MSNBC Segment Heats Up When RFK Refuses To ‘Condemn’ Trump

[Screenshot/MSNBC News/"The Beat With Ari Melber"]

Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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MSNBC host Ari Melber and Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. clashed Wednesday during a show after the presidential candidate was pressed on condemning former President Donald Trump and the Jan. 6 events.

Kennedy appeared on “The Beat With Ari Melber” to discuss his stances on current issues involving both Trump and President Joe Biden. Melber pressed Kennedy on his stance on Trump, asking what has made him “warmer” towards the presumptive GOP nominee since endorsing then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016. Melber called out Kennedy being “proud” of Trump praising him, however, the Independent candidate quickly snapped back about the issues he saw within both Trump’s administration and Biden’s. (RELATED: RFK Jr. Is Poised To Tilt The Presidential Race — But It’s Still Not Clear To Whom)

“They’re both catastrophic,” Kennedy said. “Neither of them can solve that problem. Let me tell you something else they can’t do. Neither of them can end the vitriol that you are trying to pump up right now.”

“What have I said that’s vitriolic?” Melber questioned.

“What you’re saying to me, that I need to take a side and say one person —” Kennedy began.

“No, I’m asking you about — you’re running for president, it’s a big job and I’m asking you about what people — ” Melber stated.

“Let me finish. You told me I would have the floor. After you gave a long, long speech,” Kennedy jumped in.

“Yes I did, but you just suggested that I am perpetuating vitriol and I ask you to substantiate that. What have I said today that’s vitriolic?” Melber questioned.

Kennedy finished his original point by calling out the “amplified” hate from both sides of the political aisle, saying he would not participate in either side’s “craziness.”

“But you’re not addressing the question I raised, and maybe you won’t, which is that what we just heard from former President Trump and what he does in the racism, in the misogyny, refusing to leave peacefully through January 6th, up through that night praising the people who are convicted seditionists,” Melber said.

“What I played for you — people don’t see what you seem to be saying, which is a type of equivalence,” he continued. “Do you see something different about that and the threat of that in this election or not? And if not so be it. But that’s what people are asking.”

“This is what [I mean] when saying you’re feeding the vitriol. You’re trying to get me to hate on President Trump,” Kennedy responded.

Melber pushed back on Kennedy asking him about Trump’s statements of wanting to clear Jan. 6 prisoners who are serving time, and questioning if he would again condemn the statements. Kennedy went on to condemn the actions of Jan. 6 calling it a “terrible time in our history,” Kennedy went on to state that he condemned the actions of Jan. 6 but would not “campaign based upon drumming up or amplifying people’s hatred towards each other.”

“Sure, but you condemn that and Donald Trump – He’d be wrong to pardon them? You condemn it? He’d be wrong to pardon them, right?” Melber asked.

“Ari, you say ‘sure, but’ — but what you and what you do when you’re sitting in this chair every night, is your job is to inflame that. And my job is to de-escalate,” Kennedy stated.

“I don’t feel inflamed at all,” Melber pushed back.

“You don’t, I know, but that’s what you’re doing,” Kennedy responded.

The two argued back and forth, with Kennedy stating that for him to pardon people, specifically referring to Jan. 6 prisoners, he would need to look at each individual case.

Previously running on the Democratic ticket after his campaign announcement last year, Kennedy switched to an independent bid last October. In a poll conducted late April, The Harris Poll and HarrisX found that Kennedy’s favorability among 1,961 registered voters is at an estimated 44%, with 35% of voters holding an unfavorable view of Kennedy.