Speaking to Larry Wilmore on his “Black on the Air” podcast, CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin apologized for his part in drawing “false equivalences” between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election.
“And I hold myself somewhat responsible for that. I think there was a lot of false equivalence in the 2016 campaign. That every time we said something, pointed out something about Donald Trump — whether it was his business interests, or grab ’em by the p–––y, we felt like, ‘Oh, we gotta, like, talk about — we gotta say something bad about Hillary.’ And I think it led to a sense of false equivalence that was misleading, and I regret my role in doing that.”
On the one hand, media organizations in the run-up to November 2016 exposed and covered the hard-to-count scandals and outrages that Trump had generated over decades as a self-absorbed real-estate mogul: the thousands of lawsuits, the mistreatment of women, the ambient lies, the racism, the stiffing of contractors, Trump University, the false promises of charity and much, much more. On the other hand, those same media organizations pounded away at Hillary Clinton’s email story. And many of them — CNN prominently included — gave Trump generous helpings of airtime for the rallies early in his campaign.
A study by Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy found that in the campaign’s final months, the media’s aggregate coverage performed pretty much as Toobin described to Wilmore. “When journalists can’t, or won’t, distinguish between allegations directed at the Trump Foundation and those directed at the Clinton Foundation, there’s something seriously amiss. And false equivalencies are developing on a grand scale as a result of relentlessly negative news. If everything and everyone is portrayed negatively, there’s a leveling effect that opens the door to charlatans,” wrote Thomas Patterson in the Shorenstein study.
As we all know, the daily, incessant pounding on Hillary about her emails – when nothing illegal had been found despite several congressional investigations – helped push her numbers down.
As well, unfounded allegations about the Clintons somehow making money from the Uranium One deal which, in truth, was approved by not Hillary but nine different agencies unanimously. The Clintons take no money from anything related to the Clinton Foundation.
But if you keep repeating what Hillary haters want to hear like a used-car salesman, you see what happens.
F.B.I. agents have renewed questions about the dealings of the Clinton Foundation amid calls from President Trump and top Republicans for the Justice Department to take a fresh look at politically charged accusations of corruption, people familiar with the investigation said on Friday.
They said that agents have interviewed people connected to the foundation about whether any donations were made in exchange for political favors while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. Career prosecutors had shut down the investigation in 2016 for lack of evidence.
During the presidential campaign, Mr. Trump branded his rival “Crooked Hillary” and promised to send her to jail if he won. He briefly struck a more magnanimous tone after the election and said he had no interest in pushing for a prosecution.
But as his legal problems have mounted, Mr. Trump has returned to his attacks on his favorite target. With four former aides facing federal charges and the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, investigating him and his campaign, Mr. Trump has openly called for Mrs. Clinton to be investigated and one of her top aides to be imprisoned.
The Clinton Foundation issued this statement:
“Time after time, the Clinton Foundation has been subjected to politically motivated allegations, and time after time these allegations have been proven false. None of this has made us waver in our mission to help people.
“The Clinton Foundation has demonstrably improved the lives of millions of people across America and around the world, while earning top ratings from charity watchdog groups in the process. There are real issues in our society needing attention that the Clinton Foundation works hard to solve every day. So we’re going to stay focused on what really matters.”
Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Hillary Clinton, offered a more direct assessment:
“Let’s call this what it is: a sham. This is a philanthropy that does life-changing work, which Republicans have tried to turn into a political football. It began with a long-debunked project spearheaded by (former Trump adviser) Steve Bannon during the presidential campaign. It continues with Jeff Sessions doing Trump’s bidding by heeding his calls to meddle with a department that is supposed to function independently.
“The goal is to distract from the indictments, guilty pleas, and accusations of treason from Trump’s own people at the expense of our justice system’s integrity. It’s disgraceful, and should be concerning to all Americans.”
The Clinton Foundation’s done more good than Trump EVER has. Investigating it again is a complete waste of taxpayer money. It’s a complete abuse of power. One of the most corrupt things I’ve seen from the Trump admin—today. People are going to prison. The Trump team, not Hillary.
For those that don’t know the Clinton Foundation is one of the most transparent foundations in the country, it discloses far more about its donations than most and it spends its time fighting the spread of AIDS and assisting the poor.
Earlier this week, I saw this tweet from Vanity Fair that suggested, among other things, Hillary Clinton should “Take up a new hobby in the New Year. Volunteer work, knitting, improv comedy… Literally anything that would keep you from running again.”
I rarely have any strong views, or any at all as to Vanity Fair, expectations and interest too low, but that thing on Clinton? WTF? Not just *stupidly* sexist but also explicitly, smugly ageist. You have decades of accumulated global experience too offer? Go knit.
