Morning Joe Food Fight as Chuck Todd Claims Petraeus Email Abuse 'Worse' Than Hillary's

Hillary Clinton's defense lawyers made a stunning appearance on today's Morning Joe, asserting that David Petraeus' mishandling of his emails was "worse" than what Hillary did, and arguing that she should not be charged. Oh, wait: those weren't Hillary's lawyers: they were NBC's Chuck Todd, and politician-turned-professor Harold Ford, Jr.

Can anyone recall this level of naked partisan advocacy by an MTP host? And when Ford would not stop telling Joe Scarborough that he "had" to agree with Todd, Scarborough eventually snapped at Ford "you're a gd lawyer."

Watch a supposedly objective Todd, and Hillary fan Ford, go tag team on Scarborough.

CHUCK TODD: Tons of documents; shared it with, knowingly shared classified. Actually, the two aren't comparable. 

HAROLD FORD, JR.: No comparison.

TODD: What General Petraeus did was worse. We don't know the full extent of what Hillary Clinton did yet. 

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Well if you don't know the full extent you can't say what General Petraeus did was worse.

TODD: What we think we know, General Petraeus, he knowingly shared it. Never mind with who he shared it with. Let's not get into the salacious part of it. But he knowingly shared it with somebody who didn't have clearance to do that. Right now, so I think, look. We ought to just remember this.

JOE: Hillary Clinton knowingly, openly set up an unsecured server at her home. 

TODD: There's no doubt!

JOE: Knowingly had classified information passed through that. 

TODD: The Petraeus issue was worse. 

FORD: Joe, you have to agree with that.

JOE: No I don't. I don't agree with him at all. While she was Secretary of State and while classified information at the highest levels were passing through this unsecured server. Going against clear regulations that Obama had put in 2009. 

FORD: I agree with a big part of what you said. Knowingly set up a server that it was going through. You don't know who can hack it. But you cannot deny what Chuck has said. I don't think General -- 

JOE: I just: don't tell me I can't because I just did. 

FORD: Based on what you said, I know how smart you are. You cannot disagree with what he has said. He knowingly shared with someone. Put aside all the other facts. 

JOE: And Hillary Clinton knowingly exposed classified information at the highest levels to hackers by setting up a home server and --

FORD: But she didn't knowingly share --

JOE: -- and beyond that there was a fax that Mark Halperin brought up a couple of days ago that I think was in the paper a day or two ago where somebody was trying to send her classified material via a classified fax and when it couldn't be sent over the fax, she said well, if you can't send it over the classified fax, just send it over electronically. That would be knowingly 


JOE: No what? You just said no. No what?

FORD: Petraeus actually gave it to someone who was not. She was saying to someone--she probably shouldn't have said that, and I would agree with you--she send it across the fax because it's going only to get to me. You have to agree with Chuck there.

JOE: No I don't! No I don't! Please! Stop trying to set Chuck and me up against each other. 

TODD: I agree with Joe: he doesn't have to agree with me. I've learned that over the years. It's what makes good television.

FORD: This is great television but tha't not fair.

JOE: Chuck can have my opinion but respect my opinion and the opinion of a lot of other people, and respect the opinion of people at the Justice Department who are deeply disturbed by what Hillary Clinton did. Respect the opinion of the Inspector General over the intel agencies who's deeply disturbed by what she did.

FORD: I don't disagree with that. But someone knowingly giving it to this person and someone saying I'm going to give it to this person and maybe that person can intercept it is very different. 

JOE: Well, let's wait and actually see how this turns out, becasue Chuck, I made a decision in my mind about --

FORD: I don't think General Petraeus should have gone through all this. I want to say that.

JOE: I made my decision three or four months ago that that on this story we were going to let it lie because you know what? The FBI is either going to charge her or they're not going to charge her. 

TODD: That's 100% --

FORD: And they shouldn't.

JOE: If they don't. Harold. 

FORD: They shouldn't. That's my opinion.

JOE: Harold, you are a gd lawyer. Okay?

FORD: What does "gd" mean? 

JOE: I can't really say it on the air. How can you say as a lawyer -- 

FORD: Listen, Joe, come on. We had a conversation off air yesterday. 

JOE: How can you say Hillary Clinton should not be charged when you have no idea what evidence the lawyers at the Justice Department are looking at? 


Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.