Carville: Benghazi Scandal Created by Rupert Murdoch and Koch Brothers

On Tuesday – just two days before Hillary Clinton’s testimony before the House Benghazi Committee – MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell teased an upcoming interview with liberal operative and longtime Clinton hatchet man James Carville, hailing him as a “political Jedi master.” In the segment that followed, Carville proceeded to spin wild conspiracy theories about the reason behind the Democratic front-runner’s Benghazi and e-mail scandals.

Mitchell began by actually challenging Carville on the Benghazi attack: “...how could she be secretary of state, be in charge, and not have those security warnings come to her level?” Carville launched into his rant: “Trey Gowdy is a creation of the Koch brothers and the whole climate denial industry and this committee was nothing but a creation of Rupert Murdoch and the Koch Brothers. You know, Fox ran over 1,000 segments in 20 months after this thing.”

He continued: “This is a taxpayer-funded –  understand – taxpayer funded partisan operation that they're running there....All they're interested in is driving her poll numbers down. They’ve admitted as much. It's just a fact. And it’s – he got into Congress because the Koch brothers put him there.”

Before Mitchell could respond, Carville proclaimed: “You can fact-check it. They can fact-check it, I'm right here. Go – everybody fact-check it.”

Mitchell followed up: “But let me ask you about the fact that the Benghazi Committee is the first to reveal that she had the private e-mail server.” Carville repeated: “I mean, they’ve admitted that this was nothing but an attempt to drive her poll numbers down. Have employees who are life-long Republicans come out and said all they were interested in and obsessed with was Hillary's politics.”

Deciding to wrap up the exchange with a softball, Mitchell wondered:

James, if you were still advising Hillary Clinton, I don't know if you are, but if you were helping her prepare this week, what is the key advice you would give her? A woman who, let's face it, before one of the hearings, when she was a little under the weather, did lose her cool and that is the sound bite that has been, you know, viral. What advice would you give her about her demeanor on Thursday?

Carville replied: “I would just say answer the questions succinctly....You know, just understand that these people are just trying to get you politically, don't play their game. Just be above the fray, and you know, you’ll be fine.”

He added: “Everybody knows going into this what this is. This was, you know, all as a result of pressure from Rupert Murdoch and the Koch brothers. And we know where Trey Gowdy comes from. All of this stuff is in the public record. There's no doubt about it.”

Mitchell simply stated: “We will follow up, James. And of course Congressman Gowdy is welcome to come on and respond.”

Carville got in a parting shot: “Yes, and ask him about how much money the Koch brothers gave him when he ran and why is he part of this whole climate denial subculture up there?”

Here is a transcript of the October 20 exchange:

12:37 PM ET

ANDREA MITCHELL: I want to ask you about the Benghazi hearing because she's primed, ready to go, she's prepping. But there are some pitfalls for her, aren't there? Because, the same question that I asked Barbara Boxer, how could she be secretary of state, be in charge, and not have those security warnings come to her level?

JAMES CARVILLE: Why don't you ask one of the seven other congressional committees that have investigated this over the gazillion hours of testimony and documents and everything else?

You know, Andrea, and let me be clear, [Politico’s] John Harris sent in some over-the-head reporter writing some slobbering piece about Trey Gowdy. I got an idea for some of that media. Why don't you see if this is true? That Trey Gowdy is a creation of the Koch brothers and the whole climate denial industry and this committee was nothing but a creation of Rupert Murdoch and the Koch Brothers. You know, Fox ran over 1,000 segments in 20 months after this thing.

This is according to not only Kevin McCarthy, the guy from upstate New York [Congressman Richard Hanna], the air force major who’s a life-long Republican [Bradley Podliska]. This is a taxpayer-funded –  understand – taxpayer funded partisan operation that they're running there.

There have been seven – seven congressional committees that have looked into this and issued reports. In addition to Admiral Mullen and Ambassador Pickering. So they can ask what they want but they’ve already exposed themselves for what they are. They’re no more interested in finding out than anything. All they're interested in is driving her poll numbers down. They’ve admitted as much. It's just a fact. And it’s – he got into Congress because the Koch brothers put him there.

MITCHELL: Well, I don’t –  

CARVILLE: You can fact-check it. They can fact-check it, I'm right here. Go – everybody fact-check it. Have Politico do a story about the connection between – I'm fine with that. But don't send some over-your-head reporter to write how, “OH, poor Trey Gowdy, isn't it terrible he's in the middle of a political fight.”

MITCHELL: Well, that's not my reporting, sir. So I'm not going to –  

CARVILLE: I know, not yours. It’s not yours, I didn’t say that, Andrea.

MITCHELL: But let me ask you about the fact that the Benghazi Committee is the first to reveal that she had the private e-mail server.

CARVILLE: Well, she had a private e-mail server, so that – and by the way, it was the inspector general that said it was no doubt that this was legal. So we just spent $4.3 million on a private e-mail server?

MITCHELL: Well, the FBI is investigating, they’ll have a conclusion

CARVILLE: I mean, they’ve admitted that this was nothing but an attempt to drive her poll numbers down. Have employees who are life-long Republicans come out and said all they were interested in and obsessed with was Hillary's politics. Why don't they do this, why don't they release Sidney Blumenthal's testimony? Sidney’s called on it, his lawyers have called on it, the Democrats on the committee have called on it. And why has no one asked him the simple question? Just – you bring up all these things, just release the man's testimony. That's all you have to do.

MITCHELL: And why was Sid Blumenthal even sending her e-mails about...

CARVILLE: Well, he can send anybody an e-mail he wants.

MITCHELL: ...you know, sending her e-mail information about Libya? What was his expertise on Libya?

CARVILLE: Why don't the committee release his testimony? If there was something wrong, just release it. That's all there is. That's all we’re asking. Unless – and how many questions did they ask Sidney Blumenthal about politics and how much did they ask him about Libya? We can know if they release the testimony. We can find out for sure if this was a politically-motivated scheme.

MITCHELL: James, if you were still advising Hillary Clinton, I don't know if you are, but if you were helping her prepare this week, what is the key advice you would give her? A woman who, let's face it, before one of the hearings, when she was a little under the weather, did lose her cool and that is the sound bite that has been, you know, viral. What advice would you give her about her demeanor on Thursday?

CARVILLE: I would just say answer the questions succinctly. You know the answers to these, you’ve answered them before. You know, just understand that these people are just trying to get you politically, don't play their game. Just be above the fray, and you know, you’ll be fine. Just be totally prepared and I'm sure she is.

Everybody knows going into this what this is. This was, you know, all as a result of pressure from Rupert Murdoch and the Koch brothers. And we know where Trey Gowdy comes from. All of this stuff is in the public record. There's no doubt about it.

MITCHELL: We will follow up, James.

CARVILLE: Thank you.

MITCHELL: And of course Congressman Gowdy is welcome to come on and respond.

CARVILLE: Yes, and ask him about how much money the Koch brothers gave him when he ran and why is he part of this whole climate denial subculture up there?

MITCHELL: To be continued, James.

CARVILLE: Thank you.

MITCHELL: Thank you so much.

NBDaily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Libya Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports Video Andrea Mitchell James Carville Hillary Clinton

Sponsored Links