The frightening thing—it should frighten Democrats more than anyone, but if they have let Hillary get this far, they may be beyond frightening—is that Hillary Clinton had a long time to prep for this interview—her first substantive one since announcing her candidacy, about five or six scandals ago—had a hand-picked, friendly interviewer, was not pressed to clarify any of her non-answers, obfuscations or incomprehensible blather, and she still came off looking defensive, evasive, and basically like Tommy Flanagan in drag.
Ethics Alarms were ringing so loudly that the interview was almost inaudible. My observations in bold….
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Secretary Clinton, thank you so much for talking to us today. You’re here in Iowa for a couple of events. You’re the front-runner in this state but we’re also seeing Bernie Sanders attract a lot of attention. He has had big crowds here, 10,000 people in Wisconsin last week, 7,500 people in Maine last night. Why is it, do you think, that someone who is a self-described Democratic socialist is really attracting this organic interest that your campaign seems to be struggling a little bit with?
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, first of all, I always thought this would be a competitive race. So I am happy to have a chance to get out and run my campaign as I see fit and let other candidates do exactly the same.
Non-responsive. Also a lie: Clinton has always assumed she could get the nomination by just showing up.
I feel very good about where we are in Iowa. We are signing up thousands of volunteers, people committed to caucus for us. We have a committed supporter in every one of the 1,600 precincts. And one of the things that I learned last time is it’s organize, organize, organize. And you’ve got to get people committed. And then they will follow through and then you bring more people.
So I feel very good about where my campaign is. It’ll be three months and a few days that we’ve been at this. I think I’ve learned a lot from listening to people in Iowa. And it’s actually affected what I say and what I talk about on the campaign trail.
So I couldn’t be happier about my campaign.
Non-responsive. Pretending to open yourself to a candid question and answer session and then refusing to answer the very first question while pretending you did: Dishonest. Disrespectful.
KEILAR: Senator Sanders has talked about how, if he’s president, he would raise taxes. In fact, he said to CNN’s Jake Tapper, he would raise them substantially higher than they are today, on big corporations, on wealthy Americans. Would you?
CLINTON: I will be laying out my own economic policies. Again, everybody has to run his or her own campaign. And I’m going to be telling the American people what propose and how I think it will work and then we’ll let voters make up their minds.
“I refuse to answer on the grounds that I might
incriminate myself actually let voters know what I stand for. After all, I’m a vagina. That’s what really matters.”
KEILAR: Is raising taxes on the table?
CLINTON: I’m going to put out my policies and I’ll other people speak to their policies because I think we have to both grow the economy faster and fairer so we have to do what will actually work in the short term, the medium term and the long term. I will be making a speech about my economic proposals on Monday. And then I look forward to the debate about them.
If Clinton made a speech Monday (July 7) about specific economic proposals, she did it in her closet, because all anyone actually heard was this.
KEILAR: I’m wondering if you can address a vulnerability that we’ve seen you dealing with recently. We see in our recent poll that nearly six in 10 Americans say they don’t believe that you’re honest and trustworthy. Do you understand why they feel that way?
CLINTON: Well, I think when you are subjected to the kind of constant barrage of attacks that are largely fomented by and coming from the Right and –
The vast right wing conspiracy again! Ironic, because one very good reason people shouldn’t, and many sane people actually do not, trust Hillary is when she made teh same accusation on the Today Show to Matt Lauer, claiming that the Monica Lewinsky scandal had been “largely fomented by and coming from the Right,” when in fact she knew otherwise and was lying for her husband.
KEILAR: But do you bear any responsibility for that?
CLINTON: – well, I – you know, I can only tell you that I was elected twice in New York against the same kind of onslaught.
“I got away with it before, didn’t I?”
I was confirmed and served as secretary of state and I think it’s understandable that when questions are raised people maybe are thinking about them and wondering about them.
Dissembling. People don’t distrust Clinton because of questions. They distrust Clinton because she has shown herself to be untrustworthy repeatedly.
But I have every confidence that during the course of this campaign people are going to know who will fight for them, who will be there when they need them and that’s the kind of person I am. And that’s what I will do, not only in a campaign but as president.
Translation: “As for telling them the truth, being transparent, showing integrity, and all the markers of actual trust, no, of course not.”
