Stand up for facts and support PolitiFact.
Now is your chance to go on the record as supporting trusted, factual information by joining PolitiFact’s Truth Squad. Contributions or gifts to PolitiFact, which is part of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Poynter Institute, are tax deductible.
I would like to contribute
Breitbart head Steve Bannon took a Chuck Todd audio clip out of context to discredit allegations of sexual assault against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore.
"The more I think about this Roy Moore story the more it does feel like a total orchestrated, colluded hit between the Republican establishment, the establishment media, the Democratic party, the Washington swamp uni-party," Breitbart editor Alex Marlow said to Bannon on Breitbart News Daily, a Sirius XM radio show.
"100 percent," Bannon agreed. "Even Chuck Todd, the swampiest creature of swamp creatures, he walked through it yesterday on Meet the Press. He said it felt completely orchestrated."
To prove his point, Marlow played the following clip from the Nov. 12 edition of NBC’s Meet the Press.
"Charlie Cook, is Mitch McConnell, the way he's been-- this clearly felt almost orchestrated, Todd said. "The minute, within an hour, this came out, many of the McConnell allies came out and said, 'He's got to go.' Sounds like Mitch McConnell has decided it's worse if Roy Moore wins."
Marlow said that clip was "all you need to hear," and Bannon agreed, saying "You’ve got to play that 20 times now til the end of the show."
But Todd wasn’t referring to the report about Moore's alleged actions when he said "it felt completely orchestrated." In fact, he never questioned the allegations.
Instead, Todd was asking pundit Charlie Cook about the implications for the Republican Party.
The "orchestrated" comment was in reference to the Senate Majority Leader’s condemnation of Moore a little over an hour after the report went live.
"If these allegations are true, he must step aside," McConnell said to reporters on Nov. 9.
Other Republican senators echoed McConnell’s sentiments that day, including Richard Shelby, Tim Scott, Rob Portman, John Cornyn, Cory Gardner, Susan Collins, Steve Daines, Mike Lee, Lisa Murkowski, David Perdue, Ben Sasse and John McCain.
Unlike Bannon, Cook caught Todd’s drift.
"I think Mitch McConnell thinks that this is just so horrible that it's not under his control, so he's got to live with whatever happens," Cook said. "I think if the voters of Alabama, if they choose to vote for Roy Moore, I think the Senate's obliged to seat him."
Bannon said Chuck Todd said the Roy Moore story "felt completely orchestrated."
But the Meet the Press clip Bannon cited showed Todd was talking about the Republican response to the Washington Post report on sexual assault allegations against Moore, not the report itself. Todd never questioned the report’s validity.
We rate this statement False.
Soundcloud, Breitbart Daily News Stephen K. Bannon, Nov. 13, 2017
NBCNews.com, Meet the Press, Nov. 12, 2017
Email interview with David Popp, Mitch McConnell spokesman, Nov. 15, 2017
Tweet, Frank Thorp, Nov. 9, 2017
The Washington Post, Woman says Roy Moore initiated sexual encounter when she was 14, he was 32, Nov. 9, 2017
The Washington Post, Mitch McConnell and a chorus of Republican senators call on Roy Moore to step aside in Alabama Senate race, Nov. 9, 2017
Vox, Republican senators respond to Moore allegations, Nov. 9, 2017
Read About Our Process
In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.