Post-Forum MSNBC Boasts of Hillary’s ‘Very Strong Performance’, Slams Trump on Intel Briefings

Just as predicted, MSNBC did its best to draw attention away from the grilling Hillary Clinton received about her e-mail scandal on Wednesday night at their Commander in Chief Forum in their analysis on The Last Word by spinning her portion as a “very strong performance” and spent little time rehashing it in favor of trashing Trump discussing his intelligence briefings. 

Roughly five minutes into the show, MSNBC host/NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell resumed her Clinton talking points that she employed before the event and admitted that “[b]oth of them play[ed] defense on separate issues” and that Clinton’s pitfall was in the e-mail portion but quickly moved onto Trump. 

“He again not revealing the secret plan to defeat ISIS and most remarkably saying that his CIA briefers, he's had two briefings, she had one, his CIA briefers had told him that President Obama is not following their advice,” Mitchell complained before going on for nearly another minute about Trump and not Clinton.

Hardball host Chris Matthews spent a whole host of time talking about how Trump seemingly interpreted the body language of his intelligence briefers before quickly moved onto fawning over how Clinton seemingly put on “a very strong performance” in his eyes against Trump who seemed to be “under tremendous pressure”:

I think Hillary Clinton might as well have won the coin toss because coming first I thought was better. I think she did much better coming in first. He was under a lot of pressure after a very strong performance by her. He came, in and he looked red-faced the whole night. He looked like under tremendous pressure from Matt Lauer whereas Hillary....Matt pressed her just as hard as he did Trump. When Hillary was pressed she stepped back. Her body language, which was vivid for all of us, stood up and took the ball and ran with it physically.

<<< Please consider helping NewsBusters financially with your tax-deductible contribution today >>>

Even though she’s been giving answers for years about her regret for the Iraq War vote, Matthews seemed captivated by her on this issue in the form showing “an alacrity and excitement with the question because it's an issue that Rachel and I and a lot of us care about.”

Turning back to Trump, Matthews blasted him for having “very little depth and Matt pushed him” to show that “[t]here was not much behind what he was saying..whereas she was ready I thought tonight.”

With Last Word host Lawrence O’Donnell guiding the conversation, fellow MSNBC host Rachel Maddow attempted to explain away Clinton’s troubles with the truth on the e-mail issue by blaming it on the CIA’s refusal to publicize their covert, anti-terrorism operations (including ones involving drones):

[W]hat she's describing, it's hard to imagine sort of a better answer to it because there is this thing that's wrong in the middle of American foreign policy. I can say as a matter of my opinion, which is that we are conducting an ongoing, years-long substantial military campaign that is a war by any other name but we're doing it as covert action and therefore, literally American public officials are prohibited from discussing it, but we all know what's happening.

Putting it all together, Clinton’s performance left the media waging a multi-pronged effort afterward with dismissals of her answers to instead harp on Trump but also near-universal excoriations (here, here, and here) of moderator and Today co-host Matt Lauer by the so-called objective media critics with reviews that the Clinton campaign probably couldn’t have written any better.

To slightly alter a line our friend and WMAL host Chris Plante often uses, it’s good to be liberal when you have friends in the media.

The relevant portions of the transcript from MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell on September 7 can be found below.

MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell
September 7, 2016
10:05 p.m. Eastern

ANDREA MITCHELL: Both of them playing defense on separate issues. She on e-mails. Very uncomfortable clearly answering questions from Matt Lauer about e-mails that referred to top secret — the drone program and she said it was a mistake, but she really was really very — very defensive about that. He again not revealing the secret plan to defeat ISIS and most remarkably saying that his CIA briefers, he's had two briefings, she had one, his CIA briefers had told him that President Obama is not following their advice. Now, I've covered intelligence and the intelligence community for a long time. I was not part of that secret briefing, but I would be stunned that the CIA briefers signaled anything to Donald Trump. They have been absolutely rigorous about saying that these briefings would be parallel and in fact, if she asked a question about a subject he had not been told, he would then get a subsequent briefing. He's had a second briefing to fill him in, that they would absolutely get the same information and the fact that they would be signaling to Donald Trump, a nominee and a controversial one at that who's had no experience in government or with classification, that they're not happy with President Obama is hard to believe.

(....)

CHRIS MATTHEWS: I think it's more than body language but he can't give that away, it's a briefing, he can only give away something that's non-verbal. I mean, he can say I felt different about being there, I sensed certain things, but he can't say they revealed some resentment or contempt toward the President, he wasn't following their instructions or advice. That's what came across to me much more. He must mean that. He can't mean body language. Body language has to do with positioning and — there's nothing that could convey that intellectually. By the way, I thought — I just think — I thought tonight was very interesting. I think Hillary Clinton might as well have won the coin toss because coming first I thought was better. I think she did much better coming in first. He was under a lot of pressure after a very strong performance by her. He came, in and he looked red-faced the whole night. He looked like under tremendous fresh from Matt Lauer whereas Hillary. Every question Matt — and Matt pressed her just as hard as he did Trump. When Hillary was pressed she stepped back. Her body language, which was vivid for all of us, stood up and took the ball and ran with it physically. Like Bill used to do, remember?

Bill would stand up. He'd say I don't have to sit in a stool, I can get up and walk around and she showed an alacrity and excitement with the question because it's an issue that Rachel and I and a lot of us care about. She was so direct in taking the bullet or taking the hit on Iraq. She said I made a mistake. She wouldn't be budged from that. No quibbling, no buts. She just took it. I thought that was so strong and I think that's going to — that shows Bob Barnett and the briefers she was murderboarded before she went in there tonight. He looked like he had very little depth and Matt pushed him. There was not much behind what he was saying. He had one line, whereas she was ready I thought tonight. 

LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: Andrea, did Donald Trump cross a line with his discussion of the briefing? Will the intelligence community have to now make some kind of response to what Donald Trump said tonight?

MITCHELL: They're going to have to answer it. People like me are going to ask questions. People like you and Rachel and Chris. Obviously, you know, we're going to have to ask them, what is the CIA unhappy about with Barack Obama? 

(....)

O’DONNELL: Rachel, Matt went to the e-mail pretty much right off the bat as an issue of judgment. 

RACHEL MADDOW: Stuck with it. 

O’DONNELL: Stuck with it for a while. That was her roughest section it seemed to me of the entire 30 minutes. 

MADDOW: Yeah and it’s — but what she's describing, it's hard to imagine sort of a better answer to it because there is this thing that's wrong in the middle of American foreign policy. I can say as a matter of my opinion, which is that we are conducting an ongoing, years-long substantial military campaign that is a war by any other name but we're doing it as covert action and therefore, literally American public officials are prohibited from discussing it, but we all know what's happening. They get asked about it in foreign countries. They get asked about it by us. They get asked about it by people on the street. It's a political issue and they cannot discuss it except to reflect back to people that is an object of discussion. They can never talk about it itself. It's the problem with having the CIA run a war and so she's in this word salad on that because every public official who gets asked about it is by necessity put in that mess and that's what's wrong with accountability in the CIA running wars.

Tell the Truth 2016 NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Media Bias Debate Bias by Omission Military Political Groups Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals MSNBC The Last Word Video Government & Press Chris Matthews Rachel Maddow Andrea Mitchell Lawrence O'Donnell Hillary Clinton Donald Trump
Curtis Houck's picture


Sponsored Links