Morning Joe Panel Beats Up Mook for Not Answering Questions About Clinton’s Stances

• September 21, 2016 9:23 am


Hillary Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook was blasted by Morning Joe's panelists on Wednesday for not answering questions about Clinton's stance on issues, particularly Syria.

"We love you, buddy, but what are you here for if you can't answer basic questions?" asked MSNBC's Joe Scarborough. "I mean, I don't know if there's a—I mean, we may be tiptoeing into Gary Johnson territory here if you don't know the answer to that basic of a question. What is the response to Aleppo? Then why do we have you here?"

Before this happened, Mook stated that he was happy with his relationship with the press when asked if the pneumonia incident had affected that relationship.

MSNBC's Willie Geist then asked Mook about Clinton's tenure as secretary of State.

"Hillary Clinton was secretary of state when this crisis began," he said. "What's her biggest regret about the way Syria's been handled?"

Mook dodged this and said that she has been out of office for a long time now.

"I understand, Robby," Geist said. "What about in Syria, though? She supported the drawings of the red line. Obviously, she was out of her office when Assad used chemical weapons. Was it a mistake to draw the red line if the president was not willing to go, to do something about it when it was crossed?"

He did not answer, then shifted the blame to President Barack Obama.

"Well, as you pointed out, the decision regarding that was made after she was out of office, so I think you'd have to ask President Obama," Mook said.

Geist changed the question and asked Mook if she was disappointed that Obama did not act when the red line was crossed.

He said that Geist would "have to ask her that question."

Geist fired back.

"You're here to speak for her, Robby," he said. "Would you care to discuss that at all?"

He shifted to tell Geist about how Donald Trump has does not have a plan to defeat the Islamic State.

Then, Mike Barnicle asked Mook if Clinton should become president, how she would handle getting food and aid to Aleppo in light of the attack on an aid convoy on Tuesday.

He even prefaced this by telling Mook that they know he was not ever secretary of state, but still wanted to know how Clinton would respond should she get a question like this in the debate.

"What would you do, Secretary Clinton, about providing food, water, and medicine to the citizens of eastern Aleppo today, right now, differently than what the Obama administration is doing?" he asked. "What would she do differently?"

Mook said that Barnicle was going to have to ask Clinton that question.

Scarborough called out Mook, asking why he was even doing the interview if he was not going to answer the "basic questions" being asked.

"Look, you're asking new policy questions," Mook said. "You would have to ask the secretary."

Scarborough fought back.

"New?" he asked. "Aleppo's been around for—Syria's been around for some time."

Geist decided to follow up later in the interview by asking Mook about a policy question that Clinton has campaigned about during her general election run.

"Robby, before we let you go quickly, one aspect of the Syria policy for Secretary Clinton that we do know is she has supported no-fly zones in the country," he said. "Is that still her belief? That no-fly zones are a good idea?"

She has been for implementing no-fly zones in the past.

Mook dodged again.

"I'm going to let her statements speak for themselves," he said.

Geist jabbed back at Mook, asking why he was there, if not to represent Clinton's point of view.

"Robby, aren't you here representing her point of view?" he asked.

"I am, indeed," he responded as he laughed.

No one else laughed.

"You've been saying Donald Trump won't tell us what the policy is, but here you are not telling us what the policy is," Geist said.

MSNBC's Katy Tur was the last to jump in.

"If Donald Trump doesn't have a plan as you're saying he doesn't, I've been on the campaign trail with him, and you can't lay out your plan, how can you convince voters that Hillary Clinton is the better choice, Robby?" she asked.

Mook ended by saying something he said abundantly throughout the panel discussion.

"I'm going to let her words speak for themselves," he said.