Video: Hillary's flailing attempt to explain the email scandal to Chuck Todd

Perhaps it’s the influence of the Pope inspiring everyone to go do the right thing or just something to do with the super-moon tonight. Whatever the reason, Hillary Clinton finally agreed to go on Meet the Press with Chuck Todd and answer some questions about her email server scandal. The results, while not clearing the air or providing Hillary with any new, sustainable defense, were still enlightening.

The first subject pushed forward by Todd dealt with the obvious conclusion drawn by many observers on both sides of the aisle: why would someone go to all the trouble and expense of setting up their own private email server in their own home unless they had something to hide or were just trying to make it more difficult for Congress or the media to get access to them? Clinton starts off by laughing and asking, “Another conspiracy theory?” But she does make another attempt after Chuck finishes explaining the question.

EDIT: NBC blocked these videos. Apparently they make Hillary look bad.

It’s totally ridiculous. It never crossed my mind.

Well, now that we’ve got that cleared up…

Next Chuck moves on to the obvious hole in all of Clinton’s stories to date. Why were the emails requested by State in the first place? He points out that her previous answer doesn’t hold water because there were specific problems identified in her record keeping rather than being some general request of all Secretaries of State as she claimed. Can she explain that?

EDIT: NBC blocked these videos. Apparently they make Hillary look bad.

We have explained it. The campaign has explained it. When the committee – I think the 8th or 9th committee investigating Benghazi – asked for information from the State Department they were doing a survey. And they found discrepancies in their record keeping, not in my records, per se, but in their overall record keeping. There were gaps. And that’s why they sent that letter and that’s why we did the overall, comprehensive search for everything.

I really love how she refers to “the campaign” doing things as if they are totally outside of her control and she only hears about it later. It’s very similar to how she has repeatedly stated that “The State Department” approved her activities to begin with, apparently hoping that nobody will recall that she was “The State Department” at the time. And that’s exactly where her answer comes to a close when she says that the State Department “had gaps” in their record keeping. Except those were the records she left them because, again… she was the State Department when the records were created. It’s an amazing delivery, I have to admit.

Finally, Chuck gets to the recently discovered chain of Petraeus emails and, most importantly, the fact that some of them date to January of 2009 when she repeatedly claimed that the system was only used after March. Chuck hits this one pretty hard, reminding Clinton that she made a statement under oath that all of the records have been turned over and asks if she can explain that discrepancy. The answer he finally gets out of her shows how Clinton still hasn’t come up with the beginning of a clue as to how she’s going to talk her way out of this one.

EDIT: NBC blocked these videos. Apparently they make Hillary look bad.

Well, everything that we had access to was certainly out there. The reason we know about the email chain with General Petraeus is because it was on a government server. So from my perspective we have a very thorough review process that we conducted. My attorneys supervised it, they went through everything, and what we had available at the time was turned over.

What does that even mean? She’s clearly trying to circle back to the first of her many explanations since this affair began when she said that she assumed that any emails she sent to government officials were captured on government servers, but that wasn’t the question. Chuck points out to her repeatedly that those emails came from the domain. You know… the one in your house? How were any of them records that she didn’t have access to? If she didn’t have access, then who did? It’s a complete non-answer.

I’m going to give credit to Chuck Todd on this one. He didn’t get very aggressive or challenge her on the non-answers extensively, but at least he put her on record about the questions which have been hanging over this debacle like a toxic smog. Clinton’s inability to come up with any sort of believable – or even coherent – answers tells the public pretty much all they need to know.

In closing, the RNC put out the following response shortly after the interview ended:

“Hillary Clinton continues to mislead the American people about her email scandal because the facts are not on her side. Not only did Hillary Clinton withhold emails she certified were turned over, she continues to perpetuate falsehoods about being transparent when the server itself was an exercise in skirting public records laws. The fact she is now blaming a ‘conspiracy theory’ for her sinking poll numbers shows how desperate she has become.”

RNC spokesman Michael Short