MSNBC’s Melvin: Only ‘Wackos’ Believe ‘Nonsense’ About Bidens

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While talking to former Hillary Clinton campaign senior adviser Adrienne Elrod about the “onslaught” of corruption allegations being leveled against Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, visibly frustrated MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin pleaded with her to give the Biden campaign a strategy to deal with “the whackos out there who believe this nonsense.”

The segment began with Melvin fretting over the Trump White House going after Hunter Biden on claims that he traded on his father’s position as vice president to obtain lucrative business contracts in Ukraine and China. Washington Post national political reporter Matt Viser joined the conversation and touted his latest article examining whether the Biden campaign was responding effectively to the charges.

 

 

Melvin then turned to Elrod and wondered: “As a communications specialist, Adrienne, how would you characterize the way that Joe Biden and his team have handled the onslaught so far?” Predictably, the Democratic strategist replied: “I think so far, so good, Craig.”

Elrod lamented how during her time with the Clinton campaign, “...we faced something very similar, where we felt like we were running against Bernie Sanders, we were running against Donald Trump, we were running against the – you know, the entire GOP, the RNC. We were running, to an extent, against the media...”

She whined that Biden was “dealing with this new line of attack regarding his son, which of course has been – ” Melvin finished her sentence: “Disproven, repeatedly.” Elrod continued: “Disproven repeatedly, but it’s still going to be something that all the Republicans talk about and the Biden campaign will have to constantly have to figure out...”

An exasperated Melvin asked: “But how do you do that? If you are – if you have facts on your side, if the story has been disproven time and time again, but you still have a bunch of, you know, whackos out there who believe this nonsense how do you convince people that the sky is, in fact, blue?”

Elrod complained: “You know, this is something, Craig, that, again, we dealt with on Hillary Clinton’s emails time and time again....We put the facts out there but it was still something that was driving the news.” She added: “So I think what the Biden campaign has done so far is very smart, which is you disprove the facts.”

And that’s the real effort being pursued by Democrats and aided by the media, trying to “disprove the facts” rather than admit that Biden’s son did anything wrong in his suspicious foreign business dealings.

Here is a transcript of the September 30 exchange:

11:35 AM ET

(...)

CRAIG MELVIN: As a communications specialist, Adrienne, how would you characterize the way that Joe Biden and his team have handled the onslaught so far?

ADRIENNE ELROD [FMR. SENIOR ADVISER, HILLARY CLINTON CAMPAIGN]: I think so far, so good, Craig. And I think Anita Dunn, who’s a senior adviser for the campaign, and Kate Bedingfield, who’s the deputy campaign manager, two of the best communications strategists in the business, were very smart to put this memo out saying, you know, “Don’t book Giuliani, he is not reliable. He – if you’re gonna book him, basically you gotta fact check him, right. You’ve got to know your facts. But also, we wouldn’t book him because he goes on television and lies all the time.” Which I think was smart on their part.

But at the same time, Craig, this is what it’s like to run for president. This is what it’s like to be the frontrunner. Hillary Clinton, we faced something very similar, where we felt like we were running against Bernie Sanders, we were running against Donald Trump, we were running against the – you know, the entire GOP, the RNC. We were running, to an extent, against the media, especially the right-wing media that had been aggressively against the Clintons for years. So you are sort of running this four or five-track process when you are running for president, especially when you’re the frontrunner.

And to the point that [Washington Post national political reporter] Matt [Viser] mentions in his article, now the Biden campaign has a new dynamic, which is they’re not only dealing with impeachment, but they’re dealing with this new line of attack regarding his son, which of course has been –

MELVIN: Disproven, repeatedly.

ELROD: Disproven repeatedly, but it’s still going to be something that all the Republicans talk about and the Biden campaign will have to constantly have to figure out, is it worth going down that rabbit hole and pushing back all the time, or is worth just moving on and saying these facts have been disproven?

MELVIN: But how do you do that? If you are – if you have facts on your side, if the story has been disproven time and time again, but you still have a bunch of, you know, whackos out there who believe this nonsense how do you convince people that the sky is, in fact, blue?

ELROD: You know, this is something, Craig, that, again, we dealt with on Hillary Clinton’s emails time and time again.

MELVIN: Oh, the emails.

ELROD: We put the facts out there but it was still something that was driving the news. So I think what the Biden campaign has done so far is very smart, which is you disprove the facts. You show that they are – that these have been litigated time and time again and there’s no –  there’s no proof there, and you just keep going on and you put that behind you and you go on. But you’ve got to stick to the facts. And if you relitigate it time and time again, I think that’s where you get yourself in trouble and I think so far the Biden campaign has just put out statements saying this is not true and then they’ve moved on. That’s the strategy that I think you have to take in this situation.

(...)

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