On Thursday, MSNBC’s Chuck Todd got into a heated exchange with his Republican guest, Rep. Tom Reed of New York, for criticizing former President Donald Trump’s 2020 election rhetoric, but also saying he would support Trump again for president if he decides to run and became the nominee.
The exchange took place on Todd’s MSNBC program “MTP Daily” and was first reported by Fox News.
MSNBC’s Chuck Todd grows heated with Republican guest on 1/6 anniversary for still supporting Trumphttps://t.co/ad4qETqtfs
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 6, 2022
Todd: ‘Are you willing to hand the keys to the democracy to this man again?’
On the one-year anniversary of the Capitol riot, Rep. Reed said it was important for leaders in both parties to “rightfully condemn” what happened last January 6 in Washington, DC.
But Reed also noted that the “74 million people” who voted for Trump were not the same people who broke into the Capitol.
“What happened was a vocal minority of extremists took it into their own thought process and power to do what they did, and to me that is what has to be objected to,” Reed told Todd. “And what has to happen is we have to stand up to it on the right, and you have to have leaders that will stand up to it on the left.”
Todd asked Reed if he regretted co-chairing Trump’s presidential campaign given the events of January 6, 2021. Reed said he did not regret taking that role.
Todd then quickly asked, “Why?”
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Reed replied, “I don’t, because he brought the disruption to Washington, D.C., that needs to be brought. Washington, D.C., the establishment, and the status quo needs to be disrupted.”
Todd then asked, “Are you willing to hand the keys to the democracy to this man again?”
Reed said if Trump was the Republican nominee in 2024, he would have his support.
Todd appeared somewhat outraged and asked Reed, “He’s calling the 2020 election a crime. Do you believe it was a crime?”
“Chuck, that will be part of the process,” Reed responded. “If he’s elected he’s going to have to go through the primary process, and the Republican Party will put its standard-bearer onto the line.”
Reed continued, “I believe at the end of the day we’re going to have enough voices in that conversation, that that type of rhetoric will be held to account, and I think that will discount the ability for an individual to be the standard-bearer for the Republican Party.”
Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) tells @chucktodd “It’s incumbent upon all leaders in Washington, D.C. to step forward, to condemn rightfully what happened on January 6th like I’m condemning right now.”
Reed then says he would back Trump in 2024 if he’s the nominee https://t.co/NSlknRCtXo
— Ed Demaria (@Ed_Demaria) January 6, 2022
Todd: ‘Does it bother you at all that the Republican Party is no longer a conservative party but a cult of personality right now?’
Todd seemed to accuse Reed and other Republicans of being “afraid” to stand up to Trump and his supporters about who actually won the 2020 election.
“I will be very clear with you, Chuck,” Reed told the MSNBC host. “I believe the election in 2020 was a duly held election, the results were duly certified and the challenges of fraud were given an opportunity to be vetted, and I will tell you that this big lie type of representation I disagree with, and I’m saying that right now, but that doesn’t mean you go forward and not look at the next election in a way that says we need to learn from 2020.”
“And so in 2024, Republicans are just as good at getting their vote to the ballot box as the Democrats are, so we have a fair shake in 2024 on an even playing field,” Reed added.
Pressed by Todd on what he meant by “fair,” Reed reiterated 2020 was a fair election, but claimed the rule changes implemented amid the coronavirus pandemic played into Democrats’ hands, and they were more effective in getting out their voters.
Todd would ask later, “Does it bother you at all that the Republican Party is no longer a conservative party but a cult of personality right now?”
“I mean, I disagree with that assessment … I still believe in the Republican Party. The ideology of the Republican Party is still strong,” Reed said.
“It’s a Republican Party that I believe in, and that philosophy is what’s going to see America through, through the future, and I still believe America is a center-right country,” Reed finished.