NBC Touts Hillary Meeting With Petraeus, No Mention of Both Mishandling Classified Info

In two campaign reports for NBC’s Today, correspondents Peter Alexander and Kristen Welker both promoted Hillary Clinton meeting with numerous national security experts, including former CIA director David Petraeus, who resigned amid scandal and was prosecuted for mishandling classified information.

Early in the 7 a.m. ET hour, Alexander declared: “This morning, Hillary Clinton is looking to sharpen that contrast between herself and Donald Trump, specifically on national security, bringing together that team of experts, including David Petraeus.” He ignored the obvious similarity between the retired general and Clinton – both had problems handling confidential intelligence.

At the top of the 8 a.m. ET hour, Welker revisited the topic and gushed: “Hillary Clinton trying to flex her foreign policy muscles. She’s convening a bipartisan meeting of national security experts here in New York today, including the ousted CIA director David Petraeus. They’ll discuss the strategy to fight ISIS.” While she mentioned that Petraeus was “ousted,” she never gave the reason.

By ignoring the fact that Petraeus and Clinton both mishandled classified information, NBC also avoided having to point out that Petraeus was actually prosecuted for the crime, unlike Clinton.

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In her report, Welker instead touted Clinton’s “new strategy” of “trying to project strength while also showing off her softer side.” The reporter noted: “Trying to counter high negatives in the polls, Hillary Clinton is getting personal, talking about her faith at a Baptist church in Missouri Thursday night.”

Later in the segment, Welker cited another example of the Democratic nominee “getting personal”:

Clinton's new strategy to showcase her more personal side also on display in a New York blog post called Humans of New York. In it, Clinton writes about the pressure she felt as one of the only young women taking a law admissions test at Harvard University. She says it was there she learned to control her emotions, writing, quote, “I know that I can be perceived as aloof or cold or unemotional...And if I create that perception, then I take responsibility.”

On CBS This Morning, correspondent Nancy Cordes also highlighted Clinton’s national security meeting, but completely skipped any mention of Petraeus attending:

That meeting here at the New York Historical Society is designed to show two things. First, that unlike her opponent, she is focused on the finer points of foreign policy. And, second, that lots of serious Republicans, including some who will be here today, are backing her for president....The Clinton campaign is hoping today’s meeting will showcase her focus on policy. It’s a contrast with Trump that can be seen even on the candidate's website. Her military proposals are laid out in point-by-point detail. His in a 23-second video.

ABC’s Good Morning America had no coverage of the upcoming meeting.

Here is a full transcript of Welker’s September 9 report:

8:03 AM ET

KRISTEN WELKER: We begin with the race for the White House. Hillary Clinton trying to flex her foreign policy muscles. She’s convening a bipartisan meeting of national security experts here in New York today, including the ousted CIA director David Petraeus. They’ll discuss the strategy to fight ISIS. She's also unveiling a new strategy, trying to project strength while also showing off her softer side.

Trying to counter high negatives in the polls, Hillary Clinton is getting personal, talking about her faith at a Baptist church in Missouri Thursday night.

HILLARY CLINTON: I happen to be a born and raised Methodist, but I’ve been married to a southern Baptist for more than 40 years.

WELKER: Still, Clinton didn’t miss the chance to take a swipe at Donald Trump.

CLINTON: We are facing a candidate with a long history of racial discrimination in his business. Who traffics in toxic conspiracy theories.

WELKER: The softer language a sharp contrast to earlier in the day, when the gloves were off for both candidates.

TRUMP: She put the country – and I mean the entire country – at risk.

CLINTON: It is scary! It is dangerous!

WELKER: While campaigning in North Carolina, Clinton slammed Trump for suggesting Vladimir Putin is a better leader than President Obama during Wednesday’s NBC Commander-in-Chief Forum.

TRUMP: He's been a leader far more than our president has been a leader.

CLINTON: That is not just unpatriotic, it’s not just insulting to the office and the man that holds the office.

WELKER: Later, while talking to Larry King on a Russian-funded news channel, the GOP presidential candidate downplayed accusations that Russia hacked into the DNC, intentionally meddling in the U.S. election.  

TRUMP: I think it's probably unlikely.

WELKER: The Trump campaign later saying they thought the interview was for King’s podcast. Trump is also under fire for saying during the NBC forum he opposed the Iraq war from the start. Despite saying in a 2002 interview he supported it. In Cleveland Thursday, Trump doubled down.

TRUMP: I opposed going in, and I did oppose it.

WELKER: Clinton's new strategy to showcase her more personal side also on display in a New York blog post called Humans of New York. In it, Clinton writes about the pressure she felt as one of the only young women taking a law admissions test at Harvard University. She says it was there she learned to control her emotions, writing, quote, “I know that I can be perceived as aloof or cold or unemotional...And if I create that perception, then I take responsibility.” All this as the polls are getting a lot tighter. Matt, Savannah?

LAUER: Alright. Kristen, thank you very much.


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