Mitchell: I didn’t ask Hillary some questions because I thought she’d end the interview

posted at 2:01 pm on September 8, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

Profiles in Courage Media Edition, or just the realities of campaign coverage?  NBC News broadcast a 15-minute interview by Andrea Mitchell of Hillary Clinton, who offered her usual denials on the e-mail scandal and refused to apologize for using a secret server to thwart legitimate oversight over her office. Almost as soon as the interview aired, more problems emerged for her narrative, including the fact that she was paying a State Department IT specialist off the books to maintain the server without ever disclosing that fact. Despite her denials, the CIA and the NGA both verified that two e-mails sent to Hillary did contain Top Secret/compartmented information regarding North Korea’s nuclear weapons, including satellite-developed intelligence, which would be so obviously classified that it’s impossible to believe Hillary’s denials.

On Morning Joe earlier today, Mika Brzezinski vented her frustration at the continuing dishonesty of Hillary Clinton. Mitchell, a guest on the show, noted that she didn’t press Hillary on some points of the e-mail scandal because of time limitations — and the fear that Hillary would walk out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAZDTYC877o

One of the issues is we were told we had a 15-minute interview. I asked more than 12 minutes on the e-mails before I felt, out of concern that they would, you know, cut it off obviously, that I had to move on. So I couldn’t ask everything that I did want to ask, but I think we did get a good chance to ask a lot of questions and discover that she did not have an answer for why she did the personal server in the first place.

We can infer a lot of things from her background, from the way she was introduced to national politics in the middle of all of the troubles of her husband was incurring during the New Hampshire primary in 1992. There are a lot of reasons why, perhaps, she did this, but she’s never answered it herself. So we don’t have an explanation as to why choose only a personal server, not having the official one as well.

A few points in Mitchell’s favor: Access to politicians is usually tightly time-controlled, especially presidential candidates, so a 15-minute window is pretty common. Newsbusters actually transcribed all of Mitchell’s questions to Hillary, and at least a dozen focused on the e-mail scandal. There were only 11 other questions, two of which went to Huma Abedin’s employment arrangements at State, and a couple more questions about whether the migrant crisis in Europe reflected poorly on the foreign policy Hillary and Obama put in place. It wasn’t all softballs afterward, in other words.

In fact, Mitchell did ask the question — twice — but Hillary dodged it:

MITCHELL: Do you know what a lot of people are asking? Why? Why have just a personal system? You’ve said that it was because it was convenient.

CLINTON: Yes.

MITCHELL: Clearly from the e-mails that were released it wasn’t convenient. There were a lot of, you know, confusing things, there were breakdowns, there were outages. Why do that? Were you trying to keep reporters or investigating committees away?

CLINTON: No.

MITCHELL: What was the defensive mode?

CLINTON: Well, I had a personal e-mail. I had a personal e-mail when I was in the Senate, as the vast majority of senators do.

MITCHELL: Understood.

CLINTON: It was very convenient. I did all my business on my personal e-mail.

MITCHELL: But you’re a member of the national security cabinet.

Perhaps Mitchell could have pressed it and lost the opportunity to ask the other questions. That seems rather unlikely, though, considering the situation in which Hillary finds herself now and the high profile of NBC News. The headlines from a walkout (on NBC, of all venues!) would have been brutal, and Mitchell would have gotten tons of attention for her tenacity. It’s a strange fear to cite for a reporter of Mitchell’s stature, but in this case, she did try repeatedly to get Hillary to come clean, even if that didn’t actually succeed. One can’t fault Mitchell on effort; the fault, as Brzezinski clearly communicates, lies with Hillary’s dishonesty.

Later, the Morning Joe panel discusses the planned spontaneity and the crafted authenticity of the upcoming Hillary reboot. Mark Halperin can’t keep a straight face while describing it, noting that it’s better to show rather than tell, but “in this case, they’re going to tell.” That’s because they can’t show, and everyone on that stage knows it (via The Right Scoop):

I’ll give the last word to … David Axelrod?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Andrea Mitchell, speaking mute to power!

What a bloody hack!

Bishbop on September 8, 2015 at 2:05 PM

The way the entire GOPe media devotes nearly every article, every day to attacking the Republican front runner, the days of trying to rile up the base by pointing at mainstream media is OVER.

You are no better

kunegetikos on September 8, 2015 at 2:05 PM

I would expect nothing less from a sycophant stenographer.

locomotivebreath1901 on September 8, 2015 at 2:09 PM

Thank you Mrs. Greenspan.

