ABC Spends Twice the Time on Trump Debate Prep Rumors than FBI Turning Over Notes to Congress

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In what many on Tuesday called “an extremely rare step,” the FBI handed over their notes and other documents pertaining to their investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server to Congress. Also on Tuesday, rumors swirled that Donald Trump was seeking debate advice from the former Chair of Fox News Rodger Ailes. While CBS and NBC dedicated almost equal time to both stories, the superficial ABC dedicated more than twice the time to Trump’s debate prep.

During World News Tonight, the Trump debate prep story garnered a segment that lasted two minutes, 35 seconds. In contrast, both CBS and NBC each had one general story about Trump’s day and each one lasted less than two minutes. In both, Trump’s debate prep of one part of the collective report about his day.

“…Reports Trump has been huddling with a powerful conservative player, Ousted Fox News honcho, Roger Ailes,” reported ABC’s Tom Llamas, “Ailes was force out of Fox last month after a series of women accused him of sexual harassment. Trump defended him.”

Llamas also focused on Ailes’ past debate history:

Ailes is an old hand at debate strategy. Here he is, sitting across from President Ronald Reagan, helping him prep for a debate in 1984. In this election, Ailes presiding over four Fox News debates featuring Trump. One of them, that epic showdown Megyn Kelly.

Anchor David Muir kept it simple during the report of the FBI turning over their notes, which lasted only one minute, eight seconds. “The FBI meanwhile, taking an extremely rare step tonight, turning over to Congress secret notes and documents from their investigation of Hilary Clinton’s private e-mail server,” he stated.

Muir talked live with correspondent Jon Karl, who had this to say:

David, these materials provide extraordinary insight into the process the FBI went through in deciding not to indict Hillary Clinton. And the FBI has been under enormous pressure from Republicans to explain and justify that decision. But David even as they explain their decision not to indict, the FBI has made it very clear, they are not saying Hillary Clinton did not do anything wrong. 

Transcripts below:

ABC
World News Night
August 16, 2016
6:36:11 PM Eastern [2 minutes 35 Seconds]

DAVID MUIR: We turn next to major developments in the race for the White House. Possible trouble for Hillary Clinton. And Donald Trump standing firm tonight. A new interview a short time ago, and in it, Trump's new reaction to all of this talk that his campaign desperately need to pivot, a reset. Tonight, what Donald Trump has to say about that, and ABC's Tom Llamas is outside Milwaukee.

[Cuts to video]

TOM LLAMAS: Tonight, Donald Trump with a clear message when it com to his style -- change is not on the way.

DONALD TRUMP: I am who I am. It's me. I don’t want to change. Everyone talks about, oh, well you're going to pivot. I don't want to pivot. I mean, you have to be you. If you start pivoting, you're not being honest with people. No, I am who I am. I’ve gotten here in a landslide and we'll see what happens.

LLAMAS: But following disastrous weeks fueled by off the cuff remarks, Trump is trying to stay on-message. Delivering is plan to combat terror with the help of a teleprompter.

TRUMP: We cannot let this evil continue.

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LLAMAS: This comes amid reports Trump has been huddling with a powerful conservative player, Ousted Fox News honcho, Roger Ailes. The Trump campaign at first denying it, saying quote, "Mr. Ailes is not advising Mr. Trump or helping with debate prep. They are longtime friends but Mr. Ailes has no formal or informal role with the campaign.” But campaign sources telling ABC news, Trump is going to Ailes for advice on debates. Over the weekend, the two meeting at one of Trump's New Jersey golf courses. Ailes was force out of Fox last month after a series of women accused him of sexual harassment. Trump defended him.

TRUMP: He's been a friend of mine for a long time, and I can tell you that some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he's helped them.

LLAMAS: Ailes is an old hand at debate strategy. Here he is, sitting across from President Ronald Reagan, helping him prep for a debate in 1984. In this election, Ailes presiding over four Fox News debates featuring Trump. One of them, that epic showdown Megyn Kelly.

MEGYN KELLY: You've called women you don't like fat pigs.

LLAMAS: Now, Ailes working on the other side, as Trump insists he's doing better than polls reflect.

[Cuts back to live]

MUIR: And Tom llamas with us live at a Trump rally outside Milwaukee. And Tom, tomorrow, Donald Trump will get his first classified national security briefing? What have you learned?

LLAMAS: That's right, David. Tomorrow intelligence officals will brief Donald Trump inside of a secret room at the FBI's headquarters in New York City. The classified briefings will cover major threats to the US and immerging threats around the world. New Jersey governor Chris Christie and retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn will be with Trump. 

...

ABC
World News Tonight
August 16, 2016
6:38:48 PM Eastern [1 Minute 8 Seconds]

DAVID MUIR: The FBI meanwhile, taking an extremely rare step tonight, turning over to Congress secret notes and documents from their investigation of Hilary Clinton’s private e-mail server. The FBI ended its probe, finding Secretary Clinton was quote, “very careless in handling sensitive material.” But recommending no charges. So, let's get right to ABC's Jonathan Karl tonight. Jon, the FBI was under major pressure to hand this over to members of Congress?

JON KARL: David, these materials provide extraordinary insight into the process the FBI went through in deciding not to indict Hillary Clinton. And the FBI has been under enormous pressure from Republicans to explain and justify that decision. But David even as they explain their decision not to indict, the FBI has made it very clear, they are not saying Hillary Clinton did not do anything wrong.

MUIR: I can imagine the Clinton camp is responding tonight Jon?

KARL: They sure are, David. In response, Clinton spokesperson Brian Fallon said, “This is an extraordinarily rare step that was sought solely by Republicans.” He wants these materials declassified and released, saying, “They should be released widely so the public can see for themselves, rather than allow Republicans to mischaracterize them through selective partisan leaks. David?