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Rangel v. Russert: 'You know it's a dumb question'

Embattled Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) had a few choice words for MSNBC's Luke Russert Thursday afternoon. Russert asked the 80 year-old House veteran if he might lose his job over the House panel finding that he violated ethics rules.

"Well, you're young, I guess you do need to make a name for yourself," Rangel told the reporter. 'Basically you know it's a dumb question and I'm not going to respond to it ... It doesn't really sound like NBC -- asking these dumb questions. It just shows what happened to a channel that did have some respect." Watch:

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Rangel announced on Friday that he personally called and apologized to Russert. It isn't his first scuffle with the press over ethics scandals; in 2008 he went after the Post over a story about his fundraising.

By Emi Kolawole  |  July 23, 2010; 9:12 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Luke! Impressive. Most Impressive. But you're not a Jedi yet.

Will The Empire Strike Back?

Will the Jedi return to deal likewise with Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Barak Obama?

Can't wait for the sequel!

Posted by: FreeSmart | July 27, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

This article would have been better if the actual question had been quoted.

The reams of hate would be more respectable if they made reference to the charges against Rangel, rather than engaging in blanket smears.

Those of you who fetishize about hating liberals might want to consider what exactly a Republican had to do to be brought up on ethics charges when the GOP ran the House. Usually an indictment wasn't sufficient.

Posted by: rick_desper | July 23, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Luke's questions certainly did NOT sound like those Liberals usually get from NBC. No wonder Charlie was shocked and thought he was from FOX. NBC usually kisses the Libs rear ends not kicks them.

Posted by: gsweeten | July 23, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

jampact51, your comment posted on July 23, 2010 4:12 PM in regards to the rangel russert story is insane. And I don't mean good insane.

Posted by: puriahsense | July 23, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

jampact51, your comment posted on July 23, 2010 4:12 PM in regards to the rangel russert story is insane. And I don't mean good insane.

Posted by: puriahsense | July 23, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

jampact51, your comment posted on July 23, 2010 4:12 PM in regards to the rangel russert story is insane. And I don't mean good insane.

Posted by: puriahsense | July 23, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

jampact51, your comment posted on July 23, 2010 4:12 PM in regards to the rangel russert story is insane. And I don't mean good insane.

Posted by: puriahsense | July 23, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Not a dumb question, a dumb Congressman.

Posted by: bobbo2 | July 23, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

This is the problem with Washington politicians and the apathy amongst our voting population. Perhaps if politicians feared losing their job (by ouster or losing an election) they wouldn't commit the types of acts Rangel is accused of committing (or treat the notion of losing their job as an impossibility, which Rangel did).

Posted by: ms2332a | July 23, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone believe that Rangel would have apologized if Major Garrett or another Fox news reporter had asked the question?

Rangel got to the office and found out that he was going to get trashed on MSNBC, the only network likely to solidly support Rangel in the upcoming ethics battle.

All Rangel has to do to end this affair is agree not to run in November. He's broken enough laws that he should go to jail, but he won't.

Posted by: pilsener | July 23, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Wellllllllllllllllllll, it was a question that everyone may have--on that basis it really didn't need to be asked. One only has to see Charlie Rengel try to deflect questions like that once or twice, to know that is how he has tried to defend himself throughout. Luke is his father's son, though. He needs to know that many many many people lost respect for Tim Russert permanently because of his one-eyed jack performance when he got up in Senator Hillary Clinton's face. How she got back on track, I'll never know.
People in public fear people rushing them like that. I completely lost respect for Tim Russert because of that and so did everyone who I have ever spoken to about it. It was crude beyond words AND sexist and rude. One can only guess that Russert would not have walked up to a really tall guy like that. He would have been decked and should have. He became a bozo in my book ever since that....listen, Luke.
You're never too young to be a gentleman.
Take a page from Daniel Shorr's book, RIP Gentleman Journalist, thank you for eight decades---that's the kind of man we remember, for his wisdom and his courage. He didn't have to stick a microphone in someone's face or rush up to a woman who was engaged in a speech.

Posted by: jampact51 | July 23, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't stand the abrasive, arrogant, "gotcha you" Tim Russert! Hope that Luke boy doesn't add a JR. to his name. Must be nice to be hired by NBC/MSNBC because your father was one of the more despicable "journalists", especially during the last primaries. I agree though, that Rangel has some explaining to do though.

Posted by: muldar | July 23, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

all the awards ---well, they go down the tubes and are hardly ever noticed any longer.....once someone is proven crooked.

I am sure in his younger days he had different values.

