Chuck Todd sorry for 'deceptively' editing Bill Barr’s comments on Michael Flynn case after Trump demanded he's fired

NBC presenter Chuck Todd has apologized for airing an edited clip of William Barr’s response to a key question over his decision to drop the Michael Flynn case.

He spoke out after President Donald Trump called for the 'Meet the Press' presenter to be given the boot by his bosses following the controversial broadcast.

The president's tweet came after the Department of Justice slammed the morning news program accusing it of deception over the interview with the Attorney General.

During his on-air apology Todd said: "I wanted to talk for a moment about something that occurred on Sunday's edition of Meet the Press.

"During the program, we aired a soundbite from a CBS News interview with Attorney General Bill Barr.

"In the bite that we aired and commented on, Mr Barr was asked how he thinks the history of his decision to end the prosecution of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn will be written.

"Mr Barr answered, quote: 'History is written by the winner, so it largely depends on who's writing the history.'

"In the full version of the interview and transcript, he went on to say, 'But I think a fair history would say that it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law.'

"Now, we did not edit that out. That was not our edit. We didn't include it because we only saw the shorter of two clips that CBS did air," Todd explained.

NBC has already apologized admitting that the clip Todd had played was "inadvertently and inaccurately cut short"

The clip showed CBS reporter Catherine Herridge asking Barr how history might view his efforts to dismiss charges against Flynn.

He replied: "Well, history's written by the winners.  So it largely depends on who's writing the history."

Giving his verdict on Barr's interview, Todd said he was struck by “the cynicism of the answer”. 

He said: ”It's a correct answer. But he's the Attorney General. He didn't make the case that he was upholding the rule of law.

“He was almost admitting that, yeah, this is a political job.” 

But on the clip, shown in full by CBS News, Barr then goes on to justify dropping the criminal case against Flynn two years after he admitted to lying to the FBI about Russia links.

He actually said: "Well, history is written by the winners. So it largely depends on who's writing the history. But I think a fair history would say that it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law. 

"It helped, it upheld the standards of the Department of Justice, and it undid what was an injustice."

A spokesperson for the Justice Department, Kerri Kupec later tweeted a side-by-side transcript of the CBS interview, comparing it with the excerpt used by NBC.

In light of the cutting of the Barr's full response, Kupec said she was "very disappointed by the deceptive editing/commentary".    

Barr’s critics have suggested the decision to drop charges against Flynn was politically-motivated and designed to keep scrutiny away from President Trump.

On Thursday, he moved to drop the criminal charges against Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser .

Flynn was among Trump’s former aides convicted during the special counsel's probe into Russian election meddling.

He had pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about contacts with Russia's ambassador to the US, but had been seeking to withdraw his guilty plea.

However, last night it was revealed the move to drop charges against Flynn have been put on hold by a judge.

District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who is overseeing Flynn's criminal case, said he was delaying his decision to allow third parties argue against the Justice Department's bid to exonerate the former aide.

He said he expects legal experts and independent organizations to argue against the DoJ's push to clear Flynn.

Sullivan said he would set a schedule for such parties to argue against the bid "at the appropriate time."

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