Chuck Todd claimed that Donald Trump, who refuses to release any personal information to voters, is holding the higher ground over Hillary Clinton on transparency.
Transcript via Meet The Press:
You guys have higher ground on this issue, on this whole idea of transparency, and her accountability. If you guys were as transparent, releasing the tax returns, him releasing his tax returns, whatever you want to say about the Clintons, and we know this because the information has either been dragged out of them or it’s been disclosed. We don’t have any disclosures. We don’t have your tax returns.
GOV. MIKE PENCE:
Donald Trump and I are both going to release our tax returns. I’ll release mine in the next week. Donald Trump will be releasing his tax returns at the completion of an audit. But the issue here is not–
But that won’t be before the election.
GOV. MIKE PENCE:
The issue here– well, we’ll see.
Chuck Todd’s proclamation that Trump has the “high ground” on transparency was not based on fact. Chuck Todd needs to tell America what exactly Donald Trump has been transparent about. Trump hasn’t released his medical records, his tax returns, has fought to have the release of his video depositions blocked. Trump has destroyed his own emails, failed to release a full disclosure of his business interests and potential conflicts of interest.
Donald Trump has told US voters nothing, but Chuck Todd thinks that he has the high ground on transparency.
In contrast, Hillary Clinton has released a detailed medical history, tax returns, Clinton Foundation data, and more emails than any presidential candidate in US history.
Todd did go on to press Pence about Trump’s tax returns, but his basis for the question was an assumption that revealed how low the media had set the bar for Donald Trump. The Beltway press has assumed that Clinton is guilty, so Trump automatically gets the high ground on transparency.
Never has a modern nominee for president publicly disclosed as little information as Donald Trump has chosen not to give voters, but Chuck Todd lazily rejected reality and projected his assumptions about Hillary Clinton into a question to Mike Pence.
Facts matter, and in this case, Chuck Todd ignored the facts in an attempt to keep the 2016 presidential horserace alive.
Update: The Meet The Press transcript did not reflect the fact that Todd was attempting to ask a question about if the Trump campaign has the high ground on transparency. However, the fact that this should even be a question raises concerns about the false equivalency style reporting that is driving the coverage of the presidential election.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association