CNN's 'New Day' Buries Terrorist Father at Clinton Rally Until Foley with Trump

After initially burying the embarrassing campaign faux pas of the Orlando night club terrorist's father, Mir Seddique Mateen, standing behind Hillary Clinton at one of her rallies, CNN New Day finally gave more attention to the story after former Republican Representative Mark Foley managed to snag a similar spot at a rally behind Donald Trump.

On Tuesday, while the Clinton rally got attention elsewhere on CNN, New Day initially did not mention the story. On Wednesday, during the second hour of the show, the issue was first raised by right-leaning CNN commentator Corey Lewandowski, leading co-host Chris Cuomo to then raise the issue with liberal CNN commentator Christine Quinn, and again later with Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins in the third hour.

But, after Trump brought attention to Mateen's presence at the Clinton rally, CNN New Day on Thursday led its first hour with a report on Trump's much-discussed Second Amendment comments and the irony of Foley's presence at the Trump rally after Mateen had appeared at the Clinton rally.

After recounting Trump's remarks on the Second Amendment and the Supreme Court, and his blaming of ISIS on President Barack Obama and Clinton, CNN correspondent Sara Murray continued:

Sitting behind Trump at the rally as it all happened, disgraced ex-Congressman Mark Foley, who resigned in 2006 amid allegations he sent sexual emails and messages to teenage boys-

Then came a clip of Trump from the rally: "How many of you people know me? A lot of you people know me. When you get those seats, you sort of know the campaign."

Murray added: "-as Trump pounced on Clinton for having a terrorist's father sitting behind her this week."

Before the CNN correspondent appeared to conclude her piece, there came another clip of the GOP candidate: "Wasn't it terrible when the father of the animal that killed the wonderful people in Orlando was sitting with a big smile on his face right behind Hillary Clinton?"

Murray's report was repeated on New Day twice -- once shortly after 7:00 a.m. and again after 8:00 a.m. ET.

Moments after the report's first airing, at 6:05 a.m. ET, co-anchors Cuomo and Brianna Keilar recalled the ironic nature of the two rallies:

CHRIS CUOMO: Maggie (Haberman), you just can't make it up. Barack Hussein Obama, the founder of ISIS. The father of the Orlando murderer in the back of Clinton's campaign, Trump points it out, we then look behind him, and Mark Foley is sitting there.

BRIANNA KEILAR: In the same place almost. Exact same spot.

CUOMO: Trump comes up with, let's say, casual comments about what Second Amendment people could do, refuses to apologize. His campaign says this is part of our maturation process, that we need to learn to get better and get more consistent on message. The day after they say that, he doubles down and says more inflammatory things. How do you -- you can't make it up.

CNN correspondents Jeff Zeleny and Maggie Haberman both discussed the Foley and Mateen cases further within the first half hour block of the show.

Below are transcripts of relevant portions of CNN New Day from Thursday, August 11, and Wednesday, August 10:

#Thursday, August 11:

6:04 a.m. ET

SARA MURRAY: The man who once demanded the President's birth certificate to prove his citizenship now emphasizing Obama's full name.

DONALD TRUMP: -during the administration of Barack Hussein Obama.

MURRAY: Sitting behind Trump at the rally as it all happened, disgraced ex-Congressman Mark Foley, who resigned in 2006 amid allegations he sent sexual emails and messages to teenage boys-

TRUMP: How many of you people know me? A lot of you people know me. When you get those seats, you sort of know the campaign.

MURRAY: -as Trump pounced on Clinton for having a terrorist's father sitting behind her this week.

TRUMP: Wasn't it terrible when the father of the animal that killed the wonderful people in Orlando was sitting with a big smile on his face right behind Hillary Clinton?

(...)

6:05 a.m. ET
CHRIS CUOMO: Maggie, you just can't make it up. Barack Hussein Obama, the founder of ISIS. The father of the Orlando murderer in the back of Clinton's campaign, Trump points it out, we then look behind him, and Mark Foley is sitting there.

BRIANNA KEILAR: In the same place almost. Exact same spot.

CUOMO: Trump comes up with, let's say, casual comments about what Second Amendment people could do, refuses to apologize. His campaign says this is part of our maturation process, that we need to learn to get better and get more consistent on message. The day after they say that, he doubles down and says more inflammatory things. How do you -- you can't make it up.

(...)

