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CNN, MSNBC Use Schneiderman Story to Knock ... Trump

Many in the media are deflecting criticism toward the current commander in chief


Late last night New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned following an explosive New Yorker report documenting the official's dark history of beating women, taunting them with racist insults, as well as sexually harassing and demeaning their appearance. Several of his victims ended up in the hospital. Today, many in the major media have used the story to hit ... President Trump.

On MSNBC's Morning Joe, the program used the story as a hook to re-air Trump's infamous Access Hollywood tape. After re-airing the tape, co-host Mika Brzezinski intoned: “President Trump and his aides have defended that as locker room talk. 19 women have accused President Trump of sexual misconduct. He strongly denies their claims. Joe?”

Brzezinski also attacked White House adviser Kellyanne Conway for tweeting "Gotcha" in response to news of Schneiderman's abusive behavior. "Given that tweet," she said, "it seems that Conway has given license to remind people that she’s been less eager to comment on another powerful man who said on tape that he kisses and grabs women without consent.”

Joe Scarborough praised Democrats' handling of the Schneiderman story, contrasting it favorably against Republicans' response to the Access Hollywood tape:

Democrats immediately stepped forward and called on Eric Schneiderman to resign, and yet the party that claims it’s the party of family values, the party of Mike Pence that surrounds itself with preachers, that says that Donald Trump prays before meetings, the party that has Donald Trump going out I think in the Rose Garden talking about National Prayer Day soon after he admits to one lurid affair after another after lying about them, this is, I guess, the party of Donald Trump and the party of Mike Pence. There is quite a contrast. I mean, let’s be honest, let’s be blunt. It was the Democratic Party in the 1990s that enabled Bill Clinton and would say behind the scenes that, yes, they knew Bill Clinton abused women and treated them terribly but they still circled the wagons for him. At least the Democratic Party has figured it out now. But the Republicans, wow, unbelievable. Anybody that opens their mouth against Eric Schneiderman has it coming straight back at them about the man they defend day in and day out.” 

Panelist Eugene Robinson agreed, predicting historians will look at this moment and see a "moral failing" in the Republican Party. 

"When historians like Meacham look back at this period in our politics and look at the Republican Party, I think they will see this failing, this moral failing as a hole in the party’s soul," Robinson said. "And I don’t know how the party goes forward in that condition. I think the Democratic Party, yes, it is a zero tolerance policy now and one hopes going forward that there is consistency. But Eric Schneiderman was a big deal and very popular in the Democratic Party, and 2 hours 57 minutes, huge contrast between that and the way the President of the United States is regarded by the party that preaches about morality a lot.”

On CNN, John Avlon likewise turned the Schneiderman story around on Trump.

Commenting on Conway's tweet, Avlon said, "They’re doing it in kind of a literally ‘Gotcha’ sort of dance on the political grave way as opposed to taking the high ground and saying this kind of violence against women is unacceptable by anyone, let alone elite chief law enforcement officer, where this is clearly case of pattern of abuse of power and arrogance of power, and presumably they’re not taking that tact not because it’s not the right thing to do, because they’re afraid they live in a glass house or at least their principal does."

"That itself is sort of pathetic," Avlon went on. "This demands a response that’s a little bit bigger than petty politics because the charges, the allegations themselves are really serious. And for the members of the White House staff not to take the obvious high road of saying this is something we all need to condemn, itself is a sign of how small our politics have become.”\

MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle used the story to hit Donald Trump Jr., who had mocked Schneiderman after the New Yorker report. 


"It is of course hypocritical for Don Jr. to be celebrating the speed in which Eric Schneiderman resigned," Ruhle said. "Remember, Don, Jr., it was because of the free press. And to Kellyanne Conway who’s saying gotcha, remember, Kellyanne, the person you work for has also been accused by over 12 women and bragged about grabbing women’s genitals.”

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