Ann Althouse writes regarding this “answer”:
“And I suspect that when she talks this over with her advisers, a central idea is: Politicians are dishonest. Everyone knows that and everyone thinks that. It’s trifling that it shows up in a poll that people think Hillary is dishonest. It’s like a poll showing people think the sky is blue. The important thing is, people are familiar and at home with Hillary’s dishonesty. It’s a comfortable old friend. We know all about it. It’s acquired a transparency of its own. But what is the dishonesty of all those other candidates? That is the mystery. That is what people should worry about — all the strange ways in which Jeb/Marco/Scott/Rand/Ted/etc. are dishonesty. So confusing and disturbing. Who knows how to begin to delve into that swamp? Best to stay with good old dishonest Hillary!”
Althouse is right: the Clinton campaign really is that cynical, and so is anyone who votes for her. Except the stupid people, of course…
KEILAR: Trusting someone to fight for them and trusting someone, these are two different things. Do you see any role that you’ve had in the sentiment that we’ve seen, where people are questioning whether you’re trustworthy?
CLINTON: I can only tell you, Brianna, that this has been a theme that has been used against me and my husband for many, many years. And at the end of the day, I think voters sort it all out. I have great confidence. I trust the American voter. So I trust the American voter 100 percent because I think the American voter will weight these kinds of accusations.
Back to the vast right wing conspiracy. And what does “I can only tell you..” mean? It is an inherently evasive phrase. Why can’t she tell us the truth?
I mean, people write books filled with unsubstantiated attacks against us. And even admit they have no evidence. But of course, it’s your job to cover it. So of course that’s going to raise questions in people’s minds. But during the course of this campaign, just as in my two prior campaigns and in my other years of service, I have a lot of confidence that the American people can sort it all out.
A meta-lie. The lying for Bill is well-substantiated. Her ongoing denials—coming up!—regarding her e-mails, destroying evidence and the double dealing of the Clinton Foundation are substantiated. She flip-flopped on gay marriage and denied that she flip-flopped. She flip-flopped on the Iraq War and pretend she didn’t. The Clinton campaign depends on throwing up so much dust that the truth is impossible to sort out.
KEILAR: Would you vote for someone that you don’t trust?
CLINTON: Well, they – people should and do trust me. And I have every confidence that that will be the outcome of this election.
Lie. People shouldn’t trust most politicians, and Hillary is worse than most. Polls say they don’t. Hillary means that there are some homo sapiens who do trust her–this is a Clintonism and deceit. Yes, not all people distrust you, Hillary. A lot of people don’t pay attention.
I cannot decide what the attacks on me will be, no matter how unfounded. And I’m well aware of the fact that it’s your job to raise those and we’ll do our best to respond to them. But I think what people talk to me about – and that’s all I can go on – is the literally thousands of people that I’ve seen in the course of this campaign. They want to know what I’m going to do for the economy, what I’m going to do for education, what I’m going to do for health care. And they trust me to have a plan and to be committed to carrying out that plan and they should, because I will.
This ducks the question, intentionally, and falls back on the old Clinton defense: “Character doesn’t matter, only policies matter.” In leadership, character matters more than anything except competence.
KEILAR: One of the issues that has eroded some trust that we’ve seen is the issue of your email practices while you were secretary of state. I think there’s a lot of people who don’t understand what your thought process was on that. Can you tell me the story of how you decided to delete 33,000 emails and how that deletion was executed?
CLINTON: Well, let’s start from the beginning. Everything I did was permitted. There was no law. There was no regulation. There was nothing that did not give me the full authority to decide how I was going to communicate. Previous secretaries of state have said they did the same thing. And people across the government knew that I used one device – maybe it was because I am not the most technically capable person and wanted to make it as easy as possible.
I have dealt with this in detail elsewhere, and so have many others. These are misrepresentations. How Clinton handled her e-mails violated Obama Administration policy, best practices, and her own department’s written policies. The practices of Colin Powell, a concocted talking point, are irrelevant: technology moves fast, and what was reasonable a decade ago wasn’t reasonable under Clinton. Under no interpretation of technological realities, her conduct and government requirements was her communication through private e-mails responsible, ethical, or competent, and literally nobody but Clinton hacks and mouthpieces maintain otherwise, because they can’t.
KEILAR: But you said they – that they did the same thing, that they used a personal server and…subpoena deleted emails from them?
CLINTON: You know, you’re starting with so many assumptions that are – I’ve never had a subpoena.
A lie. The House released a copy of the subpoena, which was sent to her in March after House investigators drew one up in March.
“This letter will respond to (1) the subpoena duces tecum issued by the Benghazi Select Committee to the Hon. Hillary R. Clinton and served by agreement on March 4, 2015,” read the letter addressed to House Select Committee on Benghazi members. Clinton’s paid spinner now argue that she understood the question Keilar asked to relate only to December, when that subpoena was only pending and when the emails at issue were deleted. Classic Clinton. 1). She stated a falso, open-ended generality intended to deceive the CNN audience, which she knows will interpret “I’ve never had a subpoena” to mean “I’ve never had a subpoena.” Even if she hadn’t received a subpoena, she knew her e-mails would be subpoenaed, and destroyed many of them anyway. This is spoliation, often illegal, always unethical.