6:10 a.m. ET
JEFF ZELENY: The Mark Foley thing last night, at the rally in Florida, may have been the only unscripted matter of the whole thing there. I don't know, I doubt if Donald Trump knew Mark Foley, the former Congressman, was sitting behind him, but interestingly, I happened to be looking on Mark Foley's Facebook page this morning. He posted yesterday afternoon around 1:30 or so the story of the Orlando shooter's father and Hillary Clinton. So he knew exactly what he was doing when he was sitting there. Just one of those bizarre things. But as for Donald Trump, look, he can control himself if he wants to, and we're not sure if he wants to actually.

And the remind people of who Mark Foley is, I mean, this is someone who was actually at another Trump event here during this cycle, but Mark Foley was the source of the page scandal in 2006 that was very much the downfall of House Republicans, including the Speaker, Dennis Hastert, who we later learned had huge problems of his own legally and doing inappropriate things. But this was gigantic. This was what led to Democrats taking over the House, and the idea that he would have him sitting in almost the same place, Maggie, I mean, there's no, there seems to be no sense of irony here.

MAGGIE HABERMAN: This is the problem. Look, when you -- Democrats were very upset when Hillary Clinton was criticized the other day for having the father of Omar Mateen sitting at her rally. It's still not exactly clear how it happened. It took her campaign a day -- a full day to come out with sort of a clear statement about it. It was clearly not great advance work, and it was clearly a slow response.

CUOMO: You don't believe they invited him.

HABERMAN: I have no idea. I find it very unlikely. I don't know how he got there. I don't know if it was somebody who just showed up. And, to be clear, people have a right to just go to a political rally. But you are going to, as a presidential candidate, you are going to get criticized for people who back you. This is not new. Tump has been seizing on this, and he makes it a big thing, and then he has Mark Foley, who is, look, a friend of his, to be clear. 

This is not like this is somebody who just showed up at a rally, sitting right behind him as Trump is making the exact same -- literally in real time -- saying, "Can you believe she did this?" and pointing to the crowd behind him. And this is what happens with this campaign over and over again has been -- and particularly with the candidate -- he will make an attack, and then he will get caught in something similar and try to explain why it doesn't apply to him, and then in his description it's that he's being treated unfairly.

#Wednesday, August 10:

7:11 a.m. ET
COREY LEWANDOWSKI, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He's talked about the fact that yesterday, in father, Hillary Clinton had the father of a mass shooter sitting behind her at a campaign rally where she is talking about praising the police and the emergency response individuals who helped at that night club and the father of the perpetrator sitting behind her. And the campaign says, "Well, we knew nothing about that."

CHRIS CUOMO: Turn about is fair play. We're talking about the stink that Trump has on him. And, again, it's about his awareness or his concern for what he says. This matters, too. How can the Clinton campaign say, "We didn't know that the father of the Orlando shooter was going to be there," the reports that he was invited by the campaign.

CHRISTINE QUINN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The campaign has made it clear he wasn't invited by the campaign. The Clinton events are open events. Anyone can come in.

CUOMO: Do you think it's wrong that he was there? What if they campaign had invited him?

QUINN: Well, they would never have invited him. No campaign should invite someone who said those things to an event. And they say they didn't, and I know they didn't because they would not have invited someone like that. And the campaign has disavowed him and him being there. Now, if you have an open event, and a democratic, small 'D' kind of a way, anyone can come in. Now, does the campaign need to go back and look at, you know, once people get in, vetting, things of that nature, the advance setup? Absolutely. But let's be clear. The campaign didn't invite him. And the campaign has disavowed him being there.


#Wednesday, August 10:

8:10 a.m. ET
CUOMO: All right, so on the same day that we have this going on, with this intrigue around Trump once again, we have a couple of other developments. One you could argue is a little bit smaller. You have the father of the Orlando shooter, shows up at a Clinton event. He's behind her, which to many suggests a privileged position. The campaign denies it, says they didn't invite him, they don't know how he got in. That's one thing.

Then these emails come out, 44 so far from the State Department, that show pretty clear overlapping between what was going on at the Clinton Global Initiative and what was going on with Secretary Clinton at the State Department, even after 2009, when she had said that she would be much more mindful to stop any conflict of overlapping. How does that weigh in on your suggestion of what the country needs in terms of leadership?

[SUSAN COLLINS]

NB Daily Campaign Watch 2016 Presidential Orlando Night Club Terror Attack Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats CNN New Day Video Chris Cuomo Brianna Keilar Sara Murray Jeff Zeleny Maggie Haberman Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Mark Foley