Unlike the Networks, FNC’s Bret Baier and CNN’s Anderson Cooper Bring the Heat Against Hillary

Each of the “big three” networks conducted interviews with Hillary Clinton that aired on their Wednesday evening newscasts, but they dramatically fell short in providing any sort of challenge in contrast to hardball questions from CNN’s Anderson Cooper and the Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier that they fired off in their interviews. 

Just as he did with Clinton campaign press secretary Brian Fallon on May 25, Baier used his time on Special Report to bring the heat on a wide variety of issues, including her e-mail scandal and the State Department Inspector General (I.G.) report. 

Baier started by noting how far the Democratic Party has moved left since the presidency of Bill Clinton and specifically how she’ll “do different with the economy than President Obama” considering the fact that “if you look at the polls, the average of recent polls, the right direction/wrong direction, 65 percent of Americans say the country is headed in the wrong direction.”

Clinton spun the issue as being not dire due to the statistically positive job growth and so Baier went to perhaps the biggest issue surrounding Clinton in her e-mail scandal. The FNC host seemed to suggest that she’s been asked a lot about it, but not on specifics so he would take that step:

One, you've tried to calm Democrats' fears that there isn't going to be another shoe dropping. What basis did you tell this radio station, 1070 Radio on Friday, that there is absolutely no possibility of an indictment? Has anybody from the DOJ talked to you or your representatives? 

When the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate reiterated her belief that she’ll face no indictment, Baier pushed back: “You have said, I'll talk to anybody any time, but you didn't talk to the State I.G. — State Department I.G. and neither did any of your aides. Why not? And would you talk to the Judicial Watch deposition that they're asking for?”

Clinton largely dodged the situation by talking about how she’s spoken in public about the scandal, which resulted in Baier firing back in this exchange before wrapping up on if she remembered signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with the State Department and if the Clinton Foundation scandal could hurt her campaign:

BAIER: The State Department I.G., though, wanted to talk to you and you didn't want to do that. 

CLINTON: It just didn't even, what they wanted to ask we had already talked about, talked about in the public arena and look, I think that report actually — 

BAIER: You’ve said, Secretary Clinton —

CLINTON — I think that report — 

BAIER: — I just want to press on —

CLINTON: — actually supported what I have been saying for years. The rules were not clarified. 

BAIER: Well, you said hundreds of people knew about the private e-mail and they said that it didn’t. It didn’t.

CLINTON: The practice was used by other secretaries of state. I've said it was a mistake. I certainly wouldn't do it again, but I think that you know, it basically pointed out that the rules were not clarified and that both before me and after me for a period of time, secretaries of state had the same practice.

Over on CNN’s Situation Room, AC360 host Anderson Cooper pressed Clinton on reaching out to Bernie Sanders supporters and what role former President Bill Clinton would play in her potential administration, but he also unloaded on her over the Clinton Foundation scandal:

Trump has said he is clearly going to focus on the Clinton foundation. Last night, he said and I quote, “the Russians, the Saudis, the Chinese all gave money to the foundation” and, quote, “got favorable treatment in return.” The foundation has obviously raised huge sums of money for worthy causes. It’s always not been transparent though. Tens of thousands of dollars have come from a Canadian partnership whose donors can remain secret. There was a large donation from Algeria that wasn’t not submitted to State Department for approval. If you’re president, will your husband divest himself of any association with the foundation? 

The former secretary of state maintained that she doesn’t view the matter as worthy of consideration unless she becomes president. With that in mind, Cooper did follow up once on the foundation, but was unsuccessful:

But some big donors clearly want the association with you or your husband that they leaked to the foundation gives them. As president obviously, it’s vital that you or certainly your husband not appear to be in any way compromised. So, I guess have you considered the idea of him stepping down?        

The relevant portions of the transcript from FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier on June 8 can be found below.

FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier
June 8, 2016
6:12 p.m. Eastern

BRET BAIER: Yours was obviously an historic campaign, but we should point out that Bernie Sanders was also an historic campaign. He got more votes than any Democratic socialist has ever gotten in American history and it's telling about the Democratic Party some people say. You know, when your husband ran, he ran a much different campaign. As a centrist, as a New Democrat. As the Third Way. You know, he was credited with NAFTA and a balanced budget. He was and is a friend of Wall Street. So when you say he should be in charge of the economy. Is he in tune with today's Democratic Party?

(....)

BAIER: You have said that President Obama got the country out of an economic ditch, but if you look at the polls, the average of recent polls, the right direction/wrong direction, 65 percent of Americans say the country is headed in the wrong direction. So what specifically would you do differently with the economy than President Obama has done? 

HILLARY CLINTON: Well I think that 76 months of job creation is a good start. 

BAIER: Well it's just not different. I mean, what specifically would you do differently than the Obama administration? 

(....)

BAIER: That will be different than the Obama administration. Now, let me just ask you a lightning round couple of questions. You've been asked a lot about the e-mail investigation, but I want to ask you about specific things quickly. One, you've tried to calm Democrats' fears that there isn't going to be another shoe dropping. What basis did you tell this radio station, 1070 Radio on Friday, that there is absolutely no possibility of an indictment? Has anybody from the DOJ talked to you or your representatives? 

CLINTON: I will repeat what I said that is not going to happen. There is no basis for it and I'm looking forward to this being wrapped up as soon as possible. 

(...)

BAIER: You have said, I'll talk to anybody any time, but you didn't talk to the State I.G. — State Department I.G. and neither did any of your aides. Why not? And would you talk to the Judicial Watch deposition that they're asking for?

(....)
                    
BAIER: The State Department I.G., though, wanted to talk to you and you didn't want to do that. 

CLINTON: It just didn't even, what they wanted to ask we had already talked about, talked about in the public arena and look, I think that report actually — 

BAIER: You’ve said, Secretary Clinton —

CLINTON — I think that report — 

BAIER: — I just want to press on —

CLINTON: — actually supported what I have been saying for years. The rules were not clarified. 

BAIER: Well, you said hundreds of people knew about the private e-mail and they said that it didn’t. It didn’t.

CLINTON: The practice was used by other secretaries of state. I've said it was a mistake. I certainly wouldn't do it again, but I think that you know, it basically pointed out that the rules were not clarified and that both before me and after me for a period of time, secretaries of state had the same practice. 

BAIER: Two more things quickly. Secretary Clinton, you said you sent or received nothing that was marked classified, but you did sign a non-disclosure agreement, an NDA, in 2009 that said markings don't matter whether it's marked or unmarked. Do you remember signing that?

(....)

BAIER: Very last thing. The Clinton Foundation investigation, the FBI investigation into the e-mail, you're saying zero chance that this is a problem for you in this election? 

CLINTON: Absolutely. That's what I'm saying. That happens to be the truth.

Tell the Truth 2016 NBDaily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Media Bias Debate Political Groups Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals Fox News Channel Special Report CNN The Situation Room Video Government & Press State Department Clinton Foundation Bret Baier Anderson Cooper Hillary Clinton Bill Clinton
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