Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos, a former Bill Clinton operative, appeared on Tuesday’s Daily Show and hedged on the scandal engulfing Hillary Clinton and her family’s charitable foundation. Prompted by Jon Stewart, the co-host minimized, ‘This is a tough one. Because when you actually look at, look closely at it, he [Peter Schweizer] even says there is no evidence of any direct action taken on behalf of the donors.’
“The best the journalist could do is allow that for governments and donors who give millions to the Clinton Foundation, ‘There is a hope that is going to lead to something.'”
Monday, when Schweizer appeared on NBC’s Today, he was asked directly by host Savannah Guthrie, “Do you have any specific instance in which Hillary Clinton directly intervenes on behalf of donors to the Clinton foundation?” He dodged the question and for a “reply,” offered even larger unsubstantiated charges. On Sunday, he’d appeared on Stephanopoulous’s own This Week show and, pressed on the same matter, offered the same song-and-dance. He said he wanted a criminal investigation yet was unable to provide evidence of any crime that would justify one. He insisted there was better evidence of criminal wrongdoing in the case of the Clinton Foundation than there was in the cases against former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell and Sen. Bob Menendez — Menendez was just indicted on 14 criminal counts, McDonnell was actually convicted on 11 counts. Asked by Stephanopoulous if there was any “smoking gun” in the matter, he replied, “Yes. The smoking gun is in the pattern of behavior.” So his proof of the truth of his allegations are his allegations. Stephanopoulous managed to somewhat pin down the evasive Schweizer on the much-discussed (and now largely discredited) charge from “Clinton Cash” that Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, facilitated the sale of an uranium mine to Russian interests:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you have any evidence that she actually intervened in this issue?
SCHWEIZER: No, we don’t have direct evidence. But it warrants further investigation because, again, George, this is part of the broader pattern.
In light of this, it’s impossible to see Stephanopoulous’s comments on the Daily Show as anything other than an honest evaluation of this particular matter.[*] What else could he have said? And for his honesty, Whitlock describes him as “a former Bill Clinton operative” who “hedged” and “minimized” the charges against Hillary Clinton.
[*] Daily Show host Jon Stewart did his usual excellent job of putting the Clinton Foundation matter into perspective:
“So there is an industry around this. A book is written. The guy comes on your show. He does a bunch of interviews. He does a bunch of interviews and they all talk about the scandal of these few millions of dollars and what it might have led to. In the same breath she [Hillary Clinton] announced ‘I am going to raise $2.5 billion dollars’ and everybody was like, ‘She is serious.’ Now, what does that money buy?”
Whiltlock’s characterization of this: “Stewart responded by attacking Clinton from the left”
[Note: This article was written for MRC Watch, a blog dedicated to a critique of the Media Research Center]