All three networks on Wednesday morning offered substantive coverage of Hillary Clinton's growing e-mail scandal. Yet, ABC's Good Morning America didn't bother to go to Republicans for response to the controversy. GMA boycotted the story on Tuesday. But on Wednesday, George Stephanopoulos trumpeted, "Hillary on the hot seat. The former Secretary of State finally answers questions about that private email controversy."
Reporter Jon Karl insisted that Clinton "may have raised more questions than she answered." He pointed out: "Republicans were quick to pounce on that explanation circulating this video of Clinton from last month indicating she no longer minds having two devices."
Perhaps trying to make up for Tuesday's lack of coverage, GMA offered up follow-ups in the 7:30 and 8am half hours.
On NBC's Today, co-host Matt Lauer opened the show by announcing that Republicans were "not satisfied." Andrea Mitchell reiterated this point: "But Clinton's answers are not satisfying Republicans." Highlighting GOP opposition, Mitchell continued:
MITCHELL: But Republicans say they don't trust Clinton, so want her to turn over her server to a neutral third party.
SEN. RICHARD BURR: Nobody has any way to verify what she did or didn't do without the server.
In addition to that, Lauer brought on Republican Rand Paul to attack Clinton.
CBS This Morning's Norah O'Donnell wondered, "Hillary Clinton deletes tens of thousands of emails and asks the public to trust her. Did she do enough to calm the controversy?" Nancy Cordes featured a brief clip of Paul: "I don't think convenience should trump national security."
Instead of bringing on a Republican guest, the co-hosts talked to liberal Game Change author John Heilemann. He concluded that Clinton has "not put this behind her." Gayle King queried, "So how does she get past it, John? Can she get past it?"
The author equivocated:
JOHN HEILEMANN: Well, she's obviously going to have a launch of her presidential campaign, there will be a lot of energy for it, there are a lot of Democrats who love her. She'll likely be coronate as the Democratic nominee but I think the question for her going forward is how does this play in the General Election? And I think that is a lot more diffuse. But there are a lot of people in the country who look back on the 1990s and say it was great era, peace and prosperity. "We like Bill Clinton and everything, but boy that was a contentious period." The Clintons constantly involved in a lot of melodrama, a lot of psychodrama. People are queasy about that and people are kind of weary of it. There’s been Clinton fatigue, that’s been a concept we’ve talked about for a long time. This kind of thing just revives it, I think for her going forward.
A transcript of the March 11 GMA segment is below:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We’re going to turn now to Hillary Clinton and that press conference where she tried to quiet the controversy over her personal email account as Secretary of State. Clinton said that in hindsight it was a mistake to set up that account but insisted that she followed all the rules and revealed for the first time that she’s deleted more than 30,000 emails calling them personal. ABC’s Jon Karl was at the press conference. He joins us now. Good morning Jon.
JONATHAN KARL: Good morning George. This was Hillary Clinton's first press conference in more than two years but she may have raised more questions than she answered. A late night comedian showed no mercy following Hillary Clinton's press conference.
JON STEWART: She did not want to have two phones. She couldn't be like, hey, man, could you hold this other phone for me?
KARL: She finally explained why she used private email for official business as Secretary of State.
HILLARY CLINTON: Looking back, it would have been better for me to use two separate phones and two email accounts. I thought using one device would be simpler and obviously it hasn't worked out that way.
KARL: Republicans were quick to pounce on that explanation circulating this video of Clinton from last month indicating she no longer minds having two devices.
KARA SWISHER: iPhone or Android?
CLINTON: iPhone. Okay, in full disclosure --
CLINTON: And a blackberry.
KARL: Under State Department rules enforced while she was secretary, employees must turn over any emails from private accounts that relate to official business. But Clinton didn't do that until 22 months after she left office. [To Hillary Clinton] Why did you not go along with State Department rules until nearly two years after you left office?
CLINTON: The laws and regulations in effect when I was Secretary of State allowed me to use my email for work.
KARL [To Clinton]: Why did you wait to turn those emails over? I mean, the rules say you have to turn them over.
CLINTON: I don't think -- I'd be happy to have somebody talk to you about the rules. I fully complied with every rule that I was governed by.
KARL: Now Hillary Clinton said that after she went and organized her emails determining which ones were official business to be sent over to the State Department and which were personal, that she deleted about 30,000 emails that she determined to be purely personal. As you can imagine, George, Republicans are saying that raises serious questions. They want her to turn over her email server to be examined. She says she will not do that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah, said she's not going to do that. And now you hear the congressman in charge of this Benghazi committee, the committee investigating Benghazi Trey Gowdy, says he wants Mrs. Clinton to come up not once but twice now to the committee. One time simply to answer questions about all the emails.
KARL: Yeah. Now Mrs. Clinton has signaled through the Democrats on the committee that she is willing to voluntarily appear before that committee. But George as you can imagine highly unlikely that she would agree to come back to that committee twice especially because it's almost certain that both of those appearances would have to be after she is a declared candidate for president.