‘No, No, No, No, No’: Rep. Byron Donalds, NBC Host Kristen Welker Clash Over Hur Report’s Conclusion

[Screenshot/NBC News/"Meet The Press"]

Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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Florida Republican Rep. Byron Donalds and NBC host Kristen Welker clashed Sunday over the conclusion from special counsel Robert Hur’s report which investigated President Biden’s handling of classified documents.

Donalds appeared on “Meet the Press” to discuss his support of former President Donald Trump for the upcoming general election. During the interview, Welker questioned the congressman on a claim from Biden campaign co-chair Cedric Richmond calling a recent comment from Trump over his criminal charges “plain racist.”

While Donalds had stated the charges were politically motivated and contextualized Trump’s comments, Welker continued to press the congressman on his views. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: DOJ Fails To Meet Congressional Deadline To Hand Over Biden-Hur Interview Transcript, Committees Say)

“Again, there’s no evidence that the indictments against [Trump] are politicized but, sticking to this question, were you offended, at all, by his comments, Congressman?” Welker questioned.

Donalds pointed out the differences in the circumstances of Biden and Trump’s situations, claiming that while Biden had “no rights” to any of the documents noted in Hur’s investigation which he acquired prior to becoming president, he was still not charged. Donalds’s stance, however, moved Welker to attempt to correct Donalds, resulting in a clash between the two.

“No, I wasn’t because I understood what the president was talking about and, like I’ve said now, for the third time, he talked about all the reasons why minority voters want to support him. And Kristen, let me push back a little bit, you have to acknowledge the fact that now that the Robert Hur report has come out about Joe Biden’s misuse of classified information, which is the Espionage Act. He had no rights to any of those documents when he was a senator or vice president, yet there are no charges against President Biden. But President Trump is under prosecution? Come on now, we know that doesn’t make sense at all,” Donalds stated.

“Hold on, I have to hit the pause button for one minute, Congressman, because the Hur report was very clear that there was not enough evidence to bring charges against President Biden and that ultimately there was not —,” Welker stated before Donalds cut in.

“Kristen, I got to push back on you. That is not — no, no, no, no, no,” Donalds interjected.

“That is what the Hur report said. Congressman, that is exactly what the Hur report said. Yes, it is, it says there wasn’t enough evidence to bring charges —” Welker doubled down.

“The Espionage Act is clear. You cannot possess those documents as a senator or a vice president. You have no right to those documents as a senator or a vice president. They must remain in a secure facility. Joe Biden took them from a SCIF, that’s a violation of the Espionage Act, period,” Donalds stated.

“Alright, bottom line, though: Hur himself said there wasn’t enough evidence to bring charges,” Welker stated before moving on to the next question.

Hur’s report was released Feb. 8, notably labeling Biden as an “elderly man with a poor memory,” for which the president received backlash. While Hur declined to press charges against Biden, his report noted it would be “difficult to convince a jury” of a serious felony which would require a “mental state of willfulness.”

“We have also considered that, at trial, Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” the report stated.

“Based on our direct interactions with and observations of him, he is someone for whom many jurors will want to identify reasonable doubt. It would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him — by then a former president well into his eighties — of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness.”

Following the release of the report, Biden held an evening press conference where he sought to defend his mental state. Biden, however, was unable to remember the parish his rosary in memory of his late son, Beau, was from, in addition to mixing up multiple world leaders.