Hey, @VanityFair, how we feeling this morning? Tired? Sexist? Hopefully, the criticism you received for that awful video on Hillary made you wake up wanting to do better. Quick tip: don’t tell one of the most accomplished women in the world to take up knitting.
In any case, Donald Trump (who has no time for golf or watching Fox News or reading anything the least bit negative about Hillary Clinton) chimed in today on the subject chiding Vanity Fair and somehow invoking the name of Anna Wintour, the editor in chief of Vogue – a completely different publication from Vanity Fair (other than that “V”).
Vanity Fair, which looks like it is on its last legs, is bending over backwards in apologizing for the minor hit they took at Crooked H. Anna Wintour, who was all set to be Amb to Court of St James’s & a big fundraiser for CH, is beside herself in grief & begging for forgiveness!
On the orders of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Justice Department prosecutors have begun asking FBI agents to explain the evidence they found in a now dormant criminal investigation into a controversial uranium deal that critics have linked to Bill and Hillary Clinton, multiple law enforcement officials told NBC News.
At issue is a 2010 transaction in which the Obama Administration allowed the sale of U.S. uranium mining facilities to Russia’s state atomic energy company. Hillary Clinton was secretary of state at the time, and the State Department was one of nine agencies that agreed to approve the deal after finding no threat to U.S. national security.
While Hillary haters have spun the story as “Hillary sold American uranium to Russia” in exchange for Clinton Foundation donations, the truth is Hillary wasn’t involved in the deliberations.
There were nine US departments that oversaw the decision, and the deal was unanimously approved by all nine. The State Department official who took part in the meetings has already stated Hillary didn’t intervene in the issue in any way.
Watch below as Fox News’ Shepard Smith explains the facts of the case. You’ll soon see why this is just another Trump-led attack on Hillary.
Lots of excitement in Hillary Hater Land this week as it seemed like former Democratic National Committee head Donna Brazile cracked open a “terrible secret” – that the Hillary Clinton campaign had somehow hijacked the DNC for her own purposes before she was even the nominee for the party.
This all came to light as an excerpt from Brazile’s upcoming book was published earlier this week.
Cries of “Rigged!” rang out among “Bernie Bros” and Republicans alike.
“See! She was dishonest. Lock her up!”
Turns out the memo Donna Brazile referenced applied only to the general election. This kind of memo/agreement has been standard operating procedure for the DNC for 15 years.
Here’s part of the memo that no one really took time to read:
“Nothing in this agreement shall be construed to violate the DNC’s obligation of impartiality and neutrality through the Nominating process. All activities performed under this agreement will be focused exclusively on preparations for the General Election and not the Democratic Primary.”
You will note that the entire agreement pertains only to the General Election, not the primary season.
The cash-strapped DNC needed Hillary Clinton’s impressive fundraising powers in 2015. And so, they agreed to give her campaign input on some party hiring and spending decisions but related only to preparations for the general election, not the primary season.
It turns out Bernie Sanders signed the exact same agreement.
So, move along folks. Yet another example of “nothing to see here.”
Clinton took aim at the White House’s efforts to roll back the Affordable Care Act and ban transgender service members, as well as its silence on international LGBT issues, during her remarks at the national dinner of the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT rights organization.
…”You know and [Trump] knows that transgender people have fought and died for this country,” Clinton said, adding that it was “insulting and wrong” for his administration to suggest transgender troops are unfit to serve.
Trump’s Justice Department has also argued in court that LGBT people are not protected from discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, reversing a legal position trumpeted by the Obama administration. It also voted against a United Nations resolution that condemned use of the death penalty against those who engage in consensual same-sex relationships.
“We cannot rely on this administration or the Supreme Court to uphold LGBT rights,” Clinton said. “We need to be agitating to pass the Equality Act,” she added, referring to proposed legislation that would make housing and workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity illegal.
Clinton touched on many other topics, including the upcoming anti-gay Colorado baker lawsuit coming to SCOTUS: “It is just wrong that in 2017 you can lose your job, lose your home, or, if this administration gets its way, be denied a wedding cake simply because of who you are or who you love,” she said.
There’s much more, but really, hit the play button below.
Hillary Clinton made the trip across the pond to chat with premiere talk show host Graham Norton about her exploits of the past year including the presidential election, attending Trump’s inauguration (which George W. Bush reportedly called “some weird shit”), the catharsis of writing her memoir, What Happened and more.
In this clip, Hillary talks about how she thought about “getting out” of going to Trump’s inauguration as well as her disappointment that the Trumpster didn’t rise to the occasion.
Later, Graham asked Hillary what her thoughts were on Trump’s preference to tweet complex ideas (that’s assuming Trump has complex ideas) to his followers.