Morning Joe Tears Into Clinton Campaign Over Email Spin: Do They Really Think American Public is That Stupid?

Todd: 'It looks like they are reluctantly cooperating with an investigation'

• August 13, 2015 8:11 am


Full transcript below:

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I just — I think I went on for three minutes there trying to tell this story.

CHUCK TODD: You did. Mika, please, we all knew this moment was coming. Six months ago at some point the server was going to end up in the hands of somebody and why they made it so that it got dragged out of them rather than early on them being pro-active, you know, this is now going to do nothing to help her politically. Nothing to help sort of get rid of the taint that they were looking for something to hide and instead it looks like that they are reluctantly cooperating with an investigation. They're not happy about it. But all right. Here you go. Here it is. By the way, it's blank. Good luck. They could have done this six months ago.

COMMENTATOR: Can I point out the spin? The spin is if you read what Clinton staffers are putting out; they're saying this is nonsense. They are playing it up as if it's a partisan witch-hunt like the vast right wing conspiracy. This is the Obama administration's ig, the Obama administration's justice department, the Obama administration's FBI looking into this and the Clinton campaign is playing it up as if somehow Newt Gingrich is somehow secretly behind this. Unbelievable.

COMMENTATOR: Yeah. If the FBI is looking into your handling of e-mail, like it's bad news. You can't spin that. It’s the FBI and they have your e-mail server and they wanted it. Now it's blank.

BRZEZINSKI: I’m just going to read the news. Republican presidential candidates were quick to make hay over the slew of reports on Hillary Clinton’s e-mail server.

JEB BUSH CLIP: And then you have Hillary Clinton who is the secretary of state dealing with confidential information with classified information thinking it was okay to use a private server? Thinking that her server would be safer than the state department's firewalls. We need a president that recognizes that there are threats in the 21st century that are dramatically different than the threats of 30 years ago.

BEN CARSON CLIP: Whether she's in legal trouble or not, if people are paying attention, they recognize that someone in her position who doesn't realize that they are putting the nation's security at risk by doing what they're doing. How in the world are you going to turn the keys over to them? Are you kidding me?

MIKE HUCKABEE CLIP: If Hillary Clinton does in fact prove to have given out top secret e-mails and made those available and sent them to anyone, it's going to be real hard for her to have a consequence that would be much less than that of David petraeus or a crime he was actually convicted and sentenced.

BRZEZINSKI: Sam Stein, so if Hillary Clinton — Hillary Clinton wins the nomination, I would vote for her. But how does she get there with this sort of — how does that happen? How do you have a private e-mail server as secretary of state and scrub it and think that's going to be okay? It’s not nonsense. I said about my vote to explain that it isn't them that we just heard from because that's going to happen when she's on the big stage if she's fighting a republican opponent for presidency. How does this happen? What’s the explanation for this that makes it real?

SAM STEIN: It’s one of the great lingering questions around all of this which is at what point do you decide that you want a strictly personal e-mail account for your public business and what was the reasoning behind it. We can speculate. My guess is that she either wanted to talk politics or she wanted to avoid freedom of information act requests. Clearly the price that she's paying for that decision is enormous. I think we can debate whether it will affect her in a primary election, general election, but for months now we've been talking about this e-mail setup that she had and there's still lingering questions. Mike Huckabee may have gone a little bit ahead of himself there. Clinton has said definitively she never knowingly sent classified information on her e-mail server. If it comes out in the course of this investigation that she did, that would be incredibly damaging.

BRZEZINSKI: To my point, Chuck Todd, this is candidates pretending things don't exist. You’re going to tell me something doesn't exist. I’m going to believe you. And you think the American public is that stupid? That’s very insulting.

TODD: Not only that, she's wasted this whole summer allowing this to be sitting in the background. They could have been fully transparent right from the start and handed over this server immediately and looking back it looks even sillier now that they held this back. You know, their rationale before was, well, you know, this is sort of the if you give a mouse aspect to the Benghazi committee. Now that they've turned it over, they're not getting any benefit for transparency. This thing just continues to linger. When you really look back at this thing, this really has been a poorly handled issue all summer long. It’s been just sitting there like this dark cloud hovering over the campaign.