NBC & CBS Help Hillary Defend Clinton Foundation

After all three network morning shows promoted the Clinton campaign’s attempt to discredit criticism of the Clinton Foundation on Wednesday, on Thursday, both NBC’s Today and CBS This Morning kept providing the Democratic nominee with a megaphone to defend the family charity and dismiss accusations of corruption.

At the top of Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie touted how Clinton “dismisses claims that Clinton Foundation donors were given special access to her when she was Secretary of State.” A soundbite ran of presidential candidate proclaiming: “What Trump has said is ridiculous. My work as Secretary of State was not influenced by any outside forces.”

Introducing a report on the topic minutes later, fellow co-host Matt Lauer declared: “Hillary Clinton is now firing back at that report claiming her work as Secretary of State was influenced by her family's charity.” Correspondent Andrea Mitchell followed: “Hillary Clinton preparing to go on offense against Donald Trump today as her husband joins in, in strongly defending the Clinton Foundation from Trump's charges of pay for play....late Wednesday, calling into CNN, defending the Clinton Foundation from Donald Trump's attacks.”

After replaying the clip of Clinton branding the charges of corruption “ridiculous,” Mitchell highlighted: “Bill Clinton also in campaign mode, promising he'll stop raising money for the foundation or taking foreign or corporate contributions if his wife is elected. Saying that’s different from her being Secretary of State.”

A clip ran of the former president offering a dissembling excuse: “And I made it clear that if she becomes president we'll have to do more than we did when she was Secretary of State because if you make a mistake, there’s always appeal to the White House if you’re Secretary of State. If you’re president, you can't.”

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On CBS This Morning, fill-in co-host Kevin Frazier parroted talking points: “She also insists her work as Secretary of State was not influenced by any outside forces. Clinton said an Associated Press report on her contacts with Clinton Foundation donors was misleading because it excluded nearly 2,000 other meetings.”

Correspondent Nancy Cordes acknowledged: “...she had to address her own controversy over that AP report that found many of the private individuals she met with as secretary had given to the Clinton Foundation first.” However, the reporter then offered the Clinton defense: “In a phone call to CNN, Clinton said her meetings with humanitarians like Melinda Gates and Eli Wiesel had nothing to do with their donations to her family charity.” A clip followed of Clinton remarking: “That is absurd. These are people I was proud to meet with.”

Cordes noted: “In Atlanta, former President Bill Clinton argued the foundation was being targeted unfairly.” Bill Clinton chimed in: “If there’s something wrong with creating jobs and saving lives, I don't know what it is.”

Neither NBC nor CBS offered any push-back on the campaign spin. Meanwhile, ABC’s Good Morning America completely ignored the Clinton Foundation scandal on Thursday.     

Here are excerpts of the August 25 coverage on Today and This Morning:

Today
7:10 AM ET

MATT LAUER Let's talk about the presidential race in this country. Hillary Clinton is now firing back at that report claiming her work as Secretary of State was influenced by her family's charity. We have both sides covered this morning, beginning with NBC's Andrea Mitchell. Andrea, good morning to you.

ANDREA MITCHELL: Good morning, Matt. Hillary Clinton preparing to go on offense against Donald Trump today as her husband joins in, in strongly defending the Clinton Foundation from Trump's charges of pay for play.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Clinton Defends Foundation & Emails; Calls Attacks “Ridiculous” Amid Growing Concerns]

Hillary Clinton after a Silicon Valley fundraiser with Apple CEO Tim Cook late Wednesday, calling into CNN, defending the Clinton Foundation from Donald Trump's attacks.

HILLARY CLINTON: What trump has said is ridiculous. My work as Secretary of State was not influenced by any outside forces. I made policy decisions based on what I thought was right to keep Americans safe.

MITCHELL: Clinton also ducking a question about whether Colin Powell really advised her to use a private e-mail account, acknowledging her past answers about e-mails have gotten her into trouble.

CLINTON: I've been asked many, many questions in the past year about e-mails. And what I've learned is that when I try to explain what happened, it can sound like I'm trying to excuse what I did. And there are no excuses.

MITCHELL: Bill Clinton also in campaign mode, promising he'll stop raising money for the foundation or taking foreign or corporate contributions if his wife is elected. Saying that’s different from her being Secretary of State.

BILL CLINTON: And I made it clear that if she becomes president we'll have to do more than we did when she was Secretary of State because if you make a mistake, there’s always appeal to the White House if you’re Secretary of State. If you’re president, you can't.

(...)


CBS This Morning
7:11 AM ET

KEVIN FRAZIER: Hillary Clinton plans to say more today about Donald Trump and what she calls a “hate movement.” She also insists her work as Secretary of State was not influenced by any outside forces. Clinton said an Associated Press report on her contacts with Clinton Foundation donors was misleading because it excluded nearly 2,000 other meetings. Nancy Cordes is at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, where Clinton will speak this afternoon. Nancy, good morning.

NANCY CORDES: Good morning. Clinton is going to argue here today that Trump has found common cause wit a fringe political movement that most Americans have never heard of. But first, she had to address her own controversy over that AP report that found many of the private individuals she met with as secretary had given to the Clinton Foundation first.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Foundation Fight; Clinton Fires Back Over Report on Donor Meetings]

HILLARY CLINTON: There’s a lot of smoke and there’s no fire.

CORDES: In a phone call to CNN, Clinton said her meetings with humanitarians like Melinda Gates and Eli Wiesel had nothing to do with their donations to her family charity.

CLINTON: That is absurd. These are people I was proud to meet with.  

CORDES: In Atlanta, former President Bill Clinton argued the foundation was being targeted unfairly.

BILL CLINTON: If there’s something wrong with creating jobs and saving lives, I don't know what it is.

(...)

Tell the Truth 2016 NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Liberals & Democrats CBS CBS This Morning NBC Today Video Clinton Foundation Andrea Mitchell Nancy Cordes Hillary Clinton

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