There is – again, let’s take a deep breath here. Everything I did was permitted by law and regulation.
Deceit. It “was permitted” because of loopholes, but it was not consistent with the intent of both the laws and the regulations, as Clinton well knew. No place was it written that “State Department officials can use personal e-mail for government business,” because they were not supposed to do this.
I had one device. When I mailed anybody in the government, it would go into the government system.
And when Clinton mailed someone not in the government but regarding government and even classified matters, it would NOT go into the government system. Which is why the practice was disapproved.
Commentary ran an excellent compendium of Clinton’s brazen lies on this whole topic. In light of her—hilariously—arguing that she was trustworthy and then immediately repeating the lies, let me quote Commentary’s Noah Rothman here:
“The server contains personal communications from my husband and me,” Clinton said of her private “homebrew” system on which she kept her emails. This, she contended, was one of the reasons why she summarily destroyed over half of the emails she sent to the State Department for vetting and eventual release. But according to Clinton’s husband’s spokesperson, the former president had sent a total of two emails in his entire life and both of those were fired off while Bill Clinton still occupied the Oval Office.
“Going through the emails, there were over 60,000 in total, sent and received. About half were work-related and went to the State Department, and about half were personal,” former Sec. Clinton contended before the United Nations lectern. Not so, according to emails provided to House investigators by longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal. Clinton withheld emails from State related to Benghazi, oil contracts in post-war Libya, and the NATO-led intervention in that North African country. What’s more, Blumenthal’s correspondences indicated that some of the emails that she did provide to the State Department had been altered with some portions removed.
Hillary Clinton claimed that she only used one mobile device on which she checked her emails because it would be “easier” – a practice that is discouraged by the State Department due to the increased likelihood that foreign intelligence services can gain access to those devices. That, too, was not true. “Hillary Rodham Clinton emailed her staff on an iPad as well as a BlackBerry while secretary of state, despite her explanation she exclusively used a personal email address on a homebrew server so that she could carry a single device,” the Associated Press revealed in March.
“The vast majority of my work emails went to government employees at their government addresses, which meant they were captured and preserved immediately on the system at the State Department,” Clinton insisted. She had to be aware that the agency she led was unprofessionally lax about its archival practices. “[In 2011], Department employees created 61,156 record emails out of more than a billion emails sent,” a recent State Department Inspector General’s report read.
Clinton also insisted that her email communications contained no classified material. In the latest tranche of 3,000 emails State released last week in response to a court order, the department revealed that 25 of them were redacted because they contained information reviewers deemed classified. This should come as no surprise to reporters who cover the State Department and are regularly frustrated by the culture of over-classification in that agency that allows diplomatic personnel to skirt transparency laws.
Now I didn’t have to turn over anything. I chose to turn over 55,000 pages because I wanted to go above and beyond what was expected of me because I knew the vast majority of everything that was official already was in the State Department system.
Expected by whom? She had an obligation to allow State to determine that no official e-mails had escaped their system.
And now I think it’s kind of fun. People get a real-time behind-the-scenes look at what I was emailing about and what I was communicating about.
This is fick territory, lying and mocking attempts to hold her to reasonable standards of honesty and candor. Yes, isn’t it fun waiting to see what Hillary didn’t delete! Imagine how the media would react to Richard Nixon talking about the Watergate tapes like that. This is all just a game to the Clintons. Ethics, honesty, leadership, power: who can we trick, and what can we get away with. Fun! The sheer, rotten, awfulness of this woman is staggering.
KEILAR: Wearing warm socks, you said to John Podesta.
CLINTON: Exactly and – or, you know –
KEILAR: Working a fax machine –
CLINTON: – yes, a secure fax machine, which is harder to work than the regular. So yes, this is being blown up with no basis in law or in fact. That’s fine. I get it. This is being, in effect, used by the Republicans in the Congress, OK. But I want people to understand what the truth is. And the truth is everything I did was permitted and I went above and beyond what anybody could have expected in making sure that if the State Department didn’t capture something, I made a real effort to get it to them. And I had no obligation to do any of that. So let’s set the record straight. And those 55,000 pages, they will be released over the course of this year. People can, again, make their own judgments.
