MSNBC’s Brian Williams, Nicolle Wallace Hate-Bomb Trump Church-Opening Orders

The cast of MSNBC Deadline: White House made clear on Friday that they were not fans of President Trump’s announcement that he would like the states to declares houses of worship essential. Over the course of just a couple of minutes, Trump’s announcement was ridiculed as likely illegal, being full of ulterior motives, and dangerous for public health.

Brian Williams got the festivities started by telling fellow host Nicolle Wallace that the move was constitutionally dubious, after all it isn’t like Trump is enforcing integration during the days of Jim Crow. “I’ll just set it up before I take my leave to let you bring in our next two guests. Constitutional law specialists sent scrambling figure how he can override individual state governors. This is not Ike or JFK sending in troops or federalizing the national guard the guard to enforce integration in the south.”

 

 

On Twitter, Fox News contributor Andrew McCarthy wrote “Get a grip. Trump knows DOJ’s Civil Rights Division has been intervening in lawsuits challenging states & municipalities over infringement of religious liberty. He’s not a lawyer. When he threatens to ‘override’ the governors, he means he’ll have DOJ challenge restrictions in court.”

He added: “POTUS not claiming a general power to override governors. He is saying, in his non-ConLaw prof way, that governors have to respect the 1st Amendment. Thats a lot more sensible than a governor saying Bill of Rights is above his pay grade.”

MSNBC didn’t have problems with federal pressure on states and localities when the issue was pleasing “Black Lives Matter” by policing local police departments. When Obama was in charge, MSNBC insisted his Justice Department “wasn’t political at all.”

A little bit later in the segment Dr. William Schaffner seemed to mock people of faith and suggest they would muck up this social-distancing thing. “When you go to a congregation, you congregate, you bring people together closely, these are people who have known each other for a long time, they’ve been separate, they want to see each other, they will get close, they will try to hug. They will sit closely together.”

Then he lectured “The virus is not religious. It won’t respond to prayer, I’m afraid. It loves congregations. That’s been demonstrated both here and abroad. These religious gatherings have been sources, sites, where this virus has been transmitted widely.”

During his statement earlier in the day Trump had condemned governors who deem abortion clinics and liquor stores to be essential businesses, but not churches. For Wallace, this somehow made it, “abundantly clear that this is not just about what he says it about, which it never is with Donald Trump.” Instead, it was about, “the battle lines of which his re-election will be waged: aggressive reopenings in defiance of public health warnings from his own CDC and his own advisers and on the other side, Democrats who have seemingly hitched their fortunes to science and data.”

Axios co-founder Jim VandeHei agreed, “Yeah, he’s trying to adopt a bullish stance on getting American back to work.” He then circled back to Williams’ legal argument, “This idea that “I deem all churches open,” that’s actually not how it works. Each state is going to do it state by state. Cities are going to do it a churches are going to it individually.”

It’s always nice when the media discovers the Tenth Amendment, but that amendment does not provide states and localities cover to abuse the First by applying one set of rules to religious entities and another for non-religious. Apparently, the First Amendment is too difficult for Deadline to understand.

Here is a transcript for the May 22 show:

MSNBC
Deadline: White House

3:03 PM ET

BRIAN WILLIAMS: So, Nicolle, so much to discuss, so little time, I’ll just set it up before I take my leave to let you bring in our next two guests. Constitutional law specialists sent scrambling figure how he can override individual state governors. This is not Ike or JFK sending in troops or federalizing the national guard the guard to enforce integration in the south. 

3:05

WILLIAM SCHAFFNER: Well, Nicolle, we know that virus loves to be transmitted through close personal contact and when you go to a congregation, you congregate, you bring people together closely, these are people who have known each other for a long time, they’ve been separate, they want to see each other, they will get close, they will try to hug. They will sit closely together. So if these houses of worship, God bless them, wish to open soon, please do it carefully. Urge people to wear masks. Spread people apart. Have hand hygiene materials readily available and keep the services as brief as possible. Ask people not to linger and to be reverent by themselves at home. That’s what I would advise. If we’re going to do this, do it with great care. The virus is not religious. It won’t respond to prayer, I’m afraid. It loves congregations. That’s been demonstrated both here and abroad. These religious gatherings have been sources, sites, where this virus has been transmitted widely. 

NICOLLE WALLACE: Jim VandeHei, some of that news conference that jumped out at me and it was the president invoking abortion clinics and liquor stores, making abundantly clear that this is not just about what he says it about, which it never is with Donald Trump, but talk, and Axios has had a lot of reporting along the same lines of what the Washington Post this morning, about Donald Trump seeing the battle lines of which his re-election will be waged: aggressive reopenings in defiance of public health warnings from his own CDC and his own advisers and on the other side, Democrats who have seemingly hitched their fortunes to science and data. 

JIM VANDEHEI: Yeah, he’s trying to adopt a bullish stance on getting American back to work. You do have to separate what he says and what he does. This idea that “I deem all churches open,” that’s actually not how it works. Each state is going to do it state by state. Cities are going to do it a churches are going to it individually. The danger here is not just when you go to church you’re packed in, I go to church, I go home, I go to church here in Virginia, I go to church when I’m up in Maine, and one what’s true of all three different churches, three different denominations is sadly you tend to have a lot more older people who go to church. What we now know definitively, is that if you’re over 60, over 65, you have pre-existing conditions, if you pack in tight, whether you’re in a nursing home or in a church you’re at much higher risk and I think most people know that. One thing to pay close attention to — the Fox poll…

WALLACE: Yeah

VANDEHEI: that came out yesterday or today, and other polls have shown that suddenly the president’s numbers have gone way down with voters over the age of 65, that was a voting group that really went for him and went for Republicans in general and in off-year elections. Why is that? One of the reasons is, a lot of these people are sitting at home being super careful, doing the right thing, and they’re watching TV, wait a second, I’m quarantined, I’m worried about my own health, I don’t want to be exposed to this virus and president is talking about some goofy medications that he can take that we don’t think necessarily will work or he’s saying we can go out in public when I don’t necessarily feel safe going to church, so I’d keep an eye on that. 

 

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