Nets Promote Clinton Campaign’s Attempt to Discredit AP Story

On Wednesday, while all three network morning shows did cover the latest revelation that over half of Hillary Clinton’s non-government meetings during her time as Secretary of State were with Clinton Foundation donors, the broadcasts also recited Clinton campaign spin dismissing the Associated Press report as “utterly flawed.”

On NBC’s Today, correspondent Andrea Mitchell informed viewers: “The Associated Press reviewing Clinton's calendars as Secretary of State, reporting more than half her non-government visitors or callers were Clinton Foundation donors.” However, moments later, she dutifully touted the effort to undermine the story: “But the Clinton campaign is pushing back hard. Spokesman Brian Fallon saying the story ‘relies on utterly flawed data’ and ‘cherry-picked a limited subset of Clinton’s schedule.’”

Mitchell even helpfully cited an “example”: “...the list included philanthropist Melinda Gates, a donor who’s charities partner with the State Department around the world.” On Tuesday’s NBC Nightly News, she similarly rushed to Clinton’s defense.  

On ABC’s Good Morning America, correspondent Tom Llamas only briefly touched on the topic during a segment focused on Donald Trump, noting: “The AP reporting more than half the people outside of government who met with Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money to the Clinton foundation. As much as $156 million.” After the taped report, Llamas made sure to provide the Clinton smear: “The Clinton campaign saying the AP report relied on utterly flawed data. It did not account for more than half of her tenure as secretary. And left out more than 1700 meetings you met with world leaders.”

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During a report for CBS This Morning, correspondent Nancy Cordes highlighted “the new analysis by the Associated Press, which examined Hillary Clinton's daily schedule as Secretary of State and found 85 of the 154 private individuals who got meetings or phone calls with her had donated to the foundation, either personally or through their organization.”   

Like her media colleagues, Cordes hastened to push the Democratic nominee’s talking points:

The Clinton campaign fired back, saying the AP report “relied on utterly flawed data which gave a distorted portrayal of the secretary's schedule. They added that meetings with humanitarian Melinda Gates or Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus were squarely in the purview of America's top diplomat.”     

    

Here are excerpts of the August 24 coverage on the three morning shows:

Today
7:06 AM ET

(...)

ANDREA MITCHELL: Good morning, Matt. Hillary Clinton under fire today from Donald Trump, claiming Clinton Foundation donors got special access when she was Secretary of State. And now, it's not just about her e-mails.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Clinton Foundation Under Fire; Trump Hammers Opponent Amid Scathing New Report]

Donald Trump throwing a new punch at Hillary Clinton. His ammunition, a new report from the Associated Press.

DONALD TRUMP: It is impossible to figure out where the Clinton Foundation ends and the State Department begins.

MITCHELL: The Associated Press reviewing Clinton's calendars as Secretary of State, reporting more than half her non-government visitors or callers were Clinton Foundation donors.

TRUMP: This is corruption, and this is why I have called for a special prosecutor to look into this mess.

MITCHELL: But the Clinton campaign is pushing back hard. Spokesman Brian Fallon saying the story “relies on utterly flawed data” and “cherry-picked a limited subset of Clinton’s schedule.” For example, the list included philanthropist Melinda Gates, a donor who’s charities partner with the State Department around the world.

(...)


Good Morning America
7:11 AM ET

(...)

TOM LLAMAS: The A.P. Reporting more than half the people outside of government who met with Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money to the Clinton foundation. As much as $156 million. Trump calling it a pay to play criminal enterprise.

DONALD TRUMP: It's now abundantly clear that the Clintons set up a business to profit from public office.

LLAMAS: Before his bid for the presidency, trump himself donated more than $100,000 to the Clintons charities. His campaign explaining it this way.

ANDERSON COOPER: But he gave money?

KELLYANNE CONWAY: As he said, sure, because they do good work.

COOPER: So he was not paying to play?

CONWAY: No, he was not.

LLAMAS: The Clinton campaign saying the A.P. Report relied on utterly flawed data. It did not account for more than half of her tenure as secretary. And left out more than 1700 meetings you met with world leaders.

(...)


CBS This Morning
7:06 AM ET

(...)

NANCY CORDES: He cited the new analysis by the Associated Press, which examined Hillary Clinton's daily schedule as Secretary of State and found 85 of the 154 private individuals who got meetings or phone calls with her had donated to the foundation, either personally or through their organization.

DONALD TRUMP: This is why I have called for as special prosecutor to look into this mess.

CORDES: His allies followed suit.

REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN: A special prosecutor.

KELLYANNE CONWAY: Do the right thing here. Appoint a special prosecutor.

CORDES: The Clinton campaign fired back, saying the AP report “relied on utterly flawed data which gave a distorted portrayal of the secretary's schedule. They added that meetings with humanitarian Melinda Gates or Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus were squarely in the purview of America's top diplomat.” They also rejected Trump's call for a special prosecutor.

ROBBY MOOK: It's an act of desperation on his campaign given the turmoil that we have seen from his campaign in recent weeks.

(...)

Tell the Truth 2016 NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals Associated Press ABC Good Morning America CBS CBS This Morning NBC Today Video Andrea Mitchell Nancy Cordes Tom Llamas Hillary Clinton

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