Uh-Huh. The Commentary recap above shows how truthful and trustworthy this is. Meanwhile, what kind of interviewer is Keilar? All of the evidence discrediting Clinton’s lies and excuses are a matter of record: why didn’t she raise them on the spot? It’s her duty to do so, not to allow Clinton use her interview to misinform the public, but for CNN’s Keilar to use the interview to inform the public. Keilar should be fired for unprofessional conduct and incompetence. Since she was not, CNN must be judged complicit.
KEILAR: I know you say you were permitted. I just am trying to understand some of the thought process behind it. One former state attorney general, a Democrat, told CNN that they know of no lawyer who would advise someone, a client, facing the kind of scrutiny that you’ve been facing to wipe their server. I mean, what do you say to that?
CLINTON: Well, what I say to that is turned over everything I was obligated to turn over. And then I moved on. People delete their personal emails, their work-related emails, whatever emails they have on a regular basis. I turned over everything that I could imagine. Now being – sitting in a meeting in the State Department, asking for iced tea, may not rise to the level of negotiating peace, but I went above and beyond. That’s why there’s 55,000 pages of my emails.
And so I think people have an interesting time behind the scenes. And all I can tell you is that the law, the regulation did not in any way stand in my way of being permitted to do what I did. And as I said, prior secretaries of state – I mean, Secretary Powell has admitted he did exactly the same thing. So I think both Secretary Powell and I are viewed as public servants. We do our very best to serve our country and he’s – he has such a distinguished records. You know, I have served my country as well.We both did the same thing. Now years have passed, so he clearly doesn’t have anything left. I did everything I could to make sure people got anything that was related that I had.
Same dishonest Powell rationalization, same false assertions, same lie, again and again, confident that the biased and inept journalist she picked to interview her won’t have the wit or the integrity to show her up and expose her.
KEILAR: There has been a lot of controversy surrounding your family’s foundation, The Clinton Foundation, corporate and foreign donations that have gone to the foundation and the work that it does. Has it made you think, seeing this controversy, that it’s come about, has it made you think about if you are president, what will happen to The Clinton Foundation? Have you thought about perhaps shutting it down?
Unbelievable! How about asking about the signed promise not to accept foreign donations while at State that Clinton violated? How about asking about all the money pouring in from countries that had pending business with the U.S.? Shouldn’t Clinton be asked about whether the domestic corporations are giving to this slush fund as under-the table campaign contributions? What about the unreported donations to the Canadian affiliate of the foundation? What about the high over-head costs that have non-profit watchdogs refusing to certify the foundation as trustworthy? No, Keiler asks about what will happen to the Foundation after she’s President!
Skip the next part—Keilar gave Hillary a chance to give a commercial for the Foundation without addressing any of the many, many reasons its activities stink of corruption and influence peddling.
CLINTON: Well, let me start by saying I am so proud of The Clinton Foundation. I am proud of the work that my husband started, that my daughter continued. I’m proud of the very small role I played in being there for about a year and a half. And I’ll give you an example of why, what The Clinton Foundation has done is so critical. When I became secretary of state, the United States government was using our tax dollars to treat 1.7 million people around the world with HIV/AIDS. I looked at the contracts that The Clinton Foundation had been negotiating to buy medicine and pass it through, working with foreign governments who provided the funding to buy the medicine to treat more people. So we negotiated lower prices. By the time I left, thanks to contracts and work that The Clinton Foundation had done, the United States was treating 5.1 million people. That’s just one example. Now maybe it’s because my husband knows so many people in the world and he’s so creative and he’s so smart. But he was able to put together solutions to problems whether it was HIV/AIDS or childhood obesity in our country or expanding farm productivity in Africa, that was hard for others to do. And, yes, did people say, that’s good work, that’s a charity we want to support – and they should have because it produced results. I have no – I have no plans to say or do anything about The Clinton Foundation other than to say how proud I am of it and that I think for the good of the world, its work should continue.
KEILAR: Let’s talk now about Republicans. There are so many of them. Right now, the front-runner –
CLINTON: It is a big crew.
KEILAR: It is a big crew. Right now the front-runner is Jeb Bush.Can you believe that a quarter century after your husband was elected, there could be another Bush-Clinton race?
CLINTON: Well, we’ll see. That’s up to, first, the Republicans on his side, the Democrats on my side. What’s great about America is anybody can run for president. That is literally true. And you have to go out and you have to do what everybody else does. You have to make your case. You have to have your agenda. You have to raise the money. You have to work really hard. So whoever is nominated by their respective parties will be the nominee and then we’ll see who’s on the other side.
Soft-ball, inconsequential, People Magazine-level question from the interviewer, canned pablum from Clinton.