Oil Can on September 8, 2015 at 2:09 PM

Please excuse me, but isn’t that the job of a reporter?? Keep asking tough questions until they get an answer??

Asking for a friend.

Lord Whorfin on September 8, 2015 at 2:10 PM

DNC spokesperson Andrea Mitchell was able to refrain from Palinizing Her Majesty.

antipc on September 8, 2015 at 2:12 PM

In other words –

Mitchell: I have no journalistic integrity or ethics.

The headlines from a walkout (on NBC, of all venues!) would have been brutal, and Mitchell would have gotten tons of attention for her tenacity. It’s a strange fear to cite for a reporter of Mitchell’s stature, but in this case, she did try repeatedly to get Hillary to come clean, even if that didn’t actually succeed. One can’t fault Mitchell on effort; the fault, as Brzezinski clearly communicates, lies with Hillary’s dishonesty.

Wrong – one CAN fault Mitchell on her effort. She chose to give HRC a pass on asking questions – because Mitchell feared HRC walking out. She would have never made that same call if she was interviewing a Republican or a Conservative candidate. She would have pressed the person being interviewed to walk out – to push back because that would have been an even bigger story.

If not for their double standards, the left would have no standards.

Athos on September 8, 2015 at 2:12 PM

“The new Nixon, it’s exciting”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

The old dishrag is getting Nixon’s name attached to hers now.

Bishop on September 8, 2015 at 2:14 PM

These journalists couldn’t be any more toothless if they had been curb stomped daily. And, in fact, they likely would be if they ever questioned Her Thighness.

Rix on September 8, 2015 at 2:14 PM

Please excuse me, but isn’t that the job of a reporter?? Keep asking tough questions until they get an answer??

Asking for a friend.

Lord Whorfin on September 8, 2015 at 2:10 PM

…they’re not reporters…they’re operatives of the Democrat party

Pelosi Schmelosi on September 8, 2015 at 2:14 PM

It’s a strange fear to cite for a reporter of Mitchell’s stature, but in this case, she did try…

for some reason I’m reminded of the Kentucky Mumbler going on about having an out of body experience when sitting in Obama’s company

DanMan on September 8, 2015 at 2:15 PM

Andrea is a media cadaver, who’s interviewed a real one.

Schadenfreude on September 8, 2015 at 2:20 PM

A question not asked: “Why did you wipe the server clean before you turned it over to the FBI?”

albill on September 8, 2015 at 2:20 PM

Another question not asked, “How many times a day do you and Bill laugh out loud when you think about Republican Congressional members investigating your National Security breach of illegal posting and passing on of Classified information on your private email server?”

albill on September 8, 2015 at 2:23 PM

At least Mika isn’t prefacing every comment with, “I am still going to vote for her, but…”

Johnnyreb on September 8, 2015 at 2:24 PM

She’s full of it, the Clintons don’t do interviews unless the questions are pre-approved….

Hank_Scorpio on September 8, 2015 at 2:24 PM

She would be perfect as a debate moderator.

newportmike on September 8, 2015 at 2:26 PM

She’s Woodward, Bernstein, Cronkite, AND Edward R. Murrow…

With Dan Rather’s “courage”.

ConstantineXI on September 8, 2015 at 2:29 PM

A question not asked: “Why did you wipe the server clean before you turned it over to the FBI?”

albill on September 8, 2015 at 2:20 PM

In fairness to Andrea, she did ask something like that:

Why did you wipe the server clean even after you knew that a congressional committee or more committees were investigating and why delete the 30,000 or so e-mails that were deemed personal? And how were – how did you decide what to delete, what not to delete?

J.S.K. on September 8, 2015 at 2:29 PM

So, you think Andrea is going to be this deferential when she interviews Republicans?

Iblis on September 8, 2015 at 2:29 PM

Yes, because Hillary ending the interview over email questions would somehow be less newsworthy than her spouting gas on subjects she was more comfortable addressing.

fitzfong on September 8, 2015 at 2:32 PM

A genuine investigate reporter would have asked:

“Was your personal server illegal, yes or no.”

Bishop on September 8, 2015 at 2:32 PM

Imagine if Mitchell were interviewing Trump or Cruz or Fiorina, she’d have LOVED to have one of them storm out of the interview so she could do a story on how ill prepared and thin skinned they were.

jnelchef on September 8, 2015 at 2:33 PM

Bitchell: “I didn’t ask luscious, future president Hillary some questions because I thought she’d end the interview … and, as one of her most ardent supporters, I didn’t want my orgasm to end.”

