With Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election memoir due to be released in the next couple of days, the two-time failed presidential candidate appeared on CBS News Sunday Morning for a sit-down interview with host Jane Pauley. And as would be expected from someone working for the company publishing Clinton’s book, there was almost no pressing from Pauley on what Clinton did wrong. But there was plenty of connecting with Clinton on the pain of the embarrassing defeat.
The first question from Pauley sounded like a friend looking to console another: “So, I’m wondering. How are you?” And as if she was approaching a triggering topic, the CBS host asked Clinton for permission to talk about Election Day, 2016. “Can we talk about election day,” she asked gently. “Did you have any clue what the outcome of that day would be.”
“As the polls closed, Clinton supporters gathered in a New York City convention center, expecting to see history being made. But as the returns came in the celebratory mood began to fade,” Pauley recalled of Clinton’s tragic day.
One of Pauley’s toughest questions for Clinton wasn’t about her e-mail server or the pain Wall Street speeches. It was about the house the Clinton’s bought in anticipation of having to fill it with White House staff and the Secret Service. “And doesn’t it kind of haunt you,” she wanted to know.
“At a dining room table in that house, she wrote about what happened,” Pauley touted. “So what did happen? Hillary Clinton was supposed to make history as the first woman president of the United States.”
Pauley seemed to share some of Clinton’s resentment for those who voted against her. As Clinton was explaining how candidate Trump played to the “millions of people who were upset about gains that were made by others,” Pauley finished Clinton’s thought and blamed it on “millions of white people.” Clinton was quick to agree with the race baiting assessment.
When it came to covering the obligatory topic of the FBI investigation into the private e-mail server, the CBS host sympathized with Clinton. “A stream of explanations for her decision to use a private e-mail server while she was secretary of state, never satisfied critics or the press,” she lamented, completely missing the irony of the fact CBS helped to downplay the scandal.
“Not even after the director of the FBI, James Comey cleared her any criminal charges … while adding a post script that stuck,” Pauley bemoaned, before playing a clip of Comey telling the public that Clinton and her team played fast and loose with classified information. “I don’t know quite what audience he was playing too other than some, you know, right-wing commentators, right-wing members of Congress, whatever,” Clinton told her.
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There was no mention of the fact that Comey had drafted his recommendation of 'no action be taken' long before he had interviewed Clinton.
There was even a brief discussion of the infamous “basket of deplorables” smear Clinton launched against Trump’s supporters. Pauley claimed that energized Trump’s base, as if the decades of Clinton corruption wasn’t energizing enough. Clinton disagreed with Pauley on that point.
Before CBS played the interview, Pauley did disclose that CBS owns the company that was publishing Clinton’s book. And it’s clear by this interview Clinton allowed it because it would be one of the easiest possible.
CBS News Sunday Morning
September 10, 2017
10:05 AM Eastern
JANE PAULEY: So, I’m wondering: How are you?
HILLARY CLINTON: I think I am good, but that doesn’t mean I’m complacent or resolved about what happened. It still is very painful; it hurts a lot.
PAULEY: Hillary Rodham Clinton, has spent the last ten months trying to figure out why she isn't president of the United States. Can we talk about election day? Did you have any clue what the outcome of that day would be?
PAULY: As the polls closed, Clinton supporters gathered in a New York City convention center, expecting to see history being made. But as the returns came in the celebratory mood began to fade.
PAULEY: The Clinton’s had acquired the house next door to accommodate White House staff and security during a second Clinton administration. And doesn’t it kind of haunt you?
CLINTON: No, I’m very happy we did it.
PAULEY: At a dining room table in that house, she wrote about what happened.
PAULEY: So what did happen? Hillary Clinton was supposed to make history as the first woman president of the United States.
CLINTON: I started the campaign knowing that I was going to have to work extra hard to make women and men feel comfortable with the idea of a woman president. It doesn’t fit into the stereotype we all carry around in our head. And a lot of the sexism and misogyny was in service of these attitudes like: “We really don’t want a woman commander and chief.
CLINTON: He was quite successful in referencing a nostalgia that would give hope, comfort, settle grievances for millions of people who were upset about gains that were made by others—
PAULEY: What you’re saying is millions of white people.
CLINTON: Millions of white people. Yeah, millions of white people.
PAULEY: But there were serious self-inflicted wounds too. Were there things that, had you not but for that you might be the president?
CLINTON: Oh, I think the most important of the mistakes I made was using personal e-mail.
PAULEY: A stream of explanations for her decision to use a private e-mail server while she was secretary of state, never satisfied critics or the press.
PAULEY: Not even after the director of the FBI, James Comey cleared her any criminal charges … while adding a post script that stuck.
JAMES COMEY: There is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.
CLINTON: I don’t know quite what audience he was playing too other than some, you know, right-wing commentators, right-wing members of Congress, whatever.
PAULEY: Why do you think that word deplorable had been circulating in your mind?
CLINTON: Well, I thought Trump was behaving in a deplorable manner…
PAULEY: You fed into that though when you said “basket of deplorables” you energized…
CLINTON: No, but they were already energized.
PAULEY: But you offended some people who didn’t personally feel deplorable at all.
CLINTON: I don’t buy that at all.