PBS's Woodruff to Clinton: 'Do You Believe the President Is Racist?'

In a pre-recorded interview aired on Friday's PBS NewsHour, PBS host Judy Woodruff asked guest Hillary Clinton if she believes President Donald Trump is "racist," and then did not challenge her when she claimed that Trump had "accepted the support of David Duke," and that he "has not condemned the neo-Nazis and the self-proclaimed white supremacists." Substitute host Hari Sreenivasan also teased that, in part two of the interview to be aired next week, Clinton had blamed "well-executed voter suppression of African-American voters" for her loss in Wisconsin.

On the bright side, Woodruff did press her on the issue of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, meeting with former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and creating a situation that led to FBI Director James Comey taking a greater role in the investigation of her private email server.

Woodruff brought up Trump's history of birtherism and then his comments on the Charlottesville violence as she posed:

You are very tough in the book and now on President Trump. After the birther issued he raised over President Obama, his campaign rhetoric, and, now as President, his comments on Charlottesville -- and he repeated some of those yesterday -- do you believe the President is racist?

The PBS host notably did not ask whether it was racist for Clinton associate Sidney Blumenthal to try to inject birtherism into the 2008 presidential campaign against then-Senator Barack Obama to benefit Clinton's first run for the presidency. 

In Clinton's response, she sounded like a far-left MSNBC host repeating misinformation as she claimed:

Here's what I believe. I believe that he has given a lot of encouragement and rhetorical support to the Ku Klux Klan -- he accepted the support of David Duke -- I believe that he has not condemned the neo-Nazis and the self-proclaimed white supremacists in Charlottesville and other settings.

Rather than challenge any of her claims, Woodruff moved on to the issue of DACA as she followed up:

<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>

Having said all of that, if he is able as President to oversee the passage of legislation to protect the Dreamers -- these young people who came to this country as children undocumented -- they came here young -- if he's able to -- if President Trump is able to get that done -- something we're seeing movement on -- in the last few days, he'll deserve credit for that finally after so many President's tried to do it?

The PBS host notably used the preferred liberal terminology of "dreamers" and "undocumented" to describe young illegal immigration who were brought into the country by their parents.

A bit earlier in the interview, Woodruff had thankfully brought up former President Bill Clinton and Lynch having their questionable meeting that came during the email investigation:

You single out Comey -- the former FBI director. My question, though, is he was in the role he was in because the then-Attorney General -- Loretta Lynch -- had pulled back and essentially turned over the leading role in overseeing the FBI -- of the investigation into your emails because of that meeting on the airport tarmac with your husband, former President Bill Clinton. So my question is: To what extent did Loretta Lynch and President Clinton make a costly mistake?

Clinton argued that Assistant Attorney General Sally Yates should have been given control of the investigation, leading Woodruff to follow up: "But my point is, he wouldn't have been in that position had Loretta Lynch not pulled back after that meeting with President Clinton."

After the interview segment ended, Sreenivasan teased: "You'll want to tune in Monday for part two of Judy's interview where Secretary Clinton cites well-executed voter suppression of African-American voters as a reason she lost Wisconsin."

The preview for part two almost sounds like a parody of trying to blame others for everything, leading one to wonder if there is a part three that will feature Clinton blaming her husband's 1998 impeachment on inadequate dry cleaning services for White House interns.

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the interview aired on the Friday, September 15, PBS NewsHour:

JUDY WOODRUFF: You single out Comey -- the former FBI director. My question, though, is he was in the role he was in because the then-Attorney General -- Loretta Lynch -- had pulled back and essentially turned over the leading role in overseeing the FBI -- of the investigation into your emails because of that meeting on the airport tarmac with your husband, former President Bill Clinton. So my question is: To what extent did Loretta Lynch and President Clinton make a costly mistake?

[HILLARY CLINTON]

WOODRUFF: But my point is, he wouldn't have been in that position had Loretta Lynch not pulled back after that meeting with President Clinton.

[CLINTON]

(...)

WOODRUFF: You are very tough in the book and now on President Trump. After the birther issued he raised over President Obama, his campaign rhetoric, and, now as President, his comments on Charlottesville -- and he repeated some of those yesterday -- do you believe the President is racist?

HILLARY CLINTON: Here's what I believe. I believe that he has given a lot of encouragement and rhetorical support to the Ku Klux Klan -- he accepted the support of David Duke -- I believe that he has not condemned the neo-Nazis and the self-proclaimed white supremacists in Charlottesville and other settings. I believe the Congress had to -- on a bipartisan basis -- pass a resolution asking that white supremacy be condemned by this President, which he then signed -- and we'll wait and see what he does. 

So I can't tell you what's in his heart, Judy. I don't know. It could be total rank, cynical opportunism. He's got a hardcore base that believes these things, and he's going to keep feeding it. He took advantage of some of the conspiracy theories that these people propagate -- like birtherism. So I can't tell you what's in his heart. I know that he was sued for racial discrimination in his business. So I think that what's important is that, as a leader, that he speak up on behalf of the rights of all Americans and the respect that we should show for the diversity of our country -- which I think is one of our great strengths.

WOODRUFF: Having said all of that, if he is able as President to oversee the passage of legislation to protect the Dreamers -- these young people who came to this country as children undocumented -- they came here young -- if he's able to -- if President Trump is able to get that done -- something we're seeing movement on -- in the last few days, he'll deserve credit for that finally after so many President's tried to do it?

(...)

HARI SREENIVASAN: You'll want to tune in Monday for part two of Judy's interview where Secretary Clinton cites well-executed voter suppression of African-American voters as a reason she lost Wisconsin.


Please support NewsBusters today! (a 501c3 non-profit production of the Media Research Center)

DONATE
CyberAlerts 2016 Presidential Charlottesville violence Immigration Race Issues Racism PBS News Hour Video KKK James Comey Judy Woodruff Hari Sreenivasan Hillary Clinton Donald Trump Bill Clinton David Duke Loretta Lynch Sidney Blumenthal