CBS Moves On from Clinton Foundation Scandal; Fails to Mention New Bombshell Book

After briefly alluding to the Clinton Foundation scandal on Monday’s CBS This Morning, the CBS Evening News made no mention of the scandal or a damning new book on the subject from author Peter Schweizer on its Monday evening broadcast. 

Both ABC’s World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News did cover the story as well as Hillary Clinton’s response Monday afternoon in New Hampshire, but also parroted Clinton campaign talking points in responding to Schweizer’s allegations.

On NBC Nightly News, correspondent and MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell reported from New Hampshire and changed her tone from her report on Today by actually mentioning the scandal. For this new segment, she started on the tough side by declaring that “Clinton ran into a political storm” as “[h]er coffee-klatched campaign” was “sidetracked by questions about foreign donations to her family foundation.”

Mitchell then brought up Schweizer’s book (which is entitled Clinton Cash) and referred to Schweizer as “a conservative author.” The liberal reporter went on to highlight an article in Monday’s New York Times on the upcoming book and that Clinton worked to “brush it off” at one of her campaign stops.

After a Clinton soundbite, Mitchell went into spin mode for Clinton by touting the numerous so-called safeguards against any favoritism:

The campaign says the example cited of free trade agreement for Colombia and reconstruction for Haiti were Obama priorities, not Clinton’s, but before she was confirmed as secretary of state, the White House insisted that the Clinton Foundation dispose all foreign money for ethics approval while she held office, although in one case, Algeria, it didn’t and Bill Clinton signed an agreement to disclose his speaking fees. Hillary Clinton resigned from the foundation when she announced for the White House, and last week, after criticism, the foundation said it will no longer accept money from Arab countries, which discriminate against women.

ABC’s World News Tonight mentioned the book and Clinton Foundation scandal in a one-minute-and-26-second segment that began with anchor David Muir admitting that Clinton was “greeted” in the Granite State “with tough questions about donations to the Clinton Foundation.”

Senior national correspondent and Saturday anchor Cecilia Vega picked it up from there in New Hampshire: 

Hillary Clinton here today to talk about the economy. Instead, she was on the defensive about a bombshell new book. It accuses the former secretary of state of handing out favors to foreign donors who gave big money to the Clinton Foundation and to Bill Clinton.

In footage from one of Clinton’s campaign stops, Vega was shown asking Clinton about the donations to her family’s foundation and husband Bill Clinton: “Did foreign embassies receive any special treatment for making any kind of donations to the foundation or your husband?” Not surprisingly, Clinton responded by dismissing it as “we’re back into political season” where she “will be subjected to all kinds of distraction and attacks.” 

Vega closed by providing the Clinton campaign’s response to Schweizer’s book, but predicted that “these questions [are] not likely to go away anytime soon”:

And the Clinton campaign calling this book Clinton Cash a partisan hit job, saying the author is a former Bush speech writer. Also, the foundation changing its policy on these foreign donations, now limiting the countries that will it accept cash from. David, these questions not likely to go away anytime soon. 

The relevant portions of the transcript from NBC Nightly News on April 20 can be found below.

NBC Nightly News
April 20, 2015
7:10 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Money Trail]

LESTER HOLT: Tonight, battle lines are being drawn in the critical 2016 state of New Hampshire where Hillary Clinton arrived today to a slew of questions about her family’s charitable foundation and where some of its money is coming from. NBC's Andrea Mitchell is on the trail.

ANDREA MITCHELL: Trying to run from a spring storm, Hillary Clinton ran into a political storm. Her coffee-klatched campaign sidetracked by questions about foreign donations to her family foundation in a new book, Clinton Cash, by a conservative author.

(....)

HOLT: Today, The New York Times wrote about Peter Schweizer’s upcoming book, claiming foreign entities hired Bill Clinton to speak and donated to the family foundation to get favorable treatment from Hillary Clinton's State Department. In New Hampshire today, she tried to brush it off. 

(....)

MITCHELL: The campaign says the example cited of free trade agreement for Colombia and reconstruction for Haiti were Obama priorities, not Clinton’s, but before she was confirmed as secretary of state, the White House insisted that the Clinton Foundation dispose all foreign money for ethics approval while she held office, although in one case, Algeria, it didn’t and Bill Clinton signed an agreement to disclose his speaking fees. Hillary Clinton resigned from the foundation when she announced for the White House, and last week, after criticism, the foundation said it will no longer accept money from Arab countries, which discriminate against women.

A partial transcript of the segment from ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir on April 20 is provided below.

ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir
April 20, 2015
6:42 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Hillary Response]

DAVID MUIR: We turn now to the race for 2016, Hillary Clinton tonight in New Hampshire, the state that once gave her first presidential campaign a second chance, but tonight, as she talks with voters there, she’s also being greeted with tough questions about donations to the Clinton Foundation. ABC's Cecilia Vega asking her some tough questions there today, Cecilia? 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Hillary’s Response; Did Cash Contributors Get Favors?]

CECILIA VEGA: David, good evening to you. Hillary Clinton here today to talk about the economy. Instead, she was on the defensive about a bombshell new book. It accuses the former secretary of state of handing out favors to foreign donors who gave big money to the Clinton Foundation and to Bill Clinton. Today, I asked Hillary Clinton directly about this. Here's what she said. [TO CLINTON] Did foreign embassies receive any special treatment for making any kind of donations to the foundation or your husband? 

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, we’re back into the political season and therefore we will be subjected to all kinds of distraction and attacks and I'm ready for that. It is – I think worth noting that the Republicans seem to be talking only about me. I don't know what they talk about if I weren't in the race. 

VEGA: And the Clinton campaign calling this book Clinton Cash a partisan hit job, saying the author is a former Bush speech writer. Also, the foundation changing its policy on these foreign donations, now limiting the countries that will it accept cash from. David, these questions not likely to go away any time soon.

 

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Foreign Policy Media Bias Debate Bias by Omission Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video Clinton Foundation President Clinton Cecilia Vega Andrea Mitchell Peter Schweizer David Muir Hillary Clinton Bill Clinton
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