NBC’s Chuck Todd Frets Trump Trying to ‘Muddy the Waters’ With Hunter Biden ‘Questions’

News & Politics

Ahead of his final episode as moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press, Chuck Todd surfaced Friday morning on Today alongside co-host and longtime friend Savannah Guthrie to not only preview his final show and have Guthrie wish him well as he takes a few steps down at the network, but kvetch about Hunter Biden’s life of ruin being an outlet for Donald Trump “to sort of muddy the waters” about how voters perceive Washington.

Guthrie cited the “growing questions about his son’s legal fate and what’s means for the President’s re-election campaign” with Special Counsel David Weiss “expected to seek an indictment within weeks after that controversial plea deal collapsed.” Going to Todd, she wondered “[w]hat is the political fallout for President Biden as he faces re-election?”

Todd downplayed any concern as Biden family corruption given his belief that “President Biden’s biggest problem is not Hunter Biden,” but rather “his age” whereas Hunter’s wrongdoings “matter more to Donald Trump in many ways than they do to Joe Biden.”

“The more there [are] questions about ethics surrounding the Biden name or the Biden brand focusing on Hunter Biden, it — it basically — this has been what Trump’s goal has been,” Todd griped. “To sort of muddy the waters here, create this, hey, everybody is dirty here in Washington. They claim they’re clean. They’re not telling you that.”

You Might Like

Admitting Joe Biden has “not handled this very well publicly,” Todd doubled down that Hunter being corrupt “matters more to — to Donald Trump’s ability to continue to essentially make the case that he still can beat Biden and the more muddy he is, the more his voters believe that.”

The segment then pivoted to Todd’s final episode of Meet the Press, which will feature his exclusive sit-down with Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA). In the sit-down, Todd pressed Newsom on whether he’d step up and run for president in the event President Biden withdraws.

Ahead of a preview clip, Guthrie observed Biden’s page is a “a political liability” with polling showing it’s perhaps the “one thing…so many voters agree on.”

In congratulating Todd on his nine years as Meet the Press moderator, Guthrie said “we’ve always loved your analysis” and will “continue to” since he’ll “still be, of course, a huge part of NBC political coverage” 

Guthrie wrapped with a personal thanks:

Well, Chuck, I’m happy for you. And I just have to say, you’re my dear friend, we go way back. And I thought about this morning, nine years ago, on the day that you found out that you were going to get the job, you dreamed of your whole life, this is where you were. You were with me with my one-day-old baby. You came to see me. And you are a great friend and always have been.

Todd’s wallowing was made possible thanks to advertisers such as Carmax and Citi. Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.

To see the relevant transcript from September 8, click “expand.”

NBC’s Today
September 8, 2023
7:10 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Hunter Biden Indictment Looms]

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: President Biden arrives in India for a major summit this morning. Here at home, there are growing questions about his son’s legal fate and what’s means for the President’s re-election campaign. The special counsel looking into Hunter Biden is now expected to seek an indictment within weeks after that controversial plea deal collapsed. Let’s turn to Chuck Todd, NBC’s political director, moderator of Meet the Press. Chuck, good morning. Happy Friday. Let’s start with Hunter Biden. It seems an indictment is coming. We don’t know what contents will be. What is the political fallout for President Biden as he faces re-election?

CHUCK TODD: Well, I — you know, it’s interesting, President Biden’s biggest problem is not Hunter Biden. It continues to be his age. All things Hunter Biden actually matter more to Donald Trump in many ways than they do to Joe Biden and I think this is very — ends up being very helpful to Donald Trump. Whenever — the more there is questions about ethics surrounding the Biden name or the Biden brand focusing on Hunter Biden, it — it basically — this has been what Trump’s goal has been. To sort of muddy the waters here, create this, hey, everybody is dirty here in Washington. They claim they’re clean. They’re not telling you that. And so, as much as I know that there’s concerns this impacts — this impacts Joe Biden, and I think he is not handled this very well publicly, this matters more to — to Donald Trump’s ability to continue to essentially make the case that he still can beat Biden and the more muddy he is, the more his voters believe that.

GUTHRIE: I want to talk about your big interview you’ve got Sunday on Meet the Press — 

TODD: Mmhmm.

GUTHRIE: And it actually goes to the issue you raised, which is Biden’s age being more of a political liability than anything having to do with his son. There’s a poll just out this week — 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Gavin Newsom on 2024 Race]

TODD: Mmhmm.

GUTHRIE: — that suggests it’s one thing like so many voters agree on, that they’re concerned — 

TODD: Right.

GUTHRIE: — about the President’s age. Here you have Gavin Newsom, California, governor waiting in the wings, it seems. You sit down with him and ask him whether or not he really is planning a presidential run if Biden doesn’t run. Let’s listen to what he has to say.

TODD [TO NEWSOM]: Why shouldn’t we consider you a likely candidate?

GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): I think the Vice President is naturally the one lined up and the filing deadlines are quickly coming to pass and I think we need to move past this notion that he’s not going to run. President Biden is going to run and looking forward to getting him re-elected. I think there’s been so much wallowing in the last few months and hand-wringing and disrespect, but we’re gearing up for the campaign. We’re looking forward to it.

TODD: I — I under — you know, you hear these calls privately. What do you tell these donors who are wallowing in this?

NEWSOM: It’s time to move on. Let’s go.

GUTHRIE: How about it, Chuck? Do we take him at his word?

TODD: I do take him at his word, but I also — you see him, he is gearing up to run for president. It’s probably in 2028. But, you know, and — and, you know, you can do all — the whole Shermanesque thing, but if something happens, look, the filing deadlines haven’t passed. This is, you know, something that you would think that could change before the end of the year. And if it somehow did, I think he’d jump in very quickly. But one thing he wanted to make clear is that look, he did believe that Vice President was next in line, and at the end of the day, he said it in such a way it didn’t feel Shermanesque. Put it that way, Savannah.

GUTHRIE: Well, Chuck, we’ve always loved your analysis. We’ll continue to love it, but you are stepping down as moderator of Meet the Press — 

TODD: I know.

GUTHRIE: — after nine years. I know, Kristen Welker, our dear friend, will take that baton ably, but we just want to say thank you, Chuck. We love you, we’re going to miss you. But you’re not going too far. You’ll still be, of course — 

TODD: It’s a strange —

GUTHRIE: — a huge part of NBC political coverage.

TODD: — I know. It’s a strange feeling. I’m like I’m not retiring. I’m not walking away. I’m just stepping off the chair and stepping away from a daily news cycle — 

GUTHRIE: Yeah.

TODD: — for a little bit.

GUTHRIE: Well, Chuck, I’m happy for you. And I just have to say, you’re my dear friend, we go way back.

TODD: We do.

TODD: And I thought about this morning, nine years ago, on the day that you found out that you were going to get the job, you dreamed of your whole life —

TODD: I remember. I know where I was.

GUTHRIE: — this is where you were. You were with me with my one-day-old baby. You came to see me.

TODD: Yeah.

GUTHRIE: And you are a great friend and always have been. Thank you so much for what you’ve done.

TODD: Thanks, Savannah.

GUTHRIE: Alright, Chuck, thank you. 

TODD: You got it.

GUTHRIE: And again, you can see Chuck’s full and exclusive interview with Governor Newsom Sunday morning on Meet the Press.

HODA KOTB: Beautiful send off there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *