Nets Tout Hillary’s Excuses for Losing, Conspiracy Theories

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After Hillary Clinton used a softball inteview during a Silicon Valley tech conference on Wednesday to blame everyone but herself for her failed presidential campaign, Thursday’s network morning shows eagerly promoted her excuses, even pushing unfounded conspiracy theories advanced by the former Democratic nominee.

On NBC’s Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie announced: “President Trump, James Comey, Russian interference, were all targets of Hillary Clinton in her most outspoken interview yet about the presidential race. She now says she suspects the President’s campaign gave direct guidance to Moscow.”

In the report that followed, Clinton superfan Andrea Mitchell dutifully highlighted all the former Secretary of State’s main talking points. She proclaimed: “As Congress launches its Russia investigation and accelerates it, Hillary Clinton is trying to connect the dots about her unexpected loss. And putting a lot of the blame on fake news circulated by a sophisticated Republican internet operation.”

Even as Clinton bashed the media, Mitchell stood by without comment:

MITCHELL: And that private e-mail server?

CLINTON: This was the biggest nothing burger ever. It was a mistake, I’ve said it was a mistake.

MITCHELL: She says the press made too much of it.

CLINTON: They covered it like it was Pearl Harbor.

Despite Clinton bitterly rehashing the 2016 campaign, Mitchell actually accused President Trump of being the one who was unable to move on:

Late Wednesday, the President, as though the campaign were still underway, tweeting, “Crooked Hillary Clinton now blames everybody but herself. Refuses to say she was a terrible candidate. Hits Facebook & even Dems & DNC.”

The reporter gleefully added: “And Clinton tweeting back, ‘People in covfefe houses shouldn’t throw covfefe.’”

Wrapping up the fawning piece – which was completely devoid of any attempt at fact-checking – Mitchell sympathized with Clinton’s claim that sexism allowed Trump to win the election: “Well, Clinton also said that as men, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump had an advantage. That they could yell and rally the crowds as men in a way that people did not accept from a woman candidate.”

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On ABC’s Good Morning America, co-host and former Clinton minion George Stephanopoulos excitedly told viewers: “Meantime, Hillary Clinton not going anywhere. She’s out in public again last night talking about the election...” Correspondent Cecilia Vega explained: “Yeah, George, this is basically 2016 all over again. She’s talking about the reasons for her loss, blaming everything from the FBI director to – James Comey – to even her own party.”

After playing a soundbite of Clinton’s ranting, Vega hyped the “Twitter war” between the Democrats’ vanquished standard bearer and Trump:

The President tweeted right after that, a few hours after she spoke, “Crooked Hillary Clinton now blames everybody but herself, refuses to say she was a terrible candidate.” And, of course, Hillary Clinton fired back with a tweet of her own. She is making fun of the President’s tweet from a day earlier, that incomparable word, saying that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.... Except her tweet was retweeted tens of thousands times more than the President’s original one.

CBS This Morning co-host Norah O’Donnell joined her NBC and ABC colleagues in hailing the event: “Hillary Clinton is speaking out, saying she suspects people working for Donald Trump provided guidance to Russian propaganda efforts during the campaign.” Correspondent Jan Crawford further amped up the story:

So Hillary Clinton’s comments appear to be the first time she’s accused President Trump of collusion with the Russians. She said yesterday that propaganda on social media websites helped contribute to her loss and that there had been what she called a marriage of people who spread false stories with Republicans who had detailed voter data....Clinton said Donald Trump helped the Russian government spread disinformation about her.

At the top of the show, co-host Charlie Rose bizarrely blamed Trump for starting a “feud” with Clinton: “The President launches a new feud with Hillary Clinton on Twitter over Russia and the election.” Crawford recounted the social media post: “On Twitter afterward, President Trump fired back, saying, ‘Crooked Hillary Clinton now blames everybody but herself.’” She added: “Clinton compared the President’s Twitter tactics to a circus, calling it authoritarian.”

Only at the very end of her report did Crawford briefly mention one of real reasons for Clinton’s defeat: “Now, when she was asked why she didn’t campaign more in states that could have made her president, Clinton pushed back. She said the campaign thought it was doing well in Michigan and Wisconsin. She said her information ‘was not as reliable as I wished.’”

Crawford didn’t bother to challenge that laughable assertion with the fact that multiple Democrats were begging Clinton to campaign harder in the Midwest in the run-up to the election.

Here are transcripts of the June 1 reports on NBC and CBS:

Today
7:07 AM [7:07:12 - 7:09:35, 2 min 23 sec]

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: President Trump, James Comey, Russian interference, were all targets of Hillary Clinton in her most outspoken interview yet about the presidential race. She now says she suspects the President’s campaign gave direct guidance to Moscow. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell with more on that. Andrea, good morning.

ANDREA MITCHELL: Good morning, Savannah. As Congress launches its Russia investigation and accelerates it, Hillary Clinton is trying to connect the dots about her unexpected loss. And putting a lot of the blame on fake news circulated by a sophisticated Republican internet operation.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Hillary Clinton’s Blame Game; Pins Election Loss on Comey, Russians and Fake News]

MITCHELL: The candidate still trying to explain what went wrong.