This is a sad day for Rangel. Rock and a hard place and he may be in over his head.
I don't mind if he puts up a fight for his rights and reputation.

But after a two year investigation. He won't win. He may have a chance to speak and defend, but he's heading out the door IMHO.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 23, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Charlie Rangel screwed up. He lost the chairmanship of Ways and Means as a result - a big loss. But Charlie Rangel is also a war hero with a Bronze Star to his name - and a Purple Heart, a Presidential Unit citation, some battle stars, and others. Luke Russert should have more respect for a man who HAS put his life on the line so that Luke could enjoy living in America. If Luke wants to show that he's ready to become a man he should make a public apology to Charlie Rangel. While we can't excuse him his digressions, it is important to remember that we owe him - every one of us.

Posted by: BrianTRaven | July 23, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

There are no dumb questions, but, there are enlightening answers.

Posted by: jimbo1949 | July 23, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Finally someone from the so called MSM asking some tough question to one of the democrat leaders - way to go Luke!

When you have some freetime you should teach a lesson or two on journalism to your counterparts in the viewerless MSNBC, NBC, CBS, CNN and ABC as too many of them have not yet recovered from the 2008 elections and they still think Obama is running for some new office!

Posted by: CJ123 | July 23, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Impressive work, young Luke. Now if you ask the same question of someone on the other side of the aisle when they show the same level of disdain for the rules as Rep Rangel has, then we will know that you have learned well from your father.

Posted by: j_miller | July 23, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Charles Rangel was elected to Congress in 1970 after exploiting the ethical issues of Adam Clayton Powell, which pale in comparison to Rangel's alleged offenses. It's ironic that Rangel is now being exposed as the scoundrel that he obviously is. Rangel is a disgrace !

Posted by: ellislawoffice | July 23, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

As much as I think Rangel is an idiot, he was right. That question was right up there with "Congressman is it possible the sun rises in the east and sets in the west?" It's a bad day when you get out thunk by the likes of Rangel.

Posted by: crete | July 23, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Rangel should be ashamed of himself for bullying Luke Russert for asking an honest question, but of course if he had any shame I guess he wouldn't be so crooked. Luke may be young but he's old enough to know right from wrong and Rangel has a lot of wrongs to answer for! Even as a Democrat who doesn't want to lose any in the next election, I'd love to see him go.

Posted by: DCDale | July 23, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

More like Congressman "Rankled" than Rangel.

Posted by: ih4africa | July 23, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

they investigated for 2 years. He's 80 years old and probably has enough in his own coffers to retire nicely.

Sounds crooked as all heck. He should resign. This is the type of behavior our elected officials, when & if uncovered, should resign for.

I wonder if he had $90,000 in his refrigerator?????

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 23, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

When they drain the Pelosi, Rangel will be the first scum oozing out followed by Pelosi her Swamp Thing self and plenty to follow.

Posted by: hz9604 | July 23, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Cobra2 | July 23, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Luke was channeling his Dad. Great work Luke. Now Luke, can you ask the question of the others? Please start with Jim Moran.

Posted by: hz9604 | July 23, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Good Job Luke,
If your fellow so-called journalist had asked some hard questions during the Presidential election, we would not have a bunch of idiots running the country. You liberals are just a miserable lot. You virtually control the entire government, have been shoving your socialist agenda down America's throat and your still bitter. Say's allot about you that party. Liberals Suck!

Posted by: Cobra2 | July 23, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

anytime one of the politicians are brought up to the Ethics Committee, it's time to be scared. It is the Committe of H*%%, and destruction of a career.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 23, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Epitome of DC political power;
They answer to NO ONE.

Posted by: chicago77 | July 23, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Russert usually comes across as someone trying on his big brother's clothes, but this was a bang up job. rangel is the most dismissive politican i've ever seen. AND this ia huge story, much bigger than geithner and tax evasion or dashle and tax evasion.

Posted by: dummypants | July 23, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Use The Force, Luke

Posted by: ninjaneer | July 23, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Charlie has abused his position and brought shame on himself and embarrassed the Democratic party. He's a perfect example of the adage, "Power corrupts." Good job Luke.

Posted by: davidlhanegraaf | July 23, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I like Mycomment and Johnk's total inability to address the charges against Rangel and laser-like focus on destroying the messenger.

They would have made excellent Brown-Shirts.

All you two have done-is discredit yourselves-not Russell.

Posted by: ironchefofmunchies | July 23, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Typical response. Go on the attack, instead of answering the question.