Pork-Chop on September 8, 2015 at 2:33 PM

Couldn’t she edit the footage to make Shrillary say something stupid like she did with Mitt’s WaWa comment?

Flange on September 8, 2015 at 2:34 PM

Andrea Mitchell probably didn’t ask tough questions, not because she’s a liberal democrat herself, but because they share the same social circle. It’s tough to be an objective reporter when interviewing a political ally, but even tougher when interviewing a friend.

crco on September 8, 2015 at 2:35 PM

Andrea is just waiting for the announcement of a Biden campaign or heaven forbid a Warren campaign. Then she wont worry about Hillary getting up and leaving. For now, she followed her marching orders from the Oval Office, “make her squirm a little, but ease off the tough stuff for now.”

Neitherleftorright on September 8, 2015 at 2:37 PM

Another question not asked, “Given the sensitivity of your position, how did you expect to deal with classified matters if you were only going to use an unsecured personal email account?”

Dexter_Alarius on September 8, 2015 at 2:38 PM

Mitchell: I didn’t ask Hillary some questions because I had to get down on
my knees and do a Huma…

Mister Ghost on September 8, 2015 at 2:40 PM

There’s Ugly, then there’s Andrea Mitchell.

ToddPA on September 8, 2015 at 2:44 PM

“And besides…..no one she’s talking with on the campaign trail is asking her about this….except reporters”

I wonder…..will citizens start asking the new and improved Hillary about her national security problems?

BobMbx on September 8, 2015 at 2:46 PM

She didn’t show that kind of “respect” for Frank Rizzo in her days at KYW, that’s for damn sure.

either orr on September 8, 2015 at 2:46 PM

There’s Ugly, then there’s Andrea Mitchell. (insert any Left-Tarded woman here)

ToddPA on September 8, 2015 at 2:44 PM

…fixed for accuracy…

Pelosi Schmelosi on September 8, 2015 at 2:47 PM

Andrea Mitchell was just complaining a week or two ago that she can’t believe the media is still talking about Hillary’s email scandal and how she wished the media would just move on. Of course she wasn’t going to ask her about it. Democrats sure have it easy with the media sometimes.

supernova on September 8, 2015 at 2:57 PM

Why did you wipe the server clean even after you knew that a congressional committee or more committees were investigating and why delete the 30,000 or so e-mails that were deemed personal?

Simle, because she doesn’t trust the FBI to look through her private emails on her unsecured server just because there is some so-called Top Secret emails in there also.

pedestrian on September 8, 2015 at 3:02 PM

In other words –

Mitchell: I have no journalistic integrity or ethics.

The headlines from a walkout (on NBC, of all venues!) would have been brutal, and Mitchell would have gotten tons of attention for her tenacity. It’s a strange fear to cite for a reporter of Mitchell’s stature, but in this case, she did try repeatedly to get Hillary to come clean, even if that didn’t actually succeed. One can’t fault Mitchell on effort; the fault, as Brzezinski clearly communicates, lies with Hillary’s dishonesty.

Wrong – one CAN fault Mitchell on her effort. She chose to give HRC a pass on asking questions – because Mitchell feared HRC walking out. She would have never made that same call if she was interviewing a Republican or a Conservative candidate. She would have pressed the person being interviewed to walk out – to push back because that would have been an even bigger story.

If not for their double standards, the left would have no standards.

Athos on September 8, 2015 at 2:12 PM

The headlines would have indeed been brutal — castigating Mitchell for being mean to Hillary — and she knew it.
There would be no downside to pushing an R to walk off — even the GOP would not complain for more than a few minutes.

AesopFan on September 8, 2015 at 3:05 PM

There would be no downside to pushing an R to walk off — even the GOPGOPe would not complain for more than a few minutes.

AesopFan on September 8, 2015 at 3:05 PM

FIFY.

Who is John Galt on September 8, 2015 at 3:19 PM

a.m. is not a reporter, nor journalist. She’s simply a news reader, and has to advance the liberal/progressive agenda.

rightside on September 8, 2015 at 3:21 PM

Would “journalists” have refrained from asking a man these questions?

What is it about a woman that she can’t be asked tough questions? Shame on Andrea for not treating Hillary equally.

jjjdad on September 8, 2015 at 3:22 PM

And because I didn’t want to get uninvited to any good cocktail parties

rik on September 8, 2015 at 3:35 PM

Well, of COURSE Andrea did not press this “Email” thingie that the proletariat seems so wrapped up in.
The intelligentsia do not ask uncomfortable things of each other publicly. It is simply Not Done. Gives the mistaken impression that they owe the citizenry some sort of explanation.
As If.

orangemtl on September 8, 2015 at 3:36 PM

Craven.

