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Morning Joe Tears Apart Clintons Over AP Pay-for-Play Report: ‘What Were They Thinking?’

• August 24, 2016 10:19 am

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The panel on MSNBC’s Morning Joe tore apart Bill and Hillary Clinton on Wednesday for over half of Hillary’s meetings with people from non-governmental organizations while she was secretary of state being donors to the Clinton Foundation.

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that of the 154 people from private interests who Clinton met at the State Department, 85 either individually or represented organizations that donated significant sums of money to the Clinton Foundation, leading to "pay-for-play" accusations.

"The numbers are staggering. I don’t know what else to say, how else to put it. I want to be careful with what I say here, but I don’t think I can–it’s just so crass," host Joe Scarborough said. "I saw the numbers. I saw the AP report, and I just sat there and I’m like, ‘Are you kidding me?’"

"If she were running against a more credible opponent, this would perhaps be almost a death knell because rather than get to corruption at first, it gets to judgment," columnist Mike Barnicle said. "What were they thinking? Both Clintons. What were they thinking while she was secretary of state to continue this, and it does show it was about access to a certain extent, to a large extent."

"They knew, obviously, that she was going to be running for president at some point. What were they thinking?" Barnicle asked.

"It gets to what we were talking about, Maureen Dowd before the show, what she’s written about for years, just this sort of feeling that Clintonism includes an ideology and a mindset that the rules don’t apply to them," MSNBC contributor Nicolle Wallace said.

"For the Associated Press to write in a news story, this term, that it was ‘an extraordinary proportion,’ shows you just how out of skew this was," Scarborough said. "It really was breathtaking when I read this story."

"Hillary Clinton knew she was going to run for president the minute she lost in 2008. So, she had some ample time to prepare and to position herself to run," NBC’s Willie Geist said. "That presumably would have included not having a private server put into her home to open herself up to that and not taking these donations to the Clinton Foundation."

"And having half of everybody that gets in to see you that’s not in government, like having to give to the Clinton Foundation first," Scarborough said. "And I said it yesterday to James Carville, it’s also giving speeches to state universities that you represented, that you represented as a senator for $250,000."

"There is a lot of poor judgment here," the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein said. "If you go through the list, there’s a lot of poor judgment."