Washington Post columnist David Ignatius said Tuesday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton cannot recover from the perception among voters that she is untrustworthy.
Ignatius stressed that the formal findings of the FBI investigation into Clinton’s private email server would not help her overcome poor poll numbers concerning her honesty and trustworthiness.
Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski showed a Suffolk University/USA Today poll that said 61% of voters felt alarmed by the 2016 election. She then asked Ignatius how this figure would effect Clinton in the long run coming on the heels of her interview with the FBI.
"I just want to know, when you first heard the news breaking about the meeting with the FBI, what is your gut on this email story?" Brzezinski asked. "You and I both know it’s a story. I think the bigger question all along is, do people care?"
"My gut, Mika, is that Secretary Clinton is probably winning the legal battle but is definitely losing the trust battle," Ignatius said.
"I’m told by defense lawyers I talked to last night [that] this kind of meeting late in the investigation, which appears to have been voluntary–she wasn’t subpoenaed; she wasn’t compelled to come. Defense lawyers only allow their clients to come to such meetings if they are fairly sure an indictment is not coming," Ignatius added. "That’s not 100 percent, but that is how people read it."
Ignatius also said that the private meeting last week between Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch adds to the perception that the Clintons are not trustworthy and play by a different set of rules.
"On the trust side of this, on how it looks, it seems to get worse and worse," Ignatius said. "The meeting between Bill Clinton, the former president, and Attorney General Lynch couldn’t have looked worse. There is just no way you would be able to erase that no matter what formal finding is issued."
"I think she is going to have to deal with that. The Clintons think they are different. The usual rules don’t apply to them. I think that’s out there, and I think it will be harder to get rid of after this, no matter what the formal finding," Ignatius said.
Clinton’s ongoing trust issues have continued to follow her on the campaign trail as she moves into the general election.