Wednesday on MSNBC’s “MTP Daily,” former NBC’s “Nightly News” anchor Tom Brokaw dismissed comparisons of President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey a day earlier to former President Richard Nixon’s 1973 firing of Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor named to investigate the Watergate scandal.
Brokaw argued Trump’s actions were much different, especially given months earlier Trump’s political opponents in Congress had been critical of Comey as well.
Partial transcript as follows:
Well, this is not the Saturday Night Massacre. I was there covering the Saturday Night Massacre. We had a criminal conspiracy in the White House, well known that we were working to find out what had gone on. Some of the president’s top aides were on the way to jail at that point.
The investigation had been going on for 18 months. There was nothing that Archibald Cox did that would justify his firing in the eyes of almost he have one including Republicans on that side. It was a much different kind of situation then. And the consequences were obviously very big.
At the same time, you have to remember that James Comey in the eyes of the Democrats was a very flawed director of the FBI. And it was funny to watch Mitch McConnell on the floor of the Senate in his kind of droll way saying, “This is a man that we were hearing from Chuck Schumer and others saying not too long ago that should not be in this job.”
And I think any objective observer would look at him the last 18 months and say he seemed not to be in his traces. That’s a horse phrase. He was out in his own terms. I was very disappointed early on. The FBI investigates, the Justice Department prosecutes. You don’t see the FBI director testifying before Congress.
At the same time in that letter that President Trump released, he says deliberately, “I am so grateful to you for those three times you said that I had nothing wrong. And by the way, good luck to you in your new life.”
I mean, come on. This has got to get sorted out. I want the systems in place to do the investigation. I think the Intel committee in the Senate is worthy of doing this. I think there are people in the Justice Department who have been working on it for a long time. I don’t want their integrity to be compromised. I think they should continue with this and we have to get him back on track so we don’t have this on the stage and make up a play of some kind.
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