Morning Joe Trashes ‘Pathetic’ Spin by Clintons to Defend Conduct With Foundation

August 25, 2016

MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Thursday lambasted the spin used by Hillary Clinton and her supporters to defend her conduct with the Clinton Foundation while at the State Department.

Morning Joe first reported how Chelsea Clinton plans to remain on the board of the foundation if her mother wins the presidency and that the foundation will continue to take certain donations the Clintons had previously said it would not take, before playing a clip of a Wednesday interview with Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon.

"More than half the people in the world receiving AIDS drugs received them from the Clinton Foundation. So, no, the Clinton Foundation will not be completely shuttering its work even if Clinton wins the presidency and for good reason," Fallon said. "They want to continue this work, and you know what, if any American voter is troubled by the idea that the Clintons want to continue working to solve the AIDS crisis on the side while Hillary Clinton is president, then don’t vote for her."

The Morning Joe panel then had harsh criticism for the Clinton camp.

"That is so pathetic," co-host Joe Scarborough said. "You all are not really that pathetic, are you?"

"Please don’t be," co-host Mika Brzezinski said.

"Are you really that pathetic? Are you really that pathetic?" Scarborough said. "You’re going to actually say that if Bill Clinton doesn’t have the opportunity to shake down billionaires, that AIDS will not be cured."

"So, I guess if we’re keeping score at home, Barack Obama is Moses and has the ability to stop the tides from rising," he added.

"And Bill Clinton shaking down billionaires in Kazakhstan while doing deals on the side and getting paid $550,000 for a one hour speech, that’s our only path forward to curing AIDS," Scarborough said. "You’re not really that pathetic, are you? Because if that’s the best line of attack you have, you need to go back to middle school and start all over again."

"Again, it gets to judgment. It doesn’t get to corruption as far as I’m concerned," columnist Mike Barnicle said. "It gets to judgment. Why they don’t announce that the Clinton Global Foundation will be melded into the Gates Foundation to remove any sense of conflict of interest–"

"Because then it won’t be about them. Because then it won’t be about Bill Clinton," Scarborough interjected.

"Bill Gates doesn’t shake down people for $550,000 for a one-hour speech," Scarborough added.

Morning Joe then played responses from both Hillary and Bill Clinton to the foundation criticism, leading Scarborough and the panel to continue bashing them.

"They cannot help themselves," Scarborough said.

"I want to see them explain so I can understand better for myself why donations from foreign governments and corporations are potentially corrupting, but from rich people in America it’s not potentially corrupting," New York Times reporter Nicholas Confessore said. "So, I’m not sure why they have made that the line in the sand for how they’re going to place the ethics of this conflict of interest. I’m very confused by it."

Scarborough asked Confessore about what former Clinton aide and ABC host George Stephanopoulos said on the issue.

"Nick, what did George Stephanopoulos say about giving money to the foundation?" Scarborough asked.

"I don’t know. What did he say?" Confessore said.

"You do it for access. You write the check to the Clinton Foundation because you want access," Scarborough said. "That’s a guy who knows."

Bloomberg’s John Heilemann then said what he believes is a proof of whether donors care more about the causes of the foundation or access to the Clintons.

"If the donors care about the programs, they’ll keep writing the checks. If the donors care about access, they’ll stop writing the checks," Scarborough said. "That’s the bottom line."