Bloomberg’s Heilemann: Bill Clinton ‘Wasn’t Impeached Over Lying’

Following the first presidential debate on Monday, Donald Trump has turned his sights onto former President Bill Clinton in an effort to rout Hillary Clinton. At a rally in New Hampshire Thursday Trump reminded the public that Bill was impeached in 1998 for lying in a sworn deposition. But Bloomberg’s John Heilemann on With All Due Respect pooh-poohed the attack saying, “I believe it is much more of a distraction than it is a focus.” He explained his opinion by claiming that Bill, “wasn’t impeached over lying.

The co-host elaborated on his reasoning saying, “Only because the word impeachment in every American's mind who knows or has any memory of this, is sex. That’s what he was impeached over.” Heilemann immediately contradicted himself by admitting the truth of the impeachment. “He wasn’t impeached over lying. I mean, technically he was, but in fact, the whole thing was lying about a sexual relationship that he had,” he stated before arguing that most people see it as an “invocation” of Monica Lewinski.

Not only does Heilemann contradict his own claim of the impeachment, but so does history. According to the first paragraph of a New York Times article from December 20, 1998:

William Jefferson Clinton was impeached on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice today by a divided House of Representatives, which recommended virtually along party lines that the Senate remove the nation's 42d President from office.

Co-host Mark Halperin disagreed about the seriousness of the of Trump’s new line of attack saying the Clinton campaign should be worried. “I think the Clinton campaign (if they were honest) would knowledge that those are things that can hurt her, because they go back to the old corrupt ways of Washington,” he stated, “And for all the attempts of the Clinton people to say Trump’s worse on everything, he cannot be tied to Washington the way she can.”

But Halperin’s concern was with Trump’s ability to execute the tone for the attack like former President George W. Bush did against Al Gore, “Bush used to say, “When I am sworn in, I would raise my right hand in the Oval Office and restore honor and immediately to the Oval Office.”” “But there is no way Trump would be disciplined enough at talking about impeachment. He won’t be oblique. He will start saying explicit things and it will overshadow the other message,” he continued.

After a back and forth between the co-hosts about Trump’s inability to pull off the attack and coming to the conclusion that it is not worth his time, Halperin ending the segment saying, “We are on like day two and a half of Clinton Corruption: Follow the Money. I wonder how long it will go. I wonder if this is the message the rest of the way or not…” 

Transcript below: 

Bloomberg
With All Due Respect
September 29, 2016
5:10:18 PM Eastern

MARK HALPERIN: Alright. So John, is talking about impeachment a way to reinforce this message about general corruption that the campaign wants to emphasize, or is it a distraction that will undermine it?

JOHN HEILEMANN: I believe-- and again I do not know the answer to this question. But I believe it is much more of a distraction than it is a focus. Only because the word impeachment in every American's mind who knows or has any memory of this, is sex. That’s what he was impeached over. He wasn’t impeached over lying. I mean, technically he was, but in fact, the whole thing was lying about a sexual relationship that he had. So, for most people, that is an invocation of Lew—Lewnsky-- the Lewinsky scandal. And I think that to immediately drag you away from the issues around e-mail, the issues around money, the issues around the foundation around all the stuff Trump would ordinarily be trying to drive. 

HALPERIN: I think he has become as good a talking about the issues that you just raised as he is anything else in framing her and reinforced by press releases and surrogates. And I think the Clinton campaign (if they were honest) would knowledge that those are things that can hurt her, because they go back to the old corrupt ways of Washington.

HEILEMANN: Right.

HALPERIN: And for all the attempts of the Clinton people to say Trump’s worse on everything, he cannot be tied to Washington the way she can.

HEILEMANN: Right.

HALPERIN: If he could do the impeachment and the sex stuff the way George Walker Bush did against Gore. In a very elliptic way,  Bush used to say, “When I am sworn in, I would raise my right hand in the Oval Office and restore honor and immediately to the Oval Office.” Then I think it might dove tail. But there is no way Trump would be disciplined enough at talking about impeachment. He won’t be oblique. He will start saying explicit things and it will overshadow the other message. So, I think that if he can stand and money thing it’s one of his best chances to win. If he talk about impeachment he’s just going to mess it up.

Tell the Truth 2016

HEILEMANN: I mean look, If you remember, I know you do -- if you think about the way that Barack Obama handled this. The notion of Clinton fatigue (for those old enough to remember the Clinton years) is a real thing. And Barack Obama exploded it to his great benefit in the Democratic primary in 2008. So, it is a real thing. And trying to tap into that is right-- is smart politically. Not right exactly, but smart politically. But again I will say, impeachment just equals sex for most people. And he will-- I agree with you. Once he starts talking about impeachment, he is one step away from talking about Monica Lewinsky, Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick, all of those things which are, I just don’t think the way for him to win

HALPERIN: Oh, I think he’ll get more graphic than that.

HEILEMANN: Well, more graphic than that maybe. But you know what I’m saying. He’s not going to be able to stay—He’s not going to be able to be subtle an nuanced and elliptical that’s not his style.

HALPERIN: We are on like day two and a half of Clinton Corruption: Follow the Money. I wonder how long it will go. I wonder if this is the message the rest of the way or not, because as I said, he is as good at this as he is at anything, going after her.


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Tell the Truth 2016 CyberAlerts Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Covert Liberal Activists Political Scandals Sex Scandals Cable Television Bloomberg TV With All Due Respect Video Mark Halperin John Heilemann Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Bill Clinton Monica Lewinsky