Meyers, Morning Joe Invite Hillary To Call GOP Hypocrites On Classified Materials

News & Politics

Hillary Clinton took her Apple TV Gutsy promotional tour to the Thursday-taped edition Late Night with Seth Meyers on NBC where Meyers wondered why Republicans are such hypocrites on classified materials. The routine repeated itself on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Friday morning with host Willie Geist wondering the same thing.

Meyers, who isn’t the first NBC late night host to recently ask Hillary about document storage, portrayed Hillary as the victim of the worst sort of hypocrisy, “I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask you about this. I don’t know if you’ve noticed in the news, but there’s been an issue about handling classified materials…we’ve had some fun here because we can’t help but find a certain level of hypocrisy from certain people, including the fella who handled this classified material because back in the day…I don’t know if you’ve ever heard this, he thought you should be arrested.”

For her part, Hillary naturally accused Republicans of being not only hypocritical, but also uninformed about her own scandal, “Yeah. And, you know, let me start by saying just for the history books, do you know how many classified documents I had: zero, zero and so, you know, you can’t make this up. I mean, the lies they told, the — you know, heated rhetoric, “Lock her up,” all that nonsense. It was totally political, divorced from reality.”

Even PolitiFact has recently ruled that the zero classified documents talking point obscures the truth, but Meyers didn’t care. 

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Over at Morning Joe, Geist asked, “So, I’m curious what you’ve made of the Justice Department’s handling of the Mar-a-Lago documents. The fact that the president and his team took those classified documents from the White House, put them at his beach club, obstructed efforts to get them back for more than a year. Do you believe the Justice Department will hold him accountable?”

After declaring that nobody is above the law, Clinton repeated the misleading claim she made on Late Night, “You know, at the end of the day, I had zero classified materials on — and all the fuss that was made about what I did and all the rest of it. At the end of the day, after the FBI investigations, two State Department investigations, one under Tillerson, one under Pompeo, frankly looking for something to hold me accountable for, there was nothing there.”

After Clinton concluded her ramblings, Geist, who unlike Meyers is a journalist, also failed to correct the record. Instead, he asked about Republicans:

What do you think, Secretary Clinton, when you hear elected officials, many of them prominent senators, who, some of them calling for you to be put in prison for having the server at your home, now saying of this event, of this incident, ‘well, it’s a bookkeeping issue, it’s a storage problem. There’s nothing to see here’ or Lindsey Graham even saying ‘Well, you know, if you indict this former president, watch out, there gonna be riots in the street.’ Obvious hypocrisy but dangerous, too. What do you make when you hear those things? 

Geist might as well have been Clinton’s press advisor, because she repeated his own words, “Well, exactly what you just said. Dangerous hypocrisy.”

Clinton would go warn that the current situation in the GOP is “how these kinds of authoritarian, totalitarian regimes get started” and cited the media’s favorite fearmongerer, Timothy Snyder, as her proof.

Late Night was sponsored by Liberty Mutual and Morning Joe was sponsored by Discover.

Here is a transcript for the September 16 shows:

NBC Late Night with Seth Meyers

9/16/2022

1:12 AM ET

SETH MEYERS: I — I also – I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask you about this. I don’t know if you’ve noticed in the news, but there’s been an issue about handling classified materials. 

HILLARY CLINTON: Oh, I’ve heard about that yeah.

MEYERS: And we — we’ve had some fun here because we can’t help but find a certain level of hypocrisy from certain people, including the fella who handled this classified material because back in the day – 

CHELSEA CLINTON: Oh, so long ago 

MEYERS: Yeah, so long ago. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard this, he thought you should be arrested.

HILLARY CLINTON: Yeah. And, you know, let me start by saying just for the history books, do you know how many classified documents I had: zero, zero and so, you know, you can’t make this up. I mean, the lies they told, the — you know, heated rhetoric, “Lock her up,” all that nonsense. 

It was totally political, divorced from reality. Now we have a serious problem because if you just read, and I don’t have any inside information, what is being found, nuclear information about an ally or an adversary. Incredibly top secret — the kind of stuff, Seth, that when I was secretary of State, when they talk about secret, top secret, and then special compartmentalized and all of that, sometimes — usually it was a man, usually a military officer, would come into my office and would have a handcuff that was attached to a suitcase in order to show me something that was so secret, he literally had to have it tied to his hand. 

And so, it was locked. And then he would open it. I would read it. I would sign that I’d read it. And he would take it back. That’s what some of those folders on the outside say was the kind of information in it. And so, I don’t care what political party you are, but come on, cut the hypocrisy, this is a threat to our national security, that somebody would actually have in his country club storage room, his desk, his bedroom, top secret information and you have to ask yourself “Why? What was he going to do with it? Who was he giving it to–“ 

CHELSEA CLINTON: Or what did he – or what had he already done with it? 

HILLARY CLINTON: –or what had he already done to it” And so, let the investigation go forward and let’s, you know, find the facts unlike those guys, I’m not saying “Lock him up.” I’m saying let’s just find the facts and follow the evidence wherever it goes. 

***

MSNBC Morning Joe

9/16/2022

8:08 AM ET

WILLIE GEIST: Good morning, Secretary Clinton. Speaking of the stakes of the midterm elections and the next presidential election. When you and I got together for a conversation last year, you warned that if Donald Trump is not held accountable, it could be the end of the democracy, was the way you put it and also if people in Congress who support his agenda or think the way he does, that would also contribute to that. 

So, I’m curious what you’ve made of the Justice Department’s handling of the Mar-a-Lago documents. The fact that the president and his team took those classified documents from the White House, put them at his beach club, obstructed efforts to get them back for more than a year. Do you believe the Justice Department will hold him accountable? 

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I certainly hope so. I mean, part of the rule of law means nobody’s above it and nobody’s below it. We should all be treated equally before the law and even, you know, an ex-president who has defied the law, who has handled–mishandled obviously classified documents is not someone who should get away with doing that kind of behavior. You know, at the end of the day, I had zero classified materials on — and all the fuss that was made about what I did and all the rest of it. At the end of the day, after the FBI investigations, two State