Nets Cheer Hillary’s ‘Star-Studded’ Fundraiser, Lament E-Mail Scandal ‘Just Won’t Let Up’

On Thursday, all three network morning shows thrilled over Hillary Clinton holding a “star-studded” fundraiser in New York City while worrying that her e-mail scandal “won’t go away” in the wake of new developments about the FBI investigation.

Leading off a report on NBC’s Today, correspondent Kristen Welker fretted: “Secretary Clinton is off the trail today, preparing for this weekend's Democratic debate and the next phase of her campaign. And it comes as the drip, drip, drip over her e-mails just won't let up.” She then touted Clinton “celebrating her strong Super Tuesday....with a star-studded fundraiser at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. Katy Perry, Elton John, and more.”

On the e-mails, Welker lamented:

But overshadowing the bright lights, this morning, a new spotlight on her use of a private e-mail server. The Washington Post reporting the Justice Department is granting immunity to former Clinton staffer Bryan Pagliano – he helped set up the private server Clinton housed at her home in Chappaqua, New York when she was secretary of state.

Wrapping up the segment, Welker noted reports that “the FBI could interview other Clinton staffers about her e-mails, and possibly the candidate herself in the coming weeks.” The reporter offered spin from the Clinton camp: “The campaign says they would welcome that, in the hopes of putting the matter to rest, insisting there’s no wrongdoing.”

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On CBS This Morning, correspondent Nancy Cordes devoted a two-and-a-half-minute report to Clinton partying with celebrity backers, but only 13 seconds to mentioning the news about the e-mail scandal.

Cordes began: “Hillary Clinton is leading in four big states that are voting later this month – Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Florida. And, as the Clinton campaign helpfully pointed out yesterday, she is already leading Sanders by a larger margin in the delegate count than President Obama ever had over her in 2008.”

She gushed: “At Radio City Music Hall last night, Hillary Clinton mixed business with pleasure. Raising tens of thousands from supporters who paid to hear Katy Perry, Andrea Day, and Elton John.”

At the very end of the report, Cordes noted the e-mail development as an afterthought: “The Washington Post reported that the Justice Department has granted immunity to the former State Department staffer who worked on Clinton's private e-mail server when she was secretary of state. A sign, guys, that this investigation may be moving forward.”

On ABC’s Good Morning America, correspondent Cecilia Vega informed viewers: “There are new reports this morning that the FBI could seek to question Hillary Clinton herself in the coming weeks and the Justice Department has reportedly granted immunity to an aide who worked on her private e-mail server.”

However, Vega then moved on to the Clinton fundraiser: “Overnight in full celebration mode at a star-studded Radio City Music Hall fund-raiser. A Hollywood who's-who of supporters there for the big show.”

Briefly touching on the e-mail scandal again, Vega offered talking points: “Now, on those e-mails. Clinton's aides insist this is not cause for concern. They say the possibility of an FBI interview is a sign the investigation could be concluded soon. Guys, still, this is not the headline this team wants to deal with as she says it's time to take her campaign national.”

Following Vega, co-host Robin Roberts did turn to political correspondent Jon Karl on the topic: “What does, in your opinion, what does this mean for her campaign, Hillary Clinton?” Karl responded:

Well, Robin, this is the cloud that just won't go away. The latest reports are an indication this remains very much an active FBI investigation and although there's absolutely no indication that Clinton herself is a target....Now, the campaign says she is happy to do that. But trust me, that is not the way a candidate working to wrap up her party's nomination, and as Cecilia said, take her campaign national wants to be spending her time.

Here is a transcript of Welker’s March 3 report:

7:08 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: But first we want to talk about Democrats. Hillary Clinton taking aim at the Republican frontrunner as well, and last night she held a star-studded rally here in New York. NBC’s Kristen Welker has that part of the story. Kristen, good morning.  

KRISTEN WELKER: Savannah, good morning to you. Secretary Clinton is off the trail today, preparing for this weekend's Democratic debate and the next phase of her campaign. And it comes as the drip, drip, drip over her e-mails just won't let up.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Clinton Celebration & Investigation; Email Server Aide Granted Immunity From DOJ]

Hillary Clinton celebrating her strong Super Tuesday.

HILLARY CLINTON: Yesterday was Super Tuesday, tonight is Super Wednesday.

WELKER: With a star-studded fundraiser at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. Katy Perry, Elton John, and more.

JAMIE FOXX: Hillary Clinton is the right person for the job.

WELKER: But overshadowing the bright lights, this morning, a new spot light on her use of a private e-mail server. The Washington Post reporting the Justice Department is granting immunity to former Clinton staffer Bryan Pagliano – he helped set up the private server Clinton housed at her home in Chappaqua, New York when she was secretary of state. Last September, called in front of a congressional panel, Pagliano invoked his Fifth Amendment right, refusing to answer any questions. In a statement, a Clinton spokesman says the campaign is “pleased” Pagliano is cooperating with DOJ, noting, “we urged him to cooperate back in the fall.”

DONALD TRUMP: I haven’t even started on Hillary yet.

WELKER: Political opponent Donald Trump is already vowing to play the e-mail card if they face off in November.

TRUMP: I guarantee you one thing, we’re going to be talking about those e-mails every moment of every day.

WELKER: Clinton has also been taking aim at Trump, painting herself as a unifier to contrast with his sharp rhetoric. Meanwhile, The Washington Post also reporting the FBI could interview other Clinton staffers about her e-mails, and possibly the candidate herself in the coming weeks. The campaign says they would welcome that, in the hopes of putting the matter to rest, insisting there’s no wrongdoing. The Department of Justice did not return our requests for comment. Savannah, Matt?

GUTHRIE: Alright, Kristen Welker, thank you.

Tell the Truth 2016 NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Liberals & Democrats ABC Good Morning America CBS CBS This Morning NBC Today Video Cecilia Vega Nancy Cordes Kristen Welker Hillary Clinton

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