KEILAR: Donald Trump is also creating quite a lot of commotion on the other side. He’s a friend of yours, has been over the years. He donated to your Senate campaign, to The Clinton Foundation. What’s your reaction to his recent comments that some Mexican immigrants are rapists and criminals?
CLINTON: I’m very disappointed in those comments and I feel very bad and very disappointed with him and with the Republican Party for not responding immediately and saying, enough, stop it.
Foul. It is incompetent and misleading for journalists to keep leaving the “illegal” off the phrase “illegal immigration,” since it is the fact that ILLEGAL immigrants are breaking the law to come here that is at issue. Meanwhile, are either Keilar or Clinton seriously denying that some illegal immigrants are rapists and criminals? If that’s how Trump’s words are interpreted—that’s obviously what he meant—then why is Hillary “disappointed”? Whi should the Republican Party tell him “Stop telling the truth about illegal immigrants”?
But they are all in the – you know, in the same general area on immigration. They don’t want to provide a path to citizenship. They range across a spectrum of being either grudgingly welcome or hostile toward immigrants. And I’m going to talk about comprehensive immigration reform. I’m going to talk about all of the good, law-abiding, productive members of the immigrant community that I personally know, that I’ve met over the course of my life, that I would like to see have a path to citizenship.
KEILAR: But what about Jeb Bush’s approach to that? It’s different, certainly, than Donald Trump’s and –
CLINTON: Well, he doesn’t believe in a path to citizenship. If he did at one time, he no longer does. And so pretty much they’re – as I said, they’re on a spectrum of, you know, hostility, which I think is really regrettable in a nation of immigrants like ours, all the way to kind of grudging acceptance but refusal to go with a pathway to citizenship.
Intentional misrepresentation. No candidates, based on their statements, are hostile to immigrants, Mexicans, legal immigrants or legal immigration in any way. “Grudging acceptance” of illegal immigration means rejection of the rule of law, which every responsible candidate or elected official must revere, and open boarders, which every responsible candidate or elected official must oppose. Where does Clinton stand on the rule of law and open borders? Shouldn’t a competent immigrant ask that, given this answer?
I think that’s a mistake. I think that we know we’re not going to deport 11 million or 12 million people.
That’s called “grudging acceptance,” isn’t it? Isn’t “Well, we have no better options” the same as “grudging acceptance”?
We shouldn’t be breaking up families. We shouldn’t be stopping people from having the opportunity to be fully integrated legally within our country.
Translation: “We should be enforcing immigration laws, and thus should be telling all Mexicans that they can benefit from sneaking over the border and breaking our laws.” What else could it mean?
It’s good for us.
Hello? Brianna? Are you there? Illegal immigration is good for us? Allowing anyone to come here, breaking laws in the process, and benefit from it by having their children benefit as well as them, is good?
It’s good economically. It’s good for the taxes that will be legally collected. It’s good for the children, so that they can go as far as their hard work and talent will take them. So I am 100 percent behind comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship.
Legal immigration has always included a path to citizenship. If illegal immigration permanently includes a path to citizenship, then it is no longer illegal. Why is Clinton allowed to spin such double-talk without being called on it?
KEILAR: Last week an undocumented immigrant who had been deported five times killed a 32-year-old woman, Kate Steinle, in San Francisco, a sanctuary city where local law enforcement does not enforce federal immigration laws. When you last ran for president you supported sanctuary cities.In light of this terrible incident, does that change anything about your view on this?
CLINTON: Well, what should be done is any city should listen to the Department of Homeland Security, which as I understand it, urged them to deport this man again after he got out of prison another time. Here’s a case where we’ve deported, we’ve deported, we’ve deported. He ends back up in our country and I think the city made a mistake. The city made a mistake, not to deport someone that the federal government strongly felt should be deported. So I have absolutely no support for a city that ignores the strong evidence that should be acted on. However, there are – like if it were a first-time traffic citation, if it were something minor, a misdemeanor, that’s entirely different. This man had already been deported five times. And he should have been deported at the request of the federal government.
James Taranto on this nonsense:
Cities, of course, cannot deport aliens; that is exclusively a federal responsibility. Sanctuary cities are those that, by policy or practice, refuse to cooperate with federal authorities in enforcing immigration laws—for instance by forbidding police officers from inquiring about criminal suspects’ immigration status. It’s unclear if Mrs. Clinton is herself confused about all this or is cynically speaking in gibberish so as to confuse the voters.
Then the interview deteriorates into trivia and Clinton saying that she’s the “best Hillary Clinton” there is and calling herself “little me,” which would have any male candidate mocked from here to eternity.