NBC Touts 'Exclusive Interview' With Hillary That Lasted 8 Seconds

On Tuesday afternoon, MSNBC laughably touted an eight-second exchange with Hillary Clinton by White House correspondent Kristen Welker as an "exclusive interview." During the 1 p.m. ET hour of his show, anchor Thomas Roberts excitedly told viewers: "Want to go back to Iowa where I just mentioned that we have this new exclusive NBC video of Hillary Clinton out on the stump there in Iowa. And our correspondent Kristen Welker talked with Clinton exclusively."

Soon a blaring red headline flashed across the screen: "Breaking News; NBC News Exclusive Interview With Hillary Clinton"

Via phone, Welker set the scene:

Secretary Clinton was meeting with folks who were at a bakery in Le Claire, IA this morning. She got out, got into her motorcade, started to drive away, and then unexpectedly got out of her motorcade and started to walk down the street. And that's when I was able to ask her what she's going to do differently....Campaign aides say she's gonna have a very different strategy this time around, she's going to more approachable. So I put that question to the candidate herself. Here's what she had to say, take a listen.

In the "exclusive" eight-second clip that followed, Welker managed to only lob a single softball: "You lost in Iowa in 2008. How do win this time? What's your strategy?"

The presumptive Democratic nominee was barely able to handle the brief interaction with a reporter, dodging what should have been an easy question: "I'm having a great time. Can't look forward anymore than I am. Thank you."

Even Roberts took note: "Kristen, this exchange that you had with Hillary Clinton, I know you were very pointed, however, Clinton wasn't pointed in her direct response." Welker acknowledged: "Yeah, she sort of dodged the question."

Later, Welker observed: "She's gonna to have to answer it, if not to reporters, at least to the people here in Iowa."

Welker thought of other tough questions that voters, not journalists, could ask Clinton:

I will tell you, a lot of people say they want answers on the foreign policy issue that she's dealing with, with Benghazi, the e-mail scandal, the fact that she used her personal e-mail while serving as secretary of state. So she's gonna get a lot of pointed questions, I think, from the folks of Iowa while she's here.

Here is a full transcript of the April 14 "Breaking News" segment:

1:36 PM ET

THOMAS ROBERTS: Want to go back to Iowa where I just mentioned that we have this new exclusive NBC video of Hillary Clinton out on the stump there in Iowa. And our correspondent Kristen Welker talked with Clinton exclusively. Kristen joins me on the telephone from Davenport, Iowa right now. And Kristen, this exchange that you had with Hillary Clinton, I know you were very pointed, however, Clinton wasn't pointed in her direct response.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Breaking News; NBC News Exclusive Interview With Hillary Clinton]

KRISTEN WELKER: Yeah, she sort of dodged the question. Hey, good afternoon, Thomas. Just a little setup to how this came about. Secretary Clinton was meeting with folks who were at a bakery in Le Claire, IA this morning. She got out, got into her motorcade, started to drive away, and then unexpectedly got out of her motorcade and started to walk down the street.

And that's when I was able to ask her what she's going to do differently. You'll recall that she came in third here in Iowa in 2008. Campaign aides say she's gonna have a very different strategy this time around, she's going to more approachable. So I put that question to the candidate herself. Here's what she had to say, take a listen.

WELKER [TO HILLARY CLINTON]: You lost in Iowa in 2008. How do win this time? What's your strategy?

HILLARY CLINTON: I'm having a great time. Can't look forward anymore than I am. Thank you.

WELKER: As you heard there, Thomas, she dodged that question. But that really is the central question. She's gonna to have to answer it, if not to reporters, at least to the people here in Iowa. And she's gonna have to show them. I've been here for the past several days and a lot of people say that they're still undecided. They want her to earn their vote.

The issues that people here say they care about most, the economy, health care. But I will tell you, a lot of people say they want answers on the foreign policy issue that she's dealing with, with Benghazi, the e-mail scandal, the fact that she used her personal e-mail while serving as secretary of state. So she's gonna get a lot of pointed questions, I think, from the folks of Iowa while she's here.

Her first stop is at a community college. She's on the way, en route right now, where she's going to be talking to really just a handful of students and educators there. And I'm told she is going to focus on the economy in her remarks. Polls show that she's leading here. That right now she's sort of trouncing the competition. But I can tell you that other potential Democratic candidates like former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, have been spending a lot of time here. So Clinton aides say, look, they are prepared for this to be a competitive primary. Thomas.

ROBERTS: Well, it's the baby steps of optics. So we will continue to watch it as it all unfolds. Kristen Welker live on the trail there in Iowa. Kristen, thank you.

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Liberals & Democrats MSNBC MSNBC Live Video Thomas Roberts Kristen Welker Hillary Clinton

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