'Morning Joe' Rips Clinton's Hypocrisy on Obama-Muslim Rumors: 'It All Started With Her'

September 21, 2015

MSNBC's Morning Joe panelists said Monday that Hillary Clinton was hypocritical in her denunciation of Donald Trump for not dismissing a supporter's claim that President Obama is a Muslim, given that rumor's origins with her failed 2008 presidential campaign.

Clinton's team was sharply criticized in 2008 for circulating a photo of Obama, a Christian, on a diplomatic trip to Kenya adorned in a turban, and Slate reported Clinton asked two staffers to resign in December 2007 for passing along the false rumors. Also, Clinton infamously hedged when asked about the issue on 60 Minutes, saying there was no basis to believe Obama was a Muslim "as far as I know."

"It was rich this weekend ... For Hillary Clinton to come out and criticize anybody for spreading the rumors about Barack Obama, when it all started with her and her campaign passing things around in the Democratic primary, rich," host Joe Scarborough said. "Now, the Republicans are wrong for doing what they're doing. This started with Hillary Clinton, and it was spread by the Clinton team in 2008."

Co-host Mika Brzezinski, who's said she'll support Clinton while vehemently criticizing her email scandal, solemnly agreed with Scarborough, saying, "We're just telling the truth. Sorry."

Former Democratic congressman Harold Ford, Jr., protested, saying he couldn't sit idly by if the pair made claims without evidentiary support. Former Obama adviser Steve Rattner pointed to panelist John Heilemann to back up Brzezinski and Scarborough, given Heilemann's work as co-author of Game Change, a comprehensive account of the various players and dramas of the 2008 election cycle.

"I don't recall that," Ford said. "But if you're telling me that was the case, I just don't recall."

"It was the case," Heilemann said. "I'm affirming the Scarborough-Brzezinski assertion."

"Thank you, John Heilemann," Scarborough said.

"Didn't she go on 60 Minutes and not actually say no?" Brzezinski asked. "What was that, Harold?"