This week on the Sunday news shows: Democratic presidential candidate Deval Patrick refuses to disavow super PAC support for his campaign, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise defends President Donald Trump's decision to pardon military service members, and CNN's Brian Stelter said "truth still matters" before introducing the former news anchor that impugned George W. Bush's military service record.
Deval Patrick Refuses to Turn Away Super PAC Support
Democratic presidential candidate Deval Patrick on Sunday refused to disavow support from super PACs.
"I'm not crazy about super PAC money either. I'm not sure—if I understand the rules correctly, I don't even have a say about that," Patrick said during an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press.
Host Chuck Todd said Patrick can publicly discourage it, prompting him to say he believes his campaign needs to do some catch-up on campaign fundraising, and that they will be looking at multiple sources of money. Todd followed up by asking Patrick whether he will disavow a super PAC if one supports his campaign.
"No, I'm not. I will say that I would like to see any contributions to such a PAC fully disclosed. I think dark money—first of all, I think there's too much money in the system," Patrick said. "I'm going to have something to say about that from a policy point of view as we get a little further along, but if there is going to be super PAC money that supports me, the sources should be fully disclosed."
Scalise: Trump's Military Pardons Are Boosting Troop ‘Morale'
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R., La.) on Sunday defended President Donald Trump's decision to pardon two military service members, and restore the rank of a third, after all three were accused or convicted of war crimes.
Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked Scalise whether he had any issues with Trump pardoning the two service members, prompting Scalise to say he didn't have any issues with the decision.
"No, I think there have been a lot of concerns expressed over the years that many of our men and women in uniform that were out battling terrorists in the battlefield were being put in the position where they had to think about whether or not if they returned fire or if they defended themselves," Scalise said. "Yet our men and women—men in uniform in this case—were jailed for 25 plus years for killing a terrorist in the battlefield."
Scalise said some of the people who were killed by the service members were "bomb-making terrorists."
"I think our troops—the morale is much higher amongst troops I have heard from, because this has been a concern I've heard from our men and women in uniform in battlefield for years, that they felt they were sidelined because they needed a team of attorneys before they could return fire on a battlefield," Scalise said.
Despite concerns from Pentagon officials about undermining the military justice system, Trump pardoned Army first lieutenant Clint Lorance and Major Mathew Golsteyn. Lorance was found guilty of second-degree murder after he ordered his soldiers to shoot three men in 2008. Golsteyn, a Green Beret team leader, was accused of killing a suspected bomb-maker while deployed in Afghanistan in 2010.
Navy SEAL Ed Gallagher, who was acquitted of killing a teenage prisoner of war in Iraq, was demoted after he was found guilty for posing in a photograph with the body. However, Trump restored him to the rank of chief petty officer.
Stelter Introduces Dan Rather as Panelist After Saying ‘Truth Still Matters'
CNN host Brian Stelter on Sunday said "truth still matters" before introducing the former news anchor who used faked documents to impugn George W. Bush's military service record.
"Yes, there are alternative universes of information. Yes, there are these competing narratives, but they are not equally true," Stelter said on his show Reliable Sources. "Hey, don't take it from me. Take it from that DOJ prosecutor. Truth still matters."
"We have an incredible panel here in New York with me to talk about right-wing media's reaction and so much more," Stelter said before introducing former CBS anchor Dan Rather and the other panelists.
Stelter asked Rather whether he believes anything has changed after the first two days of impeachment hearings.
"One thing has changed," Rather said. "It's been increasingly apparent that truth is closing in. Truth does matter."
Rather infamously resigned as the anchor of the CBS Evening News after CBS retracted his story on Bush's military service. His report, which aired two months before the 2004 presidential election, falsely claimed Bush often went AWOL while serving in the Texas National Guard during the 1970s. In response to the report, conservative bloggers discovered the cited memos were forged. Despite CBS retracting the report, Rather was still defending his story as recently as 2015.