorney General William Barr effectively destroyed all of the Democrats’ talking points about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s soon-to-be released report into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and he chastised Democrats — like Rachel Maddow — who willfully mischaracterized his summary of principal conclusions.
Many Democrats in Congress and in the media spent much of last week darkly hinting that the attorney general was engaging in some kind of cover-up to protect the president.
In his letter, Barr put their conspiracy theories to bed, explaining that “the Special Counsel is assisting us” in the process of making redactions that are necessary by law, such as “potentially compromising sensitive sources and methods,” “material that could affect other ongoing matters,” and “information that would unduly infringe on the personal privacy and reputational interests of peripheral third parties.”
The attorney general also stated that because the president was not asserting executive privilege, the White House will not even be afforded a “privileged review” of his report before it is released.
On her show Friday night, Maddow demonstrated that she either didn’t read Barr’s letter, or she refused to accept its contents because she continued to mischaracterize the process by which Mueller’s “confidential report” was being made accessible to the public. Unfortunately for her, the person handling MSNBC’s chyron Friday night did read the report, so it contradicted her false talking points in real time.
Aaron Mate, a left-wing journalist who is a critic of Maddow, exposed her embarrassing gaffe on Twitter Monday morning:
Tip for @Maddow: if you're going to keep misleading your audience, make sure your producers aren't correcting you in real-time. Here, the chyron accurately states Friday's news Mueller is "assisting" Barr w/ redactions. Meanwhile, @Maddow is falsely claiming the exact opposite: pic.twitter.com/rTSAABngp2
— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) April 1, 2019
“It’s hard to believe that they’d leave the newly appointed Attorney General William Barr to himself to personally pick through the report to try to figure out which mentions in this 400-page report might pertain to an open case,” she declared. “They wouldn’t leave that to Barr to do that. Mueller would have done that!” Maddow exclaimed as the MSNBC chyron informed viewers that Mueller actually was “assisting with redactions.”
“Mueller’s team would have done that as part of producing anything that they handed over outside their own offices,” Maddow continued. “They’ve done that with every other document they have produced in the course of this investigation. You’d assume they’d be able to do that for this document too. But William Barr says, [exaggerated sigh] it’s taking him a really long time because he’s having to do all that himself.”
“Barr: Special Counsel Is Assisting with Redactions,” the MSNBC chyron meanwhile informed viewers.
Barr on Friday announced that he would be able to release a redacted copy of the report by mid-April — which is not what most people would consider “a really long time.”