Veteran NBC anchor Tom Brokaw, who for years hosted “NBC Nightly News,” chided the mainstream media last week during a discussion over President Donald Trump’s choice to fire James Comey as director of the FBI.
Critics say that Trump fired Comey in order to hide an alleged connection to Russia, arguing that Trump was unable to handle the FBI’s widening probe into the alleged connection. However, the claims that Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with Russia have thus far been unsubstantiated with concrete evidence.
Still, the Richard Nixon Presidential Library trolled Trump’s decision on Twitter last week following the move.
“FUN FACT: President Nixon never fired the Director of the FBI,” the library tweeted.
Speaking on her MSNBC show Thursday, NBC News anchor Andrea Mitchell noted the “Nixonian” analogies being used by the media and others, mostly Democrats, who are comparing what Trump did in firing Comey to some of the criminal acts Nixon committed as president, such as the Watergate scandal.
But Brokaw disagreed with the comparison. He also cautioned Mitchell and others in the mainstream media in assuming facts that don’t exist in Trump’s firing of Comey.
“One of the things that I learned during Watergate … is that we dealt with it every day on a factual basis. There was not a lot of speculation. Now, of course, the media landscape has changed a lot, and we have that going on 24/7,” Brokaw explained. “I do think, however, that all of us as reporters wherever we are … have to take a deep breath and say let’s deal with the facts as we know them at this point.”
Brokaw then went on to educate Mitchell on the differences between Watergate and what Trump did, explaining that “Watergate was a criminal enterprise run out of the Oval Office.”
“There’s a big difference between that and what we’re dealing with now,” Brokaw said.
Having said that, there are a lot of elements here that desperately need more explanation, more investigation. I haven’t run into anybody yet who thinks that Jim Comey was doing a good job as the FBI director, beginning last summer.
And then as you’ll remember, Hillary Clinton and others in the Democratic Party all but blamed him for her loss. Now they’re defending him as the champion. So there’s a lot of confusion going on here.
For the 77-year-old journalist, covering Comey’s firing comes down to just one simple task: “Our obligation I think is to sort it out, truth from fact, and deal with the truth.”
Watch Brokaw’s comments below: