MSNBC's Tamron Hall Pushes Obama Impeachment Narrative

On the July 28 edition of NewsNation, anchor Tamron Hall did her part to push the alarmist liberal narrative about how radical Republicans are itching to impeach President Obama. The news hook for this was how “the new incoming House GOP whip, Tea Party backed Louisiana congressman Steve Scalise will not rule out impeaching the president over his use of executive orders.” This despite the fact there’s much “unfinished business” and “that urgent do list” of  “the border crisis” and “funding for the nation’s highway and infrastructure project” on Congress’s plate.

The Today show co-anchor aired a clip from Fox News Sunday of host Chris Wallace repeatedly asking the Louisiana Republican if he would “consider impeaching the president.” Wallace responded that “it might be the first White House in history that is trying to start the narrative of impeaching their own president.” Of course, nowhere in the clip did the Louisiana representative insinuate that he was angling for impeachment. Instead Scalise called out the White House for stressing impeachment talks in an attempt “to fundraise off of that” and “change the topic away from the president's failed agenda.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]

NBC News correspondent Kelly O'Donnell also commented on the topic, stating that “any talk of something as potent as impeachment really riles up both parties for very different reasons.” While “leadership on the GOP side is not saying they're going to do something like impeachment,” she claims “it's very effective in getting activists, donors, and members of both parties animated.” Just as Scalise explained on Fox, Democrats are stirring “outrage” in order to encourage “fundraising.”

Meanwhile, Hall did not bother correcting herself or changing the on screen graphic: “New GOP Leader Won’t Rule Out Impeachment.”

See transcript below:

MSNBC
NewsNation
July 28, 2014
11:34 a.m. Eastern
2 minutes and 57 seconds


TAMRON HALL: Congress is just four days away from a five and a half week recess. And there is still a lot of, as you all know, unfinished business and that urgent do list includes President Obama's request for emergency funds to deal with the border crisis and also funding for the nation’s highway and infrastructure projects. While all of that lingers, the new incoming House GOP whip, Tea Party backed Louisiana congressman Steve Scalise will not rule out impeaching the president over his use of executive orders.

CHRIS WALLACE: Will you do something such as cut off funding for the administration? Will you consider impeaching the president?

REP. SCALISE (LA- R): You know, it might be the first White House in history that is trying to start the narrative of impeaching their own president. Ultimately what we want to see the president following the laws. The president took an oath to faithfully execute the laws of the land and he’s not.

WALLACE: But impeachment is off the table?

SCALISE: Well, the White House wants to talk about impeachment. And ironically they're going out and trying to fundraise off of that, too.

WALLACE: I'm asking you, sir.

SCALISE: Look, the White House will do anything they can to change the topic away from the president's failed agenda.

HALL: NBC News Capitol correspondent Kelly O'Donnell joins us live now. Kelly, as I mentioned, the five week recess just around the corner here. And the to do list is not getting to done. I tried.

O’DONNELL: That's good. I like it. I might steal that from you. There is a lot to do in a little amount of time. But when you talk about that recess, it's important to remember we are 100 days away from the midterm elections. So any talk of something as potent as impeachment really riles up both parties for very different reasons. But it's very effective in getting activists, donors, and members of both parties animated. And we are seeing that. Leadership on the GOP side is not saying they're going to do something like impeachment, but some very conservative voices in radio and people like Sarah Palin have been much more aggressive saying it should be done. Instead GOP leadership is taking the steps to begin the process of a suit against the president for what would be some narrow claims about overreaching on his executive authority. That's still just sort of moving along. And that would be one way to maybe take the edge off those calling for impeachment. Obviously Democrats are outraged by that. There is fundraising that is going on trying to say, hey, if you believe this is something that is just too outrageous. Come on and help, and help those Democratic candidates in the fall when obviously so many is at stake. The House, of course, in GOP hands. The Senate in Democratic hands. Will that change? So impeachment is a very interesting backdrop for getting into the heavy part of the campaign season when Congress isn't here, but back home in their districts and their states. And they'll be meeting a lot of voters during that time. Tamron?

HALL: Alright, Kelly thank you.

Laura Flint
Laura Flint is a 2014 summer intern for the MRC's News Analysis Division.