A pattern is emerging in the liberal media regarding Biden’s classified documents problem. In one corner, liberal talking heads bend over backwards to distinguish Biden’s case from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago documents: apples and oranges! Completely different! False equivalency! But on the other hand, there is acknowledgment that — as unfair as they claim it would be — the docs could be a problem for Biden’s 2024 ambitions.
Such was the case with Katie Phang and her guests on her MSNBC show Saturday morning. Although Phang suggested that voters would have to be “gullible” to believe Republican “soundbites,” she still put the question to MSNBC analyst and faux Republican Susan Del Percio.
Del Percio, in turn, also went to lengths to differentiate the Biden and Trump cases. She said that as an actual matter, the docs were only a two or three out of 10 issue for Biden. “However,” she continued, on a political level, she estimated it was “closer to a seven or eight.”
Note: MSNBC should be ashamed to continue, as did Phang, to describe Del Percio as a “Republican” strategist. And Del Percio should be equally ashamed to permit herself to be misrepresented that way. She apparently hasn’t strategerized for a Republican (at least openly) in…at least 15 years! And the last politician of any sort she advised was nine years ago, in the person of the very un-Republican Andrew Cuomo!
Incredibly, actual liberal strategist Alencia Johnson agreed, saying there needed to “be a little more transparency,” explaining that “[i]f there is going to be a contrast” between Biden and Trump, the former (which Johnson repeatedly called “we”) has “to be a little more transparency.
I believe the Biden team is probably waiting for more of the facts to come out and not get ahead of things and have to walk it back because right now, we are already in a predicament where the current President is under investigation. That is not giving us the best headline when we really want to be talking about that inflation is down for six months in a row.
And so, we want to make sure — I think the Biden team is trying to make sure that they have all the facts and they can’t, you know, have the American people not trust the President right now when we have done so much work to get his poll numbers up, to get, you know, the confidence back in this President. So, we will see the White House being very careful, ensuring that they’re cooperating with the investigation. But also not putting us back into a place of really hard defense, where it will be hard for us to get out of.
Separately, here’s a question: Could Karine Jean-Pierre be history’s most inept White House press secretary? Earlier in the show, reporter Allie Raffa rolled a clip of Jean-Pierre responding to a simple question from NBC’s Kristen Welker: would Biden cooperate if the special counsel requested a sit-down interview? As you can see in the transcript below, the result was cringe.
Here’s the transcript. Click “expand.”
MSNBC’s The Katie Phang Show
7:06 a.m. Eastern
ALLIE RAFFA: [The Biden administration is] really on defense and that has been on full display this week in the form of these press briefings by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. I want you to listen to what she had to say to my colleague, Kristen Welker, when Kristen asked her yesterday whether President Biden would be willing to fully cooperate with the special counsel’s investigation, if the special counsel asked for a sit-down interview. Listen here.
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: I don’t have, again, that’s a — that is — that is something that I can’t, I don’t have a magic wand here. I don’t know when that’s going to happen. What I can say is, his team is going to fully cooperate with the Department of Justice. Let’s not forget, the President said during the campaign that when it comes to the Department of Justice’s independence, he respects that. And that is something that he had said was incredibly important to make sure that they had their independence. That’s why we say we’re going to make sure that they have their independence.
RAFFA: Katie, as far as where this all goes from here, that’s really the question we’re all asking ourselves at this point. How long this probe will possibly last? Whether it could impact the plans that President Biden is expected to make on whether or not he’ll run in 2024. So, lots of questions still to be answered, Katie.
KATIE PHANG: Allie Raffa, my friend, it’s always good to see you. Thanks for joining us this morning from Wilmington. I appreciate it. You know, we know that there are major differences in the classified-documents investigations into President Biden and former President Trump. But I want to know, what will this mean for the 2024 presidential election? Coming up, I will put that question to my Saturday morning power political panel.
7:39 a.m. Eastern
PHANG: Let’s bring in my Saturday morning power political panel. Alencia Johnson is a political strategist and the founder and chief impact officer of 1063 West Broad. Susan Del Percio is a Republican strategist, and an MSNBC political analyst.
7:40 a.m. Eastern
ALENCIA JOHNSON: I didn’t really buy that it’s actually going to give President Trump, or former President Trump, any more steam, any more gas in his failing presidential campaign in 2024. But it will give Republicans some soundbites on Fox News. But even some Republican voters are tired of all these conversations and just really want Congress to get the work and provide for the American people.
PHANG: And Susan, those soundbites that we just heard about from Alencia, predictably, that’s exactly what Republicans are doing, right? They’re working the airwaves, trying to convince Americans that the Biden and the Trump cases are one-and-the-same. But Susan, do Republicans really think that voters are gullible enough to buy what they’re selling?
SUSAN DEL PERCIO: Well, here’s the thing. I completely agree with both of you. These are completely different types of cases. However, here’s the headline. Both President, former President, Trump, and current President Biden are under investigation by the DOJ for handling of classified records. That’s what happens in day-to-day conversation and what people pick up. I know it’s different, but you know, I also know politics. And when you’re explaining, you’re losing. And that’s the problem that the Democrats will have with this, as far as trying to show the differences. What it does for the Democrats, more importantly though, it takes away the argument about going after Trump for handling classified documents. That was believed to be one of the best cases against Donald Trump, legally and politically. So, it puts them in a little bit of a box. The other thing it does, is politically, it’s taken away the momentum that President Biden has had — rightfully had. And now he has to wor — think about, do I postpone my announcement? It really does put a — a bump in the road. And the fact is, as an issue, it’s like a two or a three. But, when weaponized politically by the Republicans, it gets closer to a seven or eight.
7:43 a.m. Eastern
JOHNSON: I do think that there should be a little more transparency because, as Susan was talking about, we have to talk about this contrast. If there is going to be a contrast, we have to be a little bit more transparent, but I will say, I believe the Biden team is probably waiting for more of the facts to come out and not get ahead of things and have to walk it back because right now, we are already in a predicament where the current President is under investigation. That is not giving us the best headline when we really want to be talking about that inflation is down for six months in a row. And so, we want to make sure — I think the Biden team is trying to make sure that they have all the facts and they can’t, you know, have the American people not trust the President right now when we have done so much work to get his poll numbers up, to get, you know, the confidence back in this President. So, we will see the White House being very careful, ensuring that they’re cooperating with the investigation. But also not putting us back into a place of really hard defense, where it will be hard for us to get out of.