Thursday morning on MSNBC the liberal former Governor of Vermont, Howard Dean, did his level best to defend the Clinton family from the many charges of corruption that they are currently facing. Sadly for Dean, there just isn’t much he can do to defend them because the charges are pretty clear-cut, and the money trail is getting easier to follow every day.
Which is why (I’m guessing) Howard Dean chose to get a little creative with the latest iteration of “the vast right wing conspiracy” against the Clinton family.
In his effort to defend the Clinton family, Dean decided to argue that it was a conservative conspiracy against the Clinton family that was the foundation to all of these charges of corruption. The problem with that theory is that the report was put together by respected New York Times journalists (the NYT being a largely liberal paper), and the book which recently outlined many of these same corruption issues was written by a well respected journalist as well. The Clinton defenders are going to have a very hard time making people believe that all of these underhanded dealings are somehow the work of a right wing conspiracy.
But here’s Dean trying his best anyway….
Howard Dean: This is the problem here.
I’m not going to accuse the New York Times of having bias here — they do, everyone has bias, but the author is getting money from donors — big donors who support Ted Cruz. That has a problem.
Joe Scarborough: You’re going after the author?
Howard Dean: That’s a fact.
Joe Scarborough: That has nothing to do with it. The NYT, Newsweek, other publications are following these leads. You’re trying to trace it back to an author.
You’re actually going to have to condemn the New York Times, Joe Becker and Mike McIntyre, they’re the ones that wrote this story.
You can probably find one right here, whatever the political story is, by the fifth paragraph they’re substituting their judgement for news.
Joe Scarborough: Howard, I consider you a good friend of mine, I think it is unbecoming for you to come on this show, and to just reflexively attack everybody that tries to bring up any information that goes against what you want people to hear…
Howard Dean: There are plenty of people who write for the New York Times and every other paper that I think are incredibly sloppy, and I could name a lot of them. Including some well-known correspondents on various networks, some of whom carried this story who basically put up stuff–
I have been threatened by reporters, they were going to run a story that they knew wasn’t true and I knew wasn’t true unless they produced evidence to prove it wasn’t true. That’s what you learn when you run for president…
Mika Brzezinski: Do you think that Bill Clinton should take $500,000 from a speech in Moscow while all these other dealings are going on? And While Hillary Clinton is Sec. of State?
Howard Dean: I don’t know the circumstances. I have no idea.
Mika Brzezinski: Come on!
Bloomberg’s Joshua Green finally brought sanity back to the MSNBC set and shuts up Howard Dean by speaking some truth. He points out that the author of the book, Peter Schweizer, is well-respected and that the Clinton’s haven’t answered any of the allegations. In fact, they can’t seem to explain why any of what has been reported is wrong…
Can I jump in? I actually have read the New York Times story. I got up this morning and read it.
And one of the things that is disclosed in the story is that the Clintons got millions of dollars in donations, that weren’t disclosed, as they had agreed with the Obama administration they would do.
So there are serious charges. There is real reporting here…
The sort of character assassination of Peter Schweizer. It is worth remembering
He wrote a very well regarded book about the Bushes, he wrote a book about insider trading in Congress that LED to the bipartisan Stock Act of 2012. He tends to kind of get smeared, but it’s worth remembering this is a serious guy who has done serious work that led to a serious article. And to Jonathan’s point, the one thing we haven’t seen is anyone from the Clinton world come out and rebut the charges and say here is why they’re wrong, here’s why we took this money. Here’s why we didn’t disclose it. That is the next step in this story.