Don Lemon Suggests Tape of Hillary Clinton Laughing About Child Rape Case Isn't Authentic

October 16, 2016

CNN host Don Lemon suggested Wednesday that a tape of Hillary Clinton laughing about the details of a 1975 child rape case she defended was not authentic.

He will be disappointed to learn his network has reported on the tapes of Clinton talking to journalist Roy Reed on numerous occasions. The Washington Free Beacon's Alana Goodman, who's now with the Daily Mail, broke the story in 2014 when she discovered the tapes in archives at the University of Arkansas. CNN itself did a lengthy report on the subject, in addition to numerous panel discussions on the tapes.

When former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski brought up the case on Wednesday, including how Clinton argued the 12-year-old victim had fantasies for older men, Lemon eagerly said he was "glad" Lewandowski brought it up. The host produced fact-checks addressing a different element, regarding false claims that Clinton had laughed at the victim herself.

In the actual tape, Clinton recalled the "fascinating" case and how her client passed a polygraph, which "forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs." Clinton laughs while discussing this detail. She also laughed about preventing a "miscarriage of justice" by bringing in an expert from New York to cast doubt on the prosecution's forensic evidence. The rapist eventually pleaded guilty to a minor charge.

As Lewandowski tried to make this point about what Clinton actually laughed about in the tapes, Lemon and Clinton supporter Maria Cardona continually cut him off.

"So the audio tape isn't accurate?" Lewandowski asked.

"It's a false accusation," Lemon said, again ignoring the point Lewandowski was trying to make.

"It's a doctored audio tape, that's what we're saying?" Lewandowski asked.

"It's a false accusation, Corey. It's not the truth," Lemon said. "It's not even clear that it's her on the audio tape."

"It's absolutely her on the audio tape," Lewandowski said.

"I would tell our viewers to go listen to it," Lemon said.

He continually told Lewandowski his claims were "false," but Lewandowski's statement was absolutely true that she laughed about the polygraph test.

Lemon also repeated the assertion that Clinton was appointed to the case without choice, when she in fact told Reed she defended the rapist as a "favor" to the prosecutor. PolitiFact did a fact-check later and concluded it wasn't a contradiction for her to claim in later years that she had no choice but to take the case.

CNN has had numerous issues with reporting on the Clinton tapes. Anderson Cooper cast doubt on the same subject in May when Donald Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany brought up the tapes. Cooper claimed CNN had never reported on them or authenticated them, but he was rebuffed shortly after by contributor Mary Katharine Ham.

Goodman herself had thoughts on the matter on Twitter.