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Manuela Tobias
By Manuela Tobias November 15, 2017

Behind Steve Bannon's misrepresentation of Chuck Todd's comments on Roy Moore

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.

Marlow’s talking about a Washington Post report that four (and now five) women said Moore inappropriately touched, kissed or tried to date them in their teens.

"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.

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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."

Our ruling

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.

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Says Chuck Todd said the Roy Moore story "felt completely orchestrated."
radio interview
Monday, November 13, 2017

Our Sources

Soundcloud, Breitbart Daily News Stephen K. Bannon, Nov. 13, 2017, 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

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More by Manuela Tobias

Behind Steve Bannon's misrepresentation of Chuck Todd's comments on Roy Moore

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