John the Libertarian on September 8, 2015 at 3:53 PM

MITCHELL: But you’re a member of the national security cabinet.

And?

Why not follow that up with something like:

“and as Secretary of State you knew that other members of the Administration would have to share classified information with you, and a private server is less secure than a government server.
Why did you take the risk of allowing classified information into the hands of our enemies?”

Or maybe:

“Why did you not want the rest of the State Department to know what you were doing? What were you trying to hide?”

Mitchell shouldn’t worry about Hillary walking out of the interview. That would have exposed her as having something to hide, and further damaged her campaign. But that’s probably what Mitchell was really worried about.

Steve Z on September 8, 2015 at 4:08 PM

Scott Johnson at Power Line had the best analysis of this Mitchell interview last Friday.

Excerpts:

Mitchell was well chosen by the Clinton team; she appears to be (a) member of the team who is utterly uninformed about the relevant issues bearing on Madam Hillary’s use of a private email/server setup.

-snip-

Is she sorry? She’s sorry you’re so blasted stupid. “At the end of the day, I am sorry that this has been confusing to people and has raised a lot of questions,” she said. She assures us that “there are answers to all these questions.” On that we can agree. Asked twice if she was sorry about choosing to have a private email server in the first place, Clinton simply said she would have made a “different choice.”

One choice she doesn’t regret. She doesn’t regret her choice of Andrea Mitchell for the interview and she feels no need to apologize for Mitchell’s stupidity. Indeed, she is grateful for it.

Del Dolemonte on September 8, 2015 at 4:13 PM

My respect for Andrea would have reversed its downward spiral if she had risked that outcome. But, she continues to reinforce my disappointment.

jake49 on September 8, 2015 at 4:21 PM

Here we go again with another round of “what if it was a Republican”.

Can anyone imagine a reporter shying away from tough questions with a Republican interview subject? They would absolutely revel in the theater of having him or her end the interview early and would be playing that part of the interview on an endless loop.

flipflop on September 8, 2015 at 4:22 PM

They would absolutely revel in the theater of having him or her end the interview early and would be playing that part of the interview on an endless loop.

flipflop on September 8, 2015 at 4:22 PM

Yep. Is it too soon to start shooting the bastards?

“America is at that awkward stage. It’s too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.” – 101 Things to Do ‘Til the Revolution (1996)”

Who is John Galt on September 8, 2015 at 4:46 PM

The problem Mitchell, Todd, etc. will always have interviewing the likes of Hillary or Obama is that they accord them the dignity of royalty. If it were David Koch in the seat, the gloves would be off and they would not fear offending him.

The Clinton-Obama taming of the press consists of banning those who ask the tough questions and won’t accept the dodgy answers, calling their publishers if necessary. Given how they limit their exposure to news media already, reporters are intimidated at the prospect of making the sh¡t list. And since almost all of the DC press corps are leftist Democrats anyway, they wouldn’t push the toughest questions even if they could.

Adjoran on September 8, 2015 at 5:09 PM

Ms. Clinton, if elected President:

Would you allow any members of your cabinet or their staff to have a private email server or conduct government business over a non-government supplied electronic device?

What would you do if a member of your cabinet or their staff were suspected by two Inspectors General and three of your intelligence agencies of mishandling confidential information?

If you speak the names of under cover CIA agents, do you consider that leaking classified information since they are not Marked Classified?

barnone on September 8, 2015 at 5:16 PM

Andrea Mitchell, speaking mute to power!

What a bloody hack!

Bishbop on September 8, 2015 at 2:05 PM

..well, I’d ordinarily agree that she is one at least once per month but, then again, she’s got to be well into menopause, eh, Bishop?

The War Planner on September 8, 2015 at 5:33 PM

Mitchell: I didn’t ask Hillary some questions because I thought she’d end the interview

And if it were a Republican candidate Mitchell would be doing her best to make them walk off the set in anger to make them look as bad as possible.

RJL on September 8, 2015 at 8:47 PM

Did Mitchell fear the abrupt end of an interview… or the subsequent “payback” in lost access?

Reminds me of Easton Jordan, so concerned with CNN’s “access” to Saddam Hussein’s government that CNN often buried stories that might upset the insane dictator.

Jumpintimmy on September 9, 2015 at 1:28 AM