Brinkley Spins: Voters Are ‘Tired’ of Hearing About Hillary’s E-Mails, WikiLeaks; Hopes GOP Will Rally to Her

CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley was at it again on Thursday’s CNN Tonight spinning for liberals as he aired his discomfort with discussing the WikiLeaks e-mail dumps from John Podesta’s account since it was “an illegal one” but brushed them aside as not “really that damning” because “a lot of voters have been hearing about Hillary Clinton's e-mails and servers and WikiLeaks for a year now, and they're tired of it.”

As if that grade-A use of Clinton talking points wasn’t enough, Brinkley returned in a later segment and twice offered his hope that the “country rallies behind her and they'll be a little bit of bipartisan good will for a while” and see Democrats and “responsible Republicans” in Congress make progress on “immigration reform, perhaps some infrastructure projects.”

Rewinding back to the first set of comments, Brinkley bloviated despite former NBC News correspondent and current Yahoo! News correspondent Michael Isikioff tearing into the hypocrisy of the Clintons attacking money in politics while building their massive fortune by engaging in that very practice. 

“The gap between the rhetoric that Hillary Clinton and Democrats have used about the problem of money in politics of undue influence for special interests and wealthy donors and then the reality of special interests and wealthy donors pouring this kind of money into the family foundation into the pocket of the Clinton family...that's where this is at issue and is a problem,” Isikoff explained. 

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Isikoff also included a specific example of how, even though it’s not illegal, deep the collusion went between financiers and the Clinton family while Hillary Clinton was in the Obama administration:

I should point out that much of this took place while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state in which many of these companies, for instance, UBS had interests before the government. UBS was being investigated by the Justice Department. It required over — helping its customers evade taxes in the United States. It required an agreement between the State Department and the Swiss government in order for the Justice Department to get some of those records.

Despite that explanation from an actual journalist, Brinkley began spouting off about the “illegal” WikiLeaks document dump and committing such an act “all right before the election” even though they’ve been released “with no smoking gun” and only offers a “taint” on the Clintons.

“[T]hings are running fast. We've got 11 days. The news cycle's moving and this little — these internal e-mails just aren't having the wallop that I think the Trump campaign would have hoped. It doesn't help that a lot of voters have been hearing about Hillary Clinton's e-mails and servers and WikiLeaks for a year now, and they're tired of it, so I don't think any one of these is really that damning,” he added.

In a later segment, Brinkley sneered with glee that “[t]he hate-Clinton crowd will keep going after the Clintons but the Republican Party shouldn't act so full of hubris” because “Donald Trump is a — going to be a giant factor if he loses” in the fractured party.

He then looked ahead to a Hillary Clinton administration and ruled that GOP infighting “might be a gift to Hillary Clinton” because she could work “with moderate Republicans have rejected Trump, people like McCain and Lindsey Graham and the like.”

On that theme, he later confessed “I'm going to be a little bit hopeful that if Hillary Clinton wins, which polls look like she's going to, that country rallies behind her and they'll be a little bit of bipartisan good will for a while” on issues like immigration and infrastructure. 

“[I]f Trump pulls less than Mitt Romney and John McCain did, it's not a Trump revolution, it's a Trump peter out bringing the Republican Party in a backwards direction. I think you will see responsible Republicans wanting to try to do some business for at least a little while with Hillary Clinton,” he concluded.

The relevant portions of the transcript from October 27's CNN Tonight with Don Lemon can be found below.

CNN Tonight with Don Lemon
October 27, 2016
11:21 p.m. Eastern

MICHAEL ISIKOFF: What was going on here was sustaining a lifestyle that Bill Clinton had become accustomed to of flying around the world, collecting large sums of money for talks and speeches, staying at five-star hotels, and yeah, it — it is unseemly. The gap between the rhetoric that Hillary Clinton and Democrats have used about the problem of money in politics of undue influence for special interests and wealthy donors and then the reality of special interests and wealthy donors pouring this kind of money into the family foundation into the pocket of the Clinton family through these sums paid to Bill Clinton is pretty large and I think that’s the — you know, that's where this is at issue and is a problem. It's — and it has been for the Clintons for a long time. The gap between the high-minded rhetoric that they espouse and Hillary Clinton has certainly espoused and the reality of — of these kinds of sums paid to them and I should point out that much of this took place while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state in which many of these companies, for instance, UBS had interests before the government. UBS was being investigated by the Justice Department. It required over — helping its customers evade taxes in the United States. It required an agreement between the State Department and the Swiss government in order for the Justice Department to get some of those records. You know, when they talk now about and you know, Alan talked about the future, this was — you know, these were issues while she was Secretary of State. 

DON LEMON: Okay. I want to get Douglas in. Douglas, how much damage do these hacked memos do to the Clintons? They seem to reinforce many of the concerns voters have about them. 

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY: Well, it does some damage but it seems like a document dump, an illegal one, meaning WikiLeaks, about people hacking this and dumping it all right before the election. I think the WikiLeaks people or Russia thought this was going to be a big October surprise but with no smoking gun, it — it has a taint. It puts a taint on the Clintons, but things are running fast. We've got 11 days. The news cycle's moving and this little — these internal e-mails just aren't having the wallop that I think the Trump campaign would have hoped. It doesn't help that a lot of voters have been hearing about Hillary Clinton's e-mails and servers and WikiLeaks for a year now, and they're tired of it, so I don't think any one of these is really that damning, but I agree with what Alan said, key point, Don, I think Bill and Hillary Clinton, if she's elected president, have to distance themselves from the Clinton Foundation, turn it over to new management, only send maybe a holiday greeting card and that's about it because this is — this is a creeping problem if they continue to work with their own foundation when they're in the White House. 

(....)

11:31 p.m. Eastern

BRINKLEY: The hate-Clinton crowd will keep going after the Clintons but the Republican Party shouldn't act so full of hubris. Hillary Clinton gets in and boy, we’re going to go after her. What is the Republican Party? I mean, it's two parties and Donald Trump is a — going to be a giant factor if he loses. He's got all the e-mails of his supporters. He’s got die-hard people willing to take the sword for him. He's the hot engine of the Republican Party and is Paul Ryan going to be able to stay as Speaker of the House when he's taken this tepid view of the Trump campaign, meaning the civil war going on within the Republican Party might be a gift to Hillary Clinton. She might — we all may be watching Trump versus Ryan and the like while Hillary Clinton's able to track with moderate Republicans have rejected Trump, people like McCain and Lindsey Graham and the like. 

(....)

11:35 p.m. Eastern

BRINKLEY: I'm going to be a little bit hopeful that if Hillary Clinton wins, which polls look like she's going to, that country rallies behind her and they'll be a little bit of bipartisan good will for a while. That might be naive of me, but I'm thinking on immigration reform, perhaps some infrastructure projects we could have six months of some positive action on Capitol Hill, this idea of scorched Earth policy continuing about both sides, I don't know if the American public has the stomach for it. I do think, Don, how big a margin Hillary Clinton wins matters and whether the Democrats get the Senate matters, but if Trump pulls less than Mitt Romney and John McCain did, it's not a Trump revolution, it's a Trump peter out bringing the Republican Party in a backwards direction. I think you will see responsible Republicans wanting to try to do some business for at least a little while with Hillary Clinton. 

Tell the Truth 2016 NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Political Groups Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals CNN CNN Tonight Video Government & Press WikiLeaks Don Lemon Michael Isikoff Douglas Brinkley Donald Trump Hillary Clinton
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