MTV's Cox on CNN: Trump's 'Violence' Bigger Deal Than Hillary E-Mails

MTV's Ana Marie Cox invoked the Founding Fathers on Wednesday's CNN Newsroom as she argued that the unsavory elements of Donald Trump's presidential campaign were a more serious issue than Hillary Clinton's e-mail scandal: "I think that the violence and bigotry of the Trump campaign are more important than the Hillary e-mails....our founders could foresee the kind of controversies...and the kind of corruption that Hillary Clinton's engaging in. Like, that's part of government, you know?" [video below]

Anchor Brooke Baldwin turned to Cox and Trump campaign senior adviser Boris Epshteyn for their reaction to the latest development in the e-mail scandal — the discovery of 44 e-mails that Mrs. Clinton hadn't "previously handed over to the State Department." Baldwin underlined that "it's no secret: her [Hillary Clinton's] trustworthy numbers are in the dumps; and when you have, again, an issue of her e-mail server, it has to be concerning for the campaign."

Cox replied, "You know, what I wouldn't give for this to the number-one issue in our campaign. That would be awesome. If...there wasn't  — you know, these implications of assassinations; if there wasn't the, sort of, the talk...about, you know, race; about gender; the way that he's talked about immigrants." The anchor interrupted, "But on the e-mails." Epshteyn also unleashed on the panelist: "You're changing the subject yourself, and you're complaining about changing the subject!"

The MTV senior political correspondent didn't deny that she was changing the subject: "Yes, I am! I totally am." She added, "What I'm saying is that I think that the violence and bigotry of the Trump campaign are more important than the Hillary e-mails."

Cox then dropped her claim about the Founding Fathers: "Look at it this way: our founders could foresee the kind of controversies, and the kind of — like, coziness; and the kind of corruption that Hillary Clinton's engaging in. Like, that's part of government, you know?" Baldwin replied, "Corruption's part of government?" The guest bluntly replied, "I do think corruption's part of government," and continued that "we have a system to take care of it; and hopefully, it's rooted out; and then, new people are elected. That's how democracy works. Democracy can't work under constant threat of violence, however."

Fifteen minutes later, Cox acknowledged in a Twitter post that she made missteps during that segment: "That was an... Inelegant appearance. I was trying to say corruption is unavoidable, to some degree. And that violence is more troubling."

The transcript of the relevant portion of the Cox/Epshteyn segment from CNN Newsroom on August 10, 2016:

BROOKE BALDWIN: It's no secret: her [Hillary Clinton's] trustworthy numbers are in the dumps; and when you have, again, an issue of her e-mail server, it has to be concerning for the campaign—

ANA MARIE COX, SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, MTV NEWS: You know, what I wouldn't give for this to the number-one issue in our campaign. That would be awesome. If this wasn't—

BALDWIN: How do you mean?

COX: If this was the thing we were talking about, and there wasn't—

BORIS EPSHTEYN, SENIOR ADVISER, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: So talk about it—

COX: You know, this — and there wasn't — you know, these implications of assassinations; if there wasn't the, sort of, the — the talk that he — that Trump has made okay about — you know, race and about gender — the way that he's talked about immigrants—

BALDWIN: But on the e-mails—

EPSHTEYN: You're changing the subject yourself—

COX: Yes, I am! I totally am—

EPSHTEYN: And you're complaining about changing the subject! So just answer the question, and talk about the e-mails—

COX: No, what I'm saying — you know, what I'm saying is that I think that the violence and bigotry of the Trump campaign are—

EPSHTEYN: Okay. So you're not answering the question—

COX: More important than the — than the Hillary e-mails—

EPSHTEYN: The more important [thing] is selling our country down the river to foreign leaders—

COX: Look at it this way — look at it this way — look at it this way: our founders could foresee the kind of controversies, and the kind of — like, coziness; and the kind of corruption that Hillary Clinton's engaging in. Like, that's part of government, you know?

EPSHTEYN: It's called 18 [U.S.] Code 209 — bribery—

BALDWIN: Corruption's part of government?

COX: Yeah, I do — I mean, yeah. I do think corruption's part of government — pretty much, you know?

EPSHTEYN: You go to jail for corruption—

COX: And we have a system to take care of it; and hopefully, it's rooted out; and then, new people are elected. That's how — that's how democracy works. Democracy can't work under constant threat of violence, however.

I would like this Clinton e-mail stuff to get sorted out. I would like it to become as clean as possible—

EPSHTEYN: What do you mean 'sorted out'?

COX: I would like to know exactly what happened.

NB Daily Campaign Watch Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Foreign Policy Labeling Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals CNN CNN Newsroom Video Ana Marie Cox Brooke Baldwin Hillary Clinton Donald Trump
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