Correction 07/15/2020: An earlier version of this article stated that the Governor of Oklahoma was Mike DeWine. The Governor of Oklahoma is Kevin Stitt. DeWine is the Governor of Ohio. The piece has been corrected.
The communications director of President Donald Trump's 2020 presidential campaign, Tim Murtaugh, appeared on MSNBC to defend the President's bizarre press conference in the Rose Garden on Tuesday and the lack of adequate safety measures at his rallies in the face of the pandemic.
Murtaugh tried to deflect attention to the widespread protests of police brutality against Black people in the United States, but MSNBC anchor Katy Tur was having none of it.
After @KatyTurNBC editorializes about why BlackLivesMatter marches are OK but not Trump rallies, MSNBC’s @chucktodd… https://t.co/oWupic2gp9— Tom Elliott (@Tom Elliott)1594839701.0
Tur said to Murtaugh of the rallies:
"I'm confused in how you are protecting those who are coming to your events, but then acting against all of the public health guidelines, including from this administration, on how to do that."
Murtaugh went on to call attention the protests:
"And I do not recall MSNBC or CNN or anybody else being concerned about the safety of people who attended those gatherings, but suddenly, when it's involving a President Trump rally, then these safety measures are paramount. But when it's large gathering with a political message that MSNBC would agree with, suddenly safety measures are really on the back burner."
Tur stated the fact that the vast majority of protesters were wearing masks and all of the major protests were held outdoors, where the lifespan of the virus is significantly shorter. As a result, evidence indicates that these protests did not lead to a spike in virus cases.
Trump's rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma last month hosted six thousand of his supporters in an indoor arena. Few of these supporters wore masks. Two of the rally's attendees—Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt and former Republican Presidential candidate Herman Cain—have both since tested positive. Though it's unclear whether or not they contracted the virus at the rally, Tulsa health officials said that the rally likely led to the spike in cases the city is currently facing.
Days after the Tulsa rally, Trump held a speech indoors in Yuma, Arizona under similar circumstances. That state has gone on to see a spike as well, though that spike hasn't been attributed to the rally.
"We just saw the images of those rallies. People were not wearing masks inside the President's rally. There was not social distancing being practiced. We saw the signs being removed from seats, so you can say you handed out hand sanitizer and gave out masks but they weren't wearing them."
Murtaugh begrudingly responded:
"Thanks for that speech, Katy."
An awkward silence followed before Tur and Murtaugh signed off. Anchor Chuck Todd reminded viewers that there is no editorial stance on MSNBC, in an apparent admonishment to Katy Tur's fact checking.
People commended Tur for confronting Murtaugh with facts against a false equivalency.
Katy Tur just handed Trump campaign manager Tim Murtaugh his ass on a platter regarding the lack of safety measures… https://t.co/WHZwZdn5IC— penny pinkett smith-galifianakis (@penny pinkett smith-galifianakis)1594839433.0
THANK YOU @katytur for refusing to allow a rude arrogant man (whom you gave plenty of time to state his position) n… https://t.co/EXUQsDjKe6— ILoveLadybugs (@ILoveLadybugs)1594839685.0
Katy Tur is a smart, hardhitting, doesn't take any crap, journalist. @KatyTurNBC— Bruno Amato (@Bruno Amato)1594841575.0
@KatyTurNBC shows us how it’s done! She did not allow the guest to use her show as a free space to deliver lies and… https://t.co/aEMEJIt27n— Theresa Walsh (@Theresa Walsh)1594855121.0
And they were none too happy with Chuck Todd's apparent dismissal of this fact checking.
@katytur I hope you give a really strong dressing down to chuckie for his unprofessional, unnecessary and complete… https://t.co/lniblJthw6— connie. lamonica 🌴🌴 (@connie. lamonica 🌴🌴)1594851918.0
It couldn't be clearer, @MSNBC. While @KatyTurNBC held Tim Murtaugh's feet to the fire of facts, old @chucktodd ju… https://t.co/lTQhPZ5m4A— Korby Siamis (@Korby Siamis)1594839441.0
Katy Tur needs to have her own show. Maybe she could replace Chuck Todd.— Luke Wilson (@Luke Wilson)1594839556.0
Katy Tur pushed back on gaslighting while Chuck Todd silently watched.— GRIM REAPER’S PET TURTLE (@GRIM REAPER’S PET TURTLE)1594839430.0
You can watch the full exchange here.