“In many ways, [the Statue of Liberty has] become a symbol of a country right now wrestling to reconcile its creed versus its security needs. Of course, it was a weekend of protest and confusion over the administration’s move to ban certain groups from coming to the country – the refugee crackdown. So we’re going to discuss that tonight. We’ve got all the sides covered in this: the legal debate, the debates about what we saw at the airports, as well as the rationale for the president’s decision. So that’s coming up tonight on a special edition of Nightly News coming to you from the shadow of the Statue of Liberty. We’ll see you then.”
President Trump over the weekend stopped travel from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, suspended the U.S. refugee resettlement program for 120 days and suspended the refugee resettlement for Syrians indefinitely. Nationwide protests erupted, and in a statement, Trump called it “similar” to the 2011 measure “when [then-POTUS Obama] banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months.”
Obama fired back today with a statement: “President Obama is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country. In his final official speech as President, he spoke about the important role of citizen and how all Americans have a responsibility to be the guardians of our democracy – not just during an election but every day.”
It’s not the first time NBC News has had Holt anchor the evening news out the studio for the sake of optics. In May, for instance, Holt was among the pantheon of news hosts who interviewed then-GOP presidential candidate Trump after Ted Cruz and John Kasich threw in the towel. But, while many news orgs had gone to Trump’s HQ to conduct interviews, NBC Nightly News went one step further that day, with Holt anchoring the entire newscast from Trump Tower.
Reporters Who Cover TV took to Twitter that day to express their non-approval of that field trip.