NBC: Democrats Think the Clinton Campaign is 'in Denial' Over Email Scandal

August 20, 2015

NBC reporter Kristen Welker said many Democrats think the Hillary Clinton campaign is "in denial" over the severity of her private email scandal when she continually brushes off the controversy as a media-engineered, partisan witch hunt.

Welker asked Clinton at the conclusion of a tense press conference Tuesday whether she felt the issue wasn't going away for her campaign, to which Clinton replied with a shrug, "Nobody talks to me about it other than you guys," meaning the media.

Thursday on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Welker said Clinton was off-base when she said voters didn't care about her use of a private, unsecured server that passed along classified information while secretary of state.

"I think it is a legitimate story, and I don't think it's just a construct of the media or of the Republicans for that matter," Welker said. "Her response that this is something that we only ask about, that we only care about, just doesn't square with the conversations that I have with voters, quite frankly. Independents, undecideds, and yes, Democrats, who say they have questions about this. They want answers from her."

Welker said there was a sense from the campaign that it would try to step up efforts to do "damage control" with their supporters.

"I've been talking to some Democrats who say they're worried that this is a campaign in denial about how serious this issue really is, and the fact that it is resonating with voters, and we're seeing that of course bear out in some of these polls," she said.

Clinton's wide lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) has continually dwindled over the past few months, and she trails him in the key primary state of New Hampshire. Her trustworthiness numbers were terrible in a new Quinnipiac poll in the battleground states of Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, with nearly twice as many people viewing her as dishonest rather than honest in each state's survey.

Bloomberg's John Heilemann said almost every Democratic voter asked him about the Clinton scandal when he was at the Iowa State Fair over the past week. He described potential Clinton supporters as "a little nervous, a little queasy" about the ongoing revelations compared to Sanders, who "seems clean."