ABC Complains Hillary E-Mail Controversy ‘Just Won’t Go Away’

On Sunday, reporters on ABC’s Good Morning America and This Week repeatedly complained that the controversy surrounding Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail while at the State Department “won’t go away.” 

On GMA, ABC’s Clinton reporter Cecilia Vega labeled the scandal “e-mailgate” before she whined to George Stephanopoulos that the story “just won’t go away.” The ABC reporter then sympathetically questioned whether or not the story was “hurting her out there on the trail?” 

After Stephanopoulos noted that in multiple polls “the number of people who consider her [Hillary Clinton] not trustworthy continue to remain high” he made sure to stress that there’s no evidence it is having a “fatal” impact on her 2016 bid.

On This Week, Stephanopoulos continued to complain that the e-mail story was still in the news as he asked Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison: “These questions about the e-mails don't go away. How much are you worried that this is hurting her campaign?” 

After the Democrat rushed to defend Hillary from the “nonstory” Stephanopoulos tried his best to defend Mrs. Clinton over a report in the New York Times in which an inspector general asked the Department of Justice to investigate whether or not she sent classified documents from her private e-mail server: 

One of the things that the Clinton campaign says this is happening all the time, we're victimized by these huge headlines that aren't backed up by the story that's there. 

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman failed to acknowledge that her own paper altered the contents of its story at the request of the Clinton campaign but she made sure to emphasize that Hillary was correct in her assessment of the investigation:

The Department of Justice sources told us and told several other media outlets that this was a criminal referral and then walked that back many, many hours later. So that answers that question. She's not wrong in terms of the substance of the IG complaint that some of this is bureaucratic infighting over what's classified and what's not classified. 

The New York Times reporter minimized the impact of the criminal inquiry as not an “ideal situation” before she appeared relieved that her eventual testimony before the Benghazi committee will “go a long way to ending some of this”: 

And I think if you're Hillary Clinton none of this is an ideal situation. And at the end of the day the e-mail situation began with her use of e-mail. And she said I have answered all of the questions. To the congressman's point, she has not actually answered a lot of questions. She'll have an opportunity to when she testifies in October and I think that will go a long way to ending some of this.  

See relevant transcripts below. 

ABC’s Good Morning America

July 26, 2015

CECILIA VEGA: And George, what about this challenge for Hillary Clinton, e-mailgate, it just won't go anyway. You heard her there adamantly denying that she did anything wrong. Is it hurting her out there on the trail? 

STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, she still has a big lead over Bernie Sanders, although he’s tapping into a lot of that energy that Trump is as well on the Democratic side. But clearly, you look at her general election poll numbers, the number of people who consider her not trustworthy continue to remain high. She had some polls in the key states, like Virginia and Colorado this week where she was behind for the first time to potential Republican candidates so it’s not helping her to continue to have this in the news but so far it’s not fatal.

--

ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos 

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS:  I want to go straight to Congressman Keith Ellison, a Democrat, these questions about the e-mails don't go away .How much are you worried that this is hurting her campaign? 

KEITH ELLISON: You know, I see this is as one of those nonstory stories. She gave up the e-mails. You know, the allegations earlier this week in the press turned out to be retracted and corrected. Now they’re keeping with this thing. This poor woman has been dealing with Benghazi, all this stuff. To me, this is about Republicans trying to undermine her credibility. This is all campaign stuff actually. And I think she's going to emerge from it, and, you know, just as long as she keeps on answering the questions and gives credible answers which she has been doing, I think it’s going to be fine. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: This did begin though with independent government investigators making the referral. Maggie Haberman, you're from the New York Times, and the congressman just talked about this, the initial story ended up being walked back. The first story in the Times says this was a criminal referral, turns out that that’s not the case. One of the things that the Clinton campaign says this is happening all the time, we're victimized by these huge headlines that aren't backed up by the story that's there. 

MAGGIE HABERMAN: The Department of Justice sources told us and told several other media outlets that this was a criminal referral and then walked that back many, many hours later. So that answers that question. She's not wrong in terms of the substance of the IG complaint that some of this is bureaucratic infighting over what's classified and what's not classified. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: And whether it’s classified after the fact. 

HABERMAN: Correct. I mean, the IG’s argued it was classified at the time and that’s sort of the issue here. The bottom line is, there was a referral made, there was a referral made about a possible compromise of classified information. It's now with the Department of Justice. And I think if you're Hillary Clinton none of this is an ideal situation. And at the end of the day the e-mail situation began with her use of e-mail. And she said I have answered all of the questions. To the congressman's point, she has not actually answered a lot of questions. She'll have an opportunity to when she testifies in October and I think that will go a long way to ending some of this.


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NBDaily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential ABC Good Morning America This Week George Stephanopoulos Cecilia Vega Maggie Haberman Hillary Clinton