Posted by: brunnegd | July 23, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Luke - great job! Good to see you have a pair, whereas the rest of the MSM are little girls with no chestnuts. Rangel is a dirtbag of the worst kind and needs to be behind bars. TAXCHEAT!

Posted by: nujohnvg | July 23, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Ha ha ha. Spunky Luke had the guts to poke a stick in the ribs of that old bull. How ya feelin' Charlie? Good ya say? Lookin' forward to that trial, you are?

Luke was right on target. You should be afraid, Charlie; very afraid.

Posted by: tcarterva | July 23, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: thornegp2626 | July 23, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

i just heard about this last night...
what did Rangel do and say?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 23, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

The only way Charlie Rangel will lose his seat is by a Congressional Expulsion. He we never lose an election in his district in NYC. The voters love him which is why he's the fourth longest member serving in Congress and it matters not what allegations he faces.

However, he's damage goods and I doubt his fellow Democrats in Congress will ever let him assume another high position within there caucus.

Posted by: Conservator | July 23, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Luke Russert is a joke. I can't take him seriously. Every piece he does looks like a class project for his high school media class. He needs to find his own line of work; he'll never be like his dad. Never.

Posted by: johnk1000 | July 23, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse


As a Democrat I'm disgusted by Rangel - Great Work Luke!! I'm sure your father would have been proud.


Posted by: A-Voter | July 23, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Good work, Russert!

Rangel's insulting, patronizing non-response (why did Brian Williams comment on this???) is just another argument for term limits.

These pols become arrogant, elitist jerks, drunk on their power and sure of their networks of people who tolerate corruption and hypocrisy within the Congress (and around it).

Term limits, term limits, term limits, and castrate (legislatively) the lobbyists that corrupt these arrogant twits...

Posted by: Tambopaxi | July 23, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

mycomment - your's truly is one of the dumbest comments ... Seems apparent that you enjoy being taken advantage of by slimey legislators who act beyond the laws which We, the people are suppossed to obey.

Why shoud the question of how luke obtained his NON government job affect Rangels illegal actions?

Posted by: Hazmat77 | July 23, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

SoCali .. why would luke russert's creditability be questionable because he asked Rangel a question? You attack the messenger instead of the FACT that a Congressman thinks so little of his constituents that he has acted unethically for many years.

Why didn't Rangel report all of his taxable income ... that failure is clearly a fraud upon the government. And he has yet to present a truthful answer to his constituents.

Why does Rangel have THREE Rent-Controlled apartments in Harlem, when the NYC Rent Control law prohibits that? Charlie has yet to provide his constituents with a truthful answer.

And so on ....

These are serious charges that Rangel has laughed off for several years while he was a leading legislator regarding the nation's financing system. Surely even the most partisan Democrat recognizes the damage Rangel has heaped upon the Ways and Means Committee as well as your party!

Rangel has become more arrogant as his misdeeds have seen the light of day, and a simple Yes or No in response to Luke's question would have been the wisest course of action - even for a politician.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | July 23, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

instincts of a narcasistic, wounded want-to-be - attack back! poor Charlie, you're finally done!

Posted by: Hoops44 | July 23, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

hahaha ... charlie should have asked russert how he got that reportering job. i'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that his daddy was named timmy. ;-)

Posted by: mycomment | July 23, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Funny how when you poke these dinosaur windbags they get so touchy.

Impertinent questions from the rabble!

Off with their heads!

Posted by: drjcarlucci | July 23, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Pathetic, simply pathetic that any creditability whatsoever is given to this bilious schoolboy. Just like his old man, bluff, bluster and a talent for bending over for the oligarchy.
Always thought Tim Russert was a hack and the legacy, such as it is, continues.

Posted by: SoCali | July 23, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Pathetic, simply pathetic that any creditability whatsoever is given to this bilious schoolboy. Just like his old man, bluff, bluster and a talent for bending over for the oligarchy.
Always thought Tim Russert was a hack and the legacy, such as it is, continues.

Posted by: SoCali | July 23, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

This bum should have been kicked out years ago.If the democrats find out what ethics
mean,it might just happen.

Posted by: jwambaugh1 | July 23, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

hahaha ... charlie should have asked russert how he got that job. i'm sure it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that his daddy was named timmy... ;-)

Posted by: mycomment | July 23, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

That was not nice Charlie. Luke is a very good reporter and you did not have to be so rude.

Posted by: truth1 | July 23, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

His old man would be proud. Nice job, Luke. Oh, and Charlie..nice way to end a career. Just another hack.

Posted by: InRealAmerica | July 23, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

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