Another major media interview with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, another missed opportunity to ask Clinton about her role in the Russian collusion scam.
Edward Luce, the U.S. national editor for the Financial Times (FT), recently interviewed Clinton over lunch at a Washington hotel. FT published parts of the interview on June 18.
Like virtually every other reporter with the mainstream media, Luce asked mostly softball questions and never asked about what she knew and when she knew it with respect to her campaign’s financing of the now-discredited Steele dossier.
It isn’t that Luce is unaware of the allegations. As an aside, he notes that the interview took place on the day a Clinton campaign legal adviser, Michael Sussmann, was acquitted of the charge “that he improperly influenced the FBI to investigate links between Donald Trump’s campaign and the Kremlin.”
But the big news from the Sussmann trial was that Clinton’s former campaign manager, Robby Mook, testified that Clinton knew and approved the Steele dossier project in an effort to undermine Donald Trump.
George Washington Law School Professor Jonathan Turley outlined the whole scheme in The Hill: “[T]here was her former campaign manager, Robby Mook, telling a jury that Clinton personally approved a plan to spread the claim of covert communications between the Trump organization and the Russian bank.”
The tentacles of this scheme eventually led to falsely accusing several other people of collusion, an FBI agent lying to the FISA Court, widespread media promotion as if it were a true story and eventually a special counsel, Robert Mueller, who spent two years and millions of taxpayer dollars investigating the allegations only to find no evidence of Russian collusion.
Turley concludes: “It was one of the most successful disinformation campaigns in American politics, and Mook implicated Clinton as green-lighting the gas-lighting of the electorate.”
And did I mention that last March it was reported that the Federal Election Commission (FEC) fined the Clinton campaign $8,000 and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) $105,000 for “failing to properly report money spent on research for the dossier”? The Clinton campaign paid $175,000 and the DNC paid more than $849,000 for what they falsely claimed were “legal services,” when what they were really doing was funding the Steele dossier.
Clinton’s paying the fine was a tacit admission of guilt.
Shouldn’t those facts make a reporter curious? Not Luce. If he asked Clinton about those issues, they don’t appear in his rather fawning interview.
In fact, Clinton has conducted several public interviews in the past few months (e.g., with “PBS NewsHour’s” Judy Woodruff and on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”) to talk about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, women’s rights and other issues. She also talked with NPR’s Scott Simon last October. The reporters and interviewers often asked for her thoughts on the state of democracy in the United States.
Not one of those interviewers or others that I have seen has brought up Clinton’s involvement and funding of the Steele dossier. Or as Turley so vividly put it, her “green-lighting the gas-lighting of the electorate.”
But they have given her time to express her deep concerns about democracy in the United States, and she gladly embraces the opportunity. The Financial Times’ Luce quotes Clinton as saying at the end of the interview. “We are standing on the precipice of losing our democracy, and everything that everybody else cares about then goes out the window.”
I think it’s fair to say that most mainstream media journalists, if given the chance to interview Trump, would press him about his false claims that he won the 2020 election. They would see that as a journalistic duty, and they would be right.
But those same journalists, when given the chance to interview Clinton, seem too enamored and thankful to be in the great lady’s presence to bring up her own role in undermining democracy.
Luce ends the interview with this Clinton quote, “Look, the most important thing is to win the next election. The alternative is so frightening that whatever does not help you win should not be a priority.”
Clinton took extraordinary steps to try to win the 2016 election. Should “whatever does not help you win should not be a priority” be a warning to all of us about steps she or others may take in 2022 — or 2024?