Martha MacCallum did a great job whitewashing Donald Trump’s criminal attempt to pressure Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to overturn the state’s election results and distracting from it by suggesting that the real wrongdoing was the recording and leaking of the call.
Although it may be too difficult to prove in a prosecution, Trump’s effort to interfere in the election likely constitutes "criminal action under a multitude of existing statutes,” Law & Crime concluded.
But MacCallum could not have seemed to care less. Don't forget, Fox described her as embodying “ultimate journalistic integrity and professionalism” when it unsuccessfully argued her suitability to moderate a Democratic presidential primary debate.
MacCallum prioritized Trumpiness over journalism with her first question to Raffensperger when he appeared on the Your World show yesterday.
MACCALLUM: So, let’s start with a couple of the things that just came up in John Roberts reporting there. Um, he said that the, President Trump’s lawyer said that they were very surprised that you all allowed this to get out there or put it out there, you can tell me how you want to characterize that. He said it was a discussion to have a settlement agreement on two outstanding lawsuits and that they would be very surprised that you would make those public, that it was a private conversation, that it was privileged. What do you say to that?
Raffensberger replied that the call was not privileged because “there was no specific agenda that President Trump wanted to have a conversation with me.” Raffensberger said that since there is ongoing litigation, he wanted to have his general counsel on the line “so he could answer any questions or just make sure that we didn’t harm any of our legal interests because we believe that their lawsuits have no standing in fact.”
At the same time, MacCallum whitewashed Trump’s corruption:
MACCALLUM: It’s no surprise the president has come after you repeatedly, Mr. Secretary of State. He has told you to resign, and we all have listened to the phone conversation. He was very forthcoming in his desire that you do what you could to try to recharacterize those votes, as he put it.
Raffensperger said he was trying to respond to “misinformation, disinformation that he seems to believe, for some reason.” As an example, Raffensperger cited Trump’s claim that thousands of dead people voted in Georgia. “Our record shows that there’s two,” Raffensperger added.
MacCallum’s response? “Why did you decide to take the phone call this time?”
Raffensperger said he did not know the call was being recorded and that he thought they had had a private conversation. That is, until Trump "goes out on Twitter the next morning and says stuff that’s not true."
Again, MacCallum whitewashed Trump’s corruption and began badgering Raffensperger in an obvious effort to scapegoat him and/or other Georgia officials.
MACCALLUM: Obviously you have a big difference of opinion on, um, you know, on the way that the vote went in November. But I'm just very curious, we are 24 hours away from an election. So, what was the discussion? You say you didn’t realize that the phone call was recorded. At what point did you become aware that the phone call was recorded and tell us about the decision to release the phone call, the audio of the phone call to the Washington Post?
RAFFENSPERGER: I think it was after Sunday when the Twitter came out. …
MACCALLUM: Were you consulted? And did you OK the release of the phone call? Did you say, OK, let’s go ahead and release the audio of the phone call?
RAFFENSPERGER: The information’s out there and it is what it is.
MACCALLUM: That’s not an answer to my question. Are you going to answer my question? Were you aware of the decision and were you in favor of the decision to release the phone call, sir?
RAFFENSPERGER: I think that we had to respond to the President’s Twitter and we responded with the facts that were in the call and that’s how it got out there. So now the world can just see what was in there. … They can make their own decisions.
MACCALLUM: So that’s pretty clear, that you were aware that it was going to be released and that you were OK with it.
What about the impact on the two Senate elections?
Raffensperger argued thatTrump has been distracting from the election with his false accusations and “suppressing the Republican turnout” in the Georgia runoff elections.
But MacCallum again showed her real concern was making Raffensperger the bad guy. Rather than ask him to explain further, she asked him to “respond specifically to Senator Perdue who said that he thought it was inappropriate and disgusting to release this audio.” (We wrote about Perdue’s similar attempt to make Trump’s call all about Raffensperger in an earlier post.)
Raffensperger replied, “Senator Perdue still owes my wife an apology for all the death threats she got after he asked for my resignation and I’ve not heard one peep from that man since.”
MacCallum shrugged off the death threats in order to vilify Raffensperger further. “It feels like this is very much about a grudge between you and the president,” she said accusingly.
“It’s really about getting the facts out,” Raffensperger said. “Every one of [Trump’s] numbers were wrong.”
But MacCallum was still not interested in a president spreading misinformation in order to overturn an election. She changed the subject to further question the results of the election by bringing up the right-wing objections about “signature match.” This time, she let Raffensperger explain.
You can watch MacCallum’s cravenness below, from the January 4, 2021 Your World.
She would not have been out of place on the veranda of an antebellum plantation mansion, sipping on her mint julip while being fanned by a slave girl.