CNN’s Bash Unloads on Obamas Over Weinstein Donations, Silence: ‘Where Are the Obamas?’

On Tuesday, a number of CNN figures swiftly condemned former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama for their silence thus far on the rape and sexual assault allegations against donor, friend, and filmmaker Harvey Weinstein. Among the CNNers were chief political correspondent Dana Bash, who slammed the Obamas during CNN’s Wolf.

Host Wolf Blitzer teed up Bash by noting that “these are shocking allegations” and thus “it's all extremely awkward for a lot of Democrats who received a lot of money over the years from Harvey Weinstein.”

 

 

Bash stated that she believed “Hillary Clinton’s statement [was] pretty strong,” but nonetheless, there’s still something Clinton has to answer for: “The question is whether or not she is going to help gather the — what? $1.4 million that he as what's known as a bundler helped her campaign over the many years.”

As for the Obamas, Bash didn’t hold anything back:

The other question is where are the Obamas? Where is Michelle Obama? Where is President Obama? I mean, he — Harvey Weinstein was and probably is still a big supporter of them and certainly of their — of their — of the President’s political efforts and if — just let's just pretend the shoe was on the other foot and this was a Republican, somebody who’s in Hollywood who was a Republican alleged to have done these things and gave to Republican presidents. 

Bash continued along the same tone and tenor that a segment on CNN’s New Day stumbled upon, which was how the Obama-led Democrats would be outraged if the parties were reversed. 

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CNN Politics editor-at-large Chris Cillizza agreed, pointing to how Michelle Obama spoke glowingly of Weinstein in 2013:

Michelle Obama 2013 at the White House, it was a young filmmakers symposium that Harvey Weinstein helped organize, but praised him: ‘You’re a powerhouse. We wouldn't do this without you.’ You know and that’s at the White House. And this is not just money. The money is a lot. Harvey Weinstein gave a ton of money and bundled even more money to both Obama and Clinton. 

“It's the friendship, the fundraisers — the, you know, he was a vocal supporter of theirs. He was a very high profile, again on the west coast, but he was someone in the big figure anywhere in this country culturally. He was a big supporter of theirs,” he added.

Cillizza reupped the double standard before providing quite the understatement, which was that it’s “just odd” that the Weinstein story went on for “five days without a word” before Hillary offered a comment.

Here’s the relevant transcript from CNN’s Wolf on October 10:

CNN’s Wolf
October 10, 2017
1:51 p.m. Eastern

WOLF BLITZER: Dana, these are shocking allegations — allegations, women accusing him of rape. You saw the statement that his representative put out — Harvey Weinstein, but it's all extremely awkward for a lot of Democrats who received a lot of money over the years from Harvey Weinstein.

DANA BASH: A lot of money and you just broke the news about Hillary Clinton finally putting out a statement condemning his behavior and distancing herself. The question is whether or not she is going to help gather the — what? $1.4 million that he as what's known as a bundler helped her campaign over the many years. The other question is where are the Obamas? Where is Michelle Obama? Where is President Obama? I mean, he — Harvey Weinstein was and probably is still a big supporter of them and certainly of their — of their — of the President’s political efforts and if — just let's just pretend the shoe was on the other foot and this was a Republican, somebody who’s in Hollywood who was a Republican alleged to have done these things and gave to Republican presidents. Can you imagine the outrage if they weren't, you know, condemning this behavior? I mean, it makes no sense at all that they are not coming out and saying something. Never mind, the question of — of the donations. 

CHRIS CILLIZZA: Just to add to Dana's point which I think is 100% right. Michelle Obama 2013 at the White House, it was a young filmmakers symposium that Harvey Weinstein helped organize, but praised him: ‘You’re a powerhouse. We wouldn't do this without you.’ You know and that’s at the White House. And this is not just money. The money is a lot. Harvey Weinstein gave a ton of money and bundled even more money to both Obama and Clinton. It's the friendship, the fundraisers — the, you know, he was a vocal supporter of theirs. He was a very high profile, again on the west coast, but he was someone in the big figure anywhere in this country culturally. He was a big supporter of theirs. It's just odd if — if somebody gave a million or bundled a million dollars to George W. Bush, let’s say, to Dana’s point, had a similar experience, there would be a huge out cry if George Bush didn't release something. Forget he's not in office anymore, that's not the point. The issue is not that. The issue is this is behavior that rightly should be condemned. When you are the two most prominent faces in the Democrat Party, and they still are, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, the fact that it went five days with not a word is — I guess I'm echoing Dana’s point — going to say just odd. It seems, to me, some ofwhat a slam dunk. It's not as though Harvey Weinstein disputed that he had behaved extremely poorly, I guess, to put it in the nicest terms. There was no issue that he was taking issue with the timing of The New York Times thing. He’s taking issue with some of the claims made in The New Yorker. There’s no question that there are things that he behaved in ways that were deeply inappropriate. 

BASH: And it might have been open secret that he did inappropriate things in Hollywood — open secret for a very, very long time. That doesn't mean that Michelle Obama, when she praised him in 2013, knew any of that. 

CILLIZZA: No.

BASH: We’re not saying that. It’s just — you know — she stood up for women. She stood up for what's right. Look what she said, understandably when the Access Hollywood tape came out. Harvey Weinstein is not running to be President of the United States. I completely get that. But I assume we’re going to see a statement from them at some point soon. And Hillary Clinton’s statement is pretty strong. Let's see when it comes to the donations. 

BLITZER: Do you think Bill Clinton will issue a statement? 

CILLIZZA: No. I think he’ll let Hillary Clinton’s voice stand for both of them, but I do think, given the amount of money the Obamas — Barack Obama’s campaign took from and was helped raise by Harvey Weinstein and also given Michelle Obama, obviously, we assume, rightly I think, had no clue about his reputation, but even so. This is someone if you praised him and it has now come out he's acted in these ways, it would seem appropriate to say, no, this is unacceptable behavior. 


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CyberAlerts Double Standards Liberals & Democrats CNN Other CNN Video Harvey Weinstein Chris Cillizza Dana Bash Wolf Blitzer Barack Obama Hillary Clinton
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