Joe Scarborough says there's an effort underway to delegitimize the FBI investigation of Hillary's email. Did Mark Halperin just abet that effort by alleging that FBI agents conducting the investigation are driven in part by personal animus toward the Clintons?
Appearing on today's Morning Joe, Halperin said that "of all the entities in the United States that represent a threat to Hillary Clinton being the next President of the United States, those FBI agents are probably in the first tier, in part because they're following the evidence wherever it leads, but in part because—let's be honest—a lot of FBI agents don't like the Clintons. View the video, and be sure to watch to the end to catch Hillary cackling in response to Jake Tapper's questions about the email.
Halperin did agree with Joe Scarborough that it was inappropriate for President Obama, in his 60 Minutes interview, to have declared that Hillary's handling of email didn't harm national security. But by alleging that the FBI is motivated in part by personal animosity toward the Clintons, is not Halperin undermining the legitimacy of the Bureau's investigation?
Watch the very end of the clip: after airing Hillary's dismissive laughter over the emails, the camera cuts back to Scarborough, who sits in a stony silence that seems to speak volumes.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: The president said there isn't, national security was not endangered and drew a conclusion, Mark, I know it shocked you when you said it as well, the FBI has come out very angry that the president is trying to tip the scales and the New York Times article said that one FBI agent said it isn't the first time he has tried to influence an active, ongoing investigation. I was shocked that he said it. And I think the White House needs to come out and make a stronger statement and even apologize, that the president did not mean to say what he said.
MARK HALPERIN: Of all the entities in the United States that represent a threat to Hillary Clinton being the next President of the United States, those FBI agents probably are in the first tier, in part because they're following the evidence wherever it leads, but in part because--let's be honest--a lot of FBI agents don't like the Clintons.
JOE: Well, talke about the president said. Does the president need to clean that up?
HALPERIN: Josh Earnest tried to clean it up. He shouldn't have said it. Regardless of what he knows, there's always a question of do presidents have any oversight over Justice Department investigations or are the Justice Department and the FBI independent? Sometimes they're independent, sometimes they're not, sometimes the president keeps tabs on things. Whatever he knows about the status of that investigation, he shouldn't have said what he said.
JOE: I think the combination of that, where the president is dismissive and actually draws a conclusion while these FBI agents are in an active investigation and then on top of that Jake Tapper asks Hillary Clinton about the FBI investigation and she starts laughing, you see the beginning of the delegitimatization of an active, ongoing investigation that involves the national security.
. . .
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Hillary Clinton laughing it off . . .
[cut to clip of Tapper interview].
JAKE TAPPER: Bernie Sanders said that "the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails." [Hillary begins laughing].
TAPPER: But there are a lot of people who are not.
HILLARY: [increases cackle decibel level] Well . . .
TAPPER: Including FBI officials who are looking into whether national security was compromised because of the server . . .