Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz scolded MSNBC host Hallie Jackson during a Thursday segment, telling her to “stop mischaracterizing stuff.”
Jackson pressed Gaetz on the impeachment-related testimony of acting Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor, only some of which had been made public. “But about the substance of this, Congressman, because I haven’t heard you say anything since Bill Taylor testified: Yes or no, is it okay for any politician to trade military aid for political favors?” she asked.
“Look, I’m not going to get into the specifics of the Taylor deposition because I wasn’t present for it,” Gaetz pushed back. “The lead-in to your question was ‘I want to talk about Bill Taylor’s deposition.'” (RELATED: MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson Gets Super Mad When Rep. Matt Gaetz Won’t Agree With Liberal Talking Points)
“Do you think it’s appropriate?” Jackson asked again.
“I do not believe it would be appropriate for any politician to link military aid to assistance in a future election,” Gaetz agreed, adding, “I don’t think that’s what the president did.”
Gaetz went on to explain that a Ukrainian court had found evidence that Ukraine had “impermissably interfered” in the 2016 election, adding, “that is a sufficient basis for the president to ask for cooperation with the Attorney General on that matter.”
Jackson responded, “What you are saying is significant — not about the piece about Ukraine in 2016, because that is not a proven theory —”
“It was a court order in the Ukraine,” Gaetz interjected. “You just keep blowing through these things like they’re facts but they’re not. Just stop mischaracterizing stuff. I have to fact check you in real time.”
“I want to be clear you said it would not be appropriate for anybody to trade military aid for help in a future political election,” Jackson repeated. When Gaetz agreed, she continued, “It appears from the testimony that we have seen reported publicly from the witnesses here —”
Gaetz interrupted, “From the selective witnesses provided by Adam Schiff that aren’t subject to cross-examination. Like you’re playing the game here. You’re playing the game where they selectively leak stuff that is not subject to cross-examination. Rigorous review. Check against documents and timelines.”
“Your colleagues can cross examine him. Your Republican colleagues have been in the room. You don’t trust the Republicans on these committees?” Jackson asked.
Gaetz pointed out that even though some of his colleagues were able to cross-examine the witnesses, he was being asked to comment on Taylor’s statement without access to any of the information that came up in that cross-examination.
“And that is all by design,” Gaetz concluded. “It is not an accident that you and I are having this interview on terms that are very favorable to the Adam Schiff theory of the case because when John Ratcliffe asked questions that I think poked holes in the allegations that Taylor made, we don’t get the benefit of those. They weren’t leaked and they weren’t in front of the American people and that’s the problem.”