On Thursday, the political director for ABC News based in Washington, D.C., who “oversees the political unit and helps steer the network’s coverage of major news events,” according to ABC News, tweeted about “cleansing the movement Trump commands.”
Rick Klein wrote on Twitter, “Trump will be an ex-president in 13 days. The fact is that getting rid of Trump is the easy part. Cleansing the movement he commands is going to be something else.”
Political Director for @ABC News based in Washington DC appears to have deleted his tweet about the 75 million Americans who voted for Trump that talked about the challenge of "cleansing the movement." pic.twitter.com/HS1Rwrn94S
— Omri Ceren (@omriceren) January 7, 2021
That tweet, apparently deleted later, quoted an article Klein authored that was published by ABC News on Thursday in which he wrote, “Even aside from impeachment and 25th Amendment talk, Trump will be an ex-president in 13 days. The fact is that getting rid of Trump is the easy part. Cleaning up the movement he commands, or getting rid of what he represents to so many Americans, is going to be something else.”
The same article stated that the riots were an “attempted insurrection”: “Until Wednesday’s siege, when a mob of extremists engaged in an attempted insurrection and violent occupation of the Capitol, there seemed to be little cost to some Republicans in indulging Trump’s conspiracy theories, lies and fantasies.”
ABC News’ bio of Klein states, “Klein provides regular political commentary and analysis for all ABC News broadcasts and platforms including ‘World News Tonight,’ ‘Good Morning America,’ ABCNews.com, ABC News Radio, and NewsOne, the network’s affiliate news service. He co-hosts the ‘Powerhouse Politics’ podcast along with ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl.”
In February 2013, when Klein was named for his current position, Ben Sherwood, President of Disney-ABC Television Group, stated of him, “Rick has established himself as a trusted voice by puncturing Beltway talking points and poll-tuned messages, staying far ahead of the curve on national affairs and political news.”
In September, Klein was asked about President Trump saying he might cut funding to cities that were the scenes of violent protests. Klein answered by noting Trump’s “bluster,” saying, “It’s almost certainly going to be challenged in courts if he actually continues the machinations to do it. Start with the irony here, that he would be literally defunding the police and potentially harming his efforts to get schools to open. … So the president has put a lot of bluster behind some such threats in the past; they are rarely carried through.”
Last August, at the time of the Republican National Convention, Klein wrote:
Were you better off six months ago than you were four years ago? That’s the awkward question that hovered over President Donald Trump’s Republican National Convention this week. It’s difficult to pose and dicey to want to have answered, yet unavoidable for an incumbent in this tumultuous election year. And so the message from Trump, in seeking to transform the classic referendum election into a choice, is to turn to partisanship and polarization.
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