NBC News came under fire Sunday morning for a pair of tweets that removed context from an answer Reince Priebus, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for White House chief of staff, offered on the idea of a Muslim registry.
Priebus appeared “Meet the Press” and was asked by host Chuck Todd if he could rule out the idea of placing Muslims on a registry.
Here was the exchange:
TODD: Can you equivocally rule out a registry for Muslims?
PRIEBUS: Look, I’m not going to rule out anything. But, we are not going to have a registry based on religion.
The public relations account for NBC News tweeted out the exchange twice, but left out the second part of Priebus’ response:
“Can you rule out a registry for Muslims?” asks @ChuckTodd.
The tweets quickly faced criticism.
“This quote is in fact opposite of what PR tweet indicates,” tweeted Maggie Haberman, a political correspondent for The New York Times.
Charlie Warzel, a senior technology writer for BuzzFeed, called it an “irresponsible half-quote w/o even a link for context.”
Others flooded the NBC News account with messages calling the tweets “misleading” and “dishonest.”
A representative for NBC News declined to say whether the media organisation would issue a retraction, but the Twitter account dug its heels in the sand in a reply to Haberman.
Trump has often criticised the media, alleging that it has not fairly covered his campaign or, more recently, his transition.
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