HILLARY CLINTON: We thought we were going to win.

MITCHELL: And placing blame, not on herself, but on the Democratic National Committee.

CLINTON: I inherit nothing from the Democratic Party.

WALT MOSSBERG [RECODE EDITOR-AT-LARGE]: What do you mean nothing?

CLINTON: I mean, it was bankrupt. It was on the verge of insolvency.

MITCHELL: And that private e-mail server?

CLINTON: This was the biggest nothing burger ever. It was a mistake, I’ve said it was a mistake.

MITCHELL: She says the press made too much of it.

CLINTON: They covered it like it was Pearl Harbor.

MITCHELL: But primarily blaming James Comey for reopening the e-mail issue just before election day.

CLINTON: My momentum, particularly among women in the suburbs, stopped and dropped.

MITCHELL: And she argues while Comey revealed everything about her e-mails, he never disclosed he had been investigating the Trump campaign and Russian hacking for months.

CLINTON: Comey was more than happy to talk about my e-mails, but he wouldn’t talk about investigation of the Russians. So people went to vote on November 8th having no idea that there was an active counterintelligence investigation going on.

MITCHELL: Late Wednesday, the President, as though the campaign were still underway, tweeting, “Crooked Hillary Clinton now blames everybody but herself. Refuses to say she was a terrible candidate. Hits Facebook & even Dems & DNC.” And Clinton tweeting back, “People in covfefe houses shouldn’t throw covfefe.”

There’s that “covfefe” again. Well, Clinton also said that as men, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump had an advantage. That they could yell and rally the crowds as men in a way that people did not accept from a woman candidate. Clinton says she won’t be running again, but today, Joe Biden is launching a new political action committee, saying what he calls “the negativity of today’s politics” drives him crazy. Savannah and Matt?

GUTHRIE: Okay, Andrea Mitchell, thank you so much.


CBS This Morning
7:06 AM ET

NORAH O’DONNELL: Hillary Clinton is speaking out, saying she suspects people working for Donald Trump provided guidance to Russian propaganda efforts during the campaign. The former Democratic candidate brought it up yesterday as she discussed why she lost the presidential race.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Clash of the Tweets; President and Clinton Spar Over Russia and 2016]

President Trump responded on Twitter last night saying Clinton, quote, “refuses to say she was a terrible candidate.” Responding, Clinton said, “People in covfefe houses shouldn’t throw covfefe.” Now that is a reference to Mr. Trump’s half-finished tweet on  Tuesday night. Jan Crawford has details on Clinton’s pointed comments. Jan, good morning.

JAN CRAWFORD: Well, good morning. So Hillary Clinton’s comments appear to be the first time she’s accused President Trump of collusion with the Russians. She said yesterday that propaganda on social media websites helped contribute to her loss and that there had been what she called a marriage of people who spread false stories with Republicans who had detailed voter data.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Clinton: Why I Lost; Fmr. Candidate Blames Media, DNC, Comey & Russia]

KARA SWISHER [RECODE EXECUTIVE EDITOR]: But you’re leaning Trump?

HILLARY CLINTON: Yes, I’m leaning Trump. I think it’s pretty hard not to.

CRAWFORD: Speaking at a tech conference, Hillary Clinton said Donald Trump helped the Russian government spread disinformation about her.

CLINTON: The Russians, in my opinion, and based on the intel and counterintel people I’ve talked to, could not have known how best to weaponize that information unless they had been guided. And here’s –

WALT MOSSBERG [RECODE EDITOR-AT-LARGE]: Guided by Americans?

CLINTON: Guided by Americans and guided by people who had, you know, polling and data information.

CRAWFORD: She blamed former FBI Director James Comey for her loss.

CLINTON: Comey was more than happy to talk about my e-mails, but he wouldn’t talk about investigation of the Russians.

CRAWFORD: And said she inherited nothing from the Democratic National Committee.

CLINTON: Its data was mediocre to poor, nonexistent, wrong.

CRAWFORD: On Twitter afterward, President Trump fired back, saying, “Crooked Hillary Clinton now blames everybody but herself.” Clinton compared the President’s Twitter tactics to a circus, calling it authoritarian.  

CLINTON: “Covfefe,” trending worldwide. Maybe for a minute you’ll forget the latest accusations about them conspiring with Russia.

CRAWFORD: White House spokesman Sean Spicer refused to acknowledge Trump’s now-deleted midnight tweet was a typo.

SEAN SPICER: The President and a small group of people know exactly what he meant.

CRAWFORD: Clinton said she knew exactly what the President meant.

CLINTON: I thought it was a hidden message to the Russians.

SWISHER: Oh, you did?

[LAUGHTER]

CRAWFORD: Now, when she was asked why she didn’t campaign more in states that could have made her president, Clinton pushed back. She said the campaign thought it was doing well in Michigan and Wisconsin. She said her information “was not as reliable as I wished.” Gayle?

GAYLE KING: Alright, thank you, Jan.