Chuck Todd apologizes for airing edited William Barr clip

NBC "Meet the Press" host Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddArkansas governor backs employer vaccine mandates Paid family leave is 'not a vacation,' Buttigieg says Grisham thinks Trump will run in 2024 and have no 'guardrails' MORE apologized on Tuesday for airing a clip Sunday of Attorney General William BarrBill BarrBannon's subpoena snub sets up big decision for Biden DOJ Five takeaways: Report details Trump's election pressure campaign Biden slips further back to failed China policies MORE's interview with CBS senior investigative correspondent Catherine Herridge, which Todd acknowledged was misleading because of an edit that took Barr's remarks out of context.

Todd and "Meet the Press" had come under heavy criticism for airing the clip, which made it appear that Barr had decided to drop charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn for political reasons. 

After the clip from the May 7 CBS interview aired, Todd said that Barr "didn't make the case that he was upholding the rule of law. He was almost admitting that, yeah, this is a political job."

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On Tuesday, Todd said that while NBC was not responsible for the editing of the clip, "Meet the Press" should have checked for a full transcript. 

He called it a "mistake I wish we hadn’t made and that I hadn’t made."

He said Barr's full answer would have put in context the portion of the interview that "Meet the Press" did air.

"Had I seen that part, I would not have framed the conversation the way I did," he said. "And I am obviously very sorry for that mistake, and we strive to do better going forward.”

Todd was not on-air on Monday, so Tuesday represented the first chance he had to address the issue. He did so before going to a break on his daily show. 

“Before we go to break, I wanted to talk for a moment about something that occurred on Sunday’s edition of 'Meet the Press,'” Todd said. 

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“During the program, we had a soundbite from a CBS News interview with the attorney general, Bill Barr. In the bite we aired, he was asked how he thinks the history of his decision to end the prosecution of the former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, will be written. Mr. Barr answered, quote: ‘History is written by the winners, so it largely depends on who is writing the history.'”

Barr went on to say that "I think a fair history would say it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law," Todd said.

“We did not edit that out. That was not our edit," he said. "We didn’t include it because we only saw the shorter of two clips that CBS did air. We should have looked at both and checked for a full transcript, a mistake I wish we hadn’t made and that I hadn’t made. The second part of the attorney general’s answer would have put it in the proper context."

President TrumpDonald TrumpRobert Gates says 'extreme polarization' is the greatest threat to US democracy Cassidy says he won't vote for Trump if he runs in 2024 Schiff says holding Bannon in criminal contempt 'a way of getting people's attention' MORE had ripped Todd over the clip, calling for him to be fired. 

 

And on the right, there was continued criticism of Todd after the apology. 

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PolitiFact called Todd’s description of Barr’s remarks "wrong."

"Barr did say he believed he was sticking up for the rule of law — and he said it immediately after the clip Todd presented was cut off," wrote the fact-checking organization.

--This report was updated on May 13 at 9:39 a.m.