Condescending Joy Reid Attacks ‘Clinton Cash’; ‘No Evidence’ Clintons Used Foundation for Person Gain

Always one of the more egregious liberal pundits in dismissing Clinton scandals, MSNBC’s Joy Reid filled in for Chris Hayes on Wednesday’s All In and sought to imply that since Breitbart News chief executive and now Trump campaign chief executive Steve Bannon helped fund the organization that allowed Peter Schweizer to write Clinton Cash, the book’s claims are not just “false” but reckless. 

On multiple occasions, Reid behaved rather condescendingly in shaking her head that the pay-for-play allegations were “false claims” and the book included “no evidence to back up those allegations” that “the Clintons ever used the Clinton foundation to enrich themselves or allowed its work to influence her decisions as secretary of state.”

One could entertain Reid’s notion that Bannon is a less than honorable individual, but simply relying on the behavior of Breitbart.com, citing the liberal Politifact for defending the Clinton Foundation, and sullying Schweizer’s reputation looks incredibly weak. 

Reid’s latest spin job began after showing portions of a pro-Trump ad about the Clinton Foundation that argued the Clintons gave speeches and made connections that resulted in donations from “[m]isogynistic regimes, Wall Street insiders, [and] corrupt dictators” that Reid revealed to have received “a mostly false rating from Politifact for it’s ‘twist[ing] a grain of truth to create a misleading picture.’”

Employing on a mocking tone, Reid proclaimed that to “this day, there's no evidence the Clintons ever used the Clinton foundation to enrich themselves or allowed its work to influence her decisions as secretary of state.”

Following a series of soundbites from Trump denouncing the Foundation, Reid again shook her head “nope” and lamented that “[t]hose false claims first went mainstream with the release last year of the book Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich by conservative author Peter Schweizer.”

Reid eventually brought on Bloomberg Businessweek’s Joshua Green to discuss Bannon and Trump, but she again took this swipe after a soundbite of Schweizer in the Clinton Cash movie: “Nope. Again, no evidence to back up those allegations.”

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Ironically, Green appeared to refute Reid’s liberal spin and dismissals of the Clinton Foundation allegations by pointing out that Schweizer and the Bannon-backed group did actually turn up some serious developments:

[S]o through this non-profit, the Government Accountability Institute, along with Peter Schweitzer, they set out to investigate donations to the Clinton Foundation, Clinton's speaking fees, and they did turn up a lot of unreported donations, so this wasn't all imaginary as a lot of liberals had claimed. They succeeded in the sense that, I mean, Bannon's real idea was, if we can turn up facts and hand them to serious investigative reporters in the mainstream media, they will take those facts and they will write stories about them. We saw examples of that happening with front-page stories in The New York Times last year about a Russian uranium magnate who had given a lot of money to the Clinton Foundation, so that was one way in which they propagated an anti-Hillary story line throughout the press. 

Tell the Truth 2016

There’s simply too much time in this space to tear apart the absolute fairytale that Reid promulgated about the Clintons not benefitting from their so-called charity, but let’s take a few of the more recent developments and cite some mainstream media organizations that have raised concerns. 

First, there’s a Wednesday editorial by the Boston Globe (no conservative paper by any stretch) that advocated for the ceasing of any and all donations to the Clinton Foundation due to it being “clearly a liability” for Hillary and its record of having “provided posts or paychecks for some members of the Clinton political team.” If Reid wants to say that’s a bunch of lies, be my guest. 

Another example was a story also on Wednesday by Fox News’s James Rosen, who revealed that “[s]hortly after Hillary Clinton left the Obama administration, the State Department quietly took steps to purchase real estate in Nigeria from a firm whose parent company is owned by a major donor to the Clinton Foundation.”

It’s also apparent by Reid’s comments that she didn’t take to heart the e-mail dump that Judicial Watch obtained last week that showed a senior Clinton Foundation official told a Clinton State Department official that it was “important to take care of” someone (whose name was blacked out) and that a top Clinton Foundation donor would be put in touch with a State Department official to discuss the country of Lebanon.

There are a healthy sampling of others that can be found here, here, and here, but it’s clear from Reid’s behavior that she’s applied the same mindset to the Clinton Foundation that she did with Clinton’s e-mail scandal (see here, here, and here).

The relevant portions of the transcript from MSNBC’s All In on August 17 can be found below.

MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes
August 17, 2016
8:18 p.m. Eastern

HILLARY CLINTON [in ad]: We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt. 

NARRATOR [in ad]: It didn't last long, a foundation was created and money started to roll. Speeches, connections and donations. Misogynistic regimes, Wall Street insiders, corrupt dictators, they all have one thing in common, their check cleared. 

JOY REID: That ad from pro-Trump Super PAC Rebuild American Now got a mostly false rating from Politifact for it’s “twist[ing] a grain of truth to create a misleading picture” of corruption underlying the Clinton’s wealth and their philanthropic foundation this day, there's no evidence the Clintons ever used the Clinton foundation to enrich themselves or allowed its work to influence her decisions as secretary of state. Nonetheless, that narrative has taken a firm hold among her Democratic nominee’s critics, including Donald Trump. 

DONALD TRUMP [in 08/04/16]: The Clinton Foundation, you ever see this? The Clinton Foundation, like Saudi Arabia gives $25 million to the Clinton foundation. [SCREEN WIPE] [on 07/05/16] Bill and Hillary Clinton raked in millions of dollars from foreign governments, special interests, and international corporations in exchange for favors, folks. [SCREEN WIPE] [on 06/22/16] She ran the State Department like her personal hedge funds, doing favors for oppressive regimes and really many, many others in exchange for cash. 

REID: Nope. Those false claims first went mainstream with the release last year of the book Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich by conservative author Peter Schweizer. Later followed by a full length movie of the same name. 

PETER SCHWEIZER: These companies will give money to the Clintons even in the form of speaking fees or in the form of donations to the Clinton Foundation and the Clintons will then, in effect, do their bidding before the halls of power in Africa and they will go to foreign governments and encourage them to do business with individuals who are putting money in their pocket. 

REID: Nope. Again, no evidence to back up those allegations, but the man behind the Clinton Cash movie and the book, perhaps most responsible for spreading unsubstantiated claims about the Clinton foreign dealings is helping the trump campaign as its new CEO. Breitbart News executive chairman Steven Bannon, despite never having run a single political campaign. Bloomberg Businessweek proclaimed him America's most dangerous political operative in a cover story last year, a title the Trump campaign was eager to point out in its press release announcing the new hire today.

(....)

JOSHUA GREEN: ....So through this non-profit, the Government Accountability Institute, along with Peter Schweitzer, they set out to investigate donations to the Clinton Foundation, Clinton's speaking fees, and they did turn up a lot of unreported donations, so this wasn't all imaginary as a lot of liberals had claimed. They succeeded in the sense that, I mean, Bannon's real idea was, if we can turn up facts and hand them to serious investigative reporters in the mainstream media, they will take those facts and they will write stories about them. We saw examples of that happening with front-page stories in The New York Times last year about a Russian uranium magnate who had given a lot of money to the Clinton Foundation, so that was one way in which they propagated an anti-Hillary story line throughout the press.

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is the Managing Editor of NewsBusters for the Media Research Center