Five times in one week cable news couldn't get a Republican to go on TV to talk about Trump

Several times over the past week, cable news hosts reported that Republicans had rejected invitations to appear on their shows to defend or discuss President Donald Trump and his reaction to the August 12 violence in Charlottesville, VA. The president failed to initially condemn the white supremacists and neo-Nazis responsible for the violence, and later in the week he insisted that there were “very fine people on both sides.”  

1. CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer:

WOLF BLITZER (HOST): This important note to our viewers, we did reach out to Republican leaders throughout the day. They all, at least for now, they refused to join us, but the invitation is clearly still very much open. [CNN, The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, 8/16/17]

2. Fox News’ Shepard Smith Reporting:

SHEPARD SMITH (HOST): Our booking team -- and they're good -- reached out to Republicans of all stripes, across the country today. Let's be honest, Republicans often don't really mind coming on Fox News Channel. We couldn't get anyone to come and defend him here, because we thought, in balance, someone should do that. We worked very hard at it throughout the day, and we were unsuccessful. And of those who are condemning the president's condemnable actions, I've not heard any prominent leaders, former presidents, members of the House or the Senate, use his name while speaking in generalities. [Fox News, Shepard Smith Reporting, 8/16/17]

3. MSNBC’s MTP Daily:

CHUCK TODD (HOST): We invited every single Republican Senator on this program tonight, all 52. We asked roughly a dozen House Republicans, including a bunch of committee chairs, and we asked roughly a half-dozen former Republican elected officials, and none of them agreed to discuss this issue with us today. So who’s going to step up? [MSNBC, MTP Daily, 8/16/17]

4. CNN’s New Day:

CHRIS CUOMO (CO-HOST): Here are the Republicans who have called out the president by name. And by name matters. And calling this what it is matters. So you see them there, John McCain started it going with Marco Rubio, Sen. [Lindsey] Graham came out yesterday about this. But the bigger number are those who are remaining silent. We contacted all 52 Republican GOP people, invited them on the show to get statements --

POPPY HARLOW (CO-HOST): Senators, all of them.

CUOMO: Yes. Nothing. They didn't want to do it. [CNN, New Day, 8/17/17]

5. MSNBC’s Meet the Press:

CHUCK TODD (HOST): To give you a sense of how reluctant Republicans are to talk about President Trump this week, not one member of the current Republican leadership in Congress agreed to come on the broadcast this morning. In fact, even the White House was unable, or perhaps unwilling to provide a guest, right down to the White House press secretary. [MSNBC, Meet the Press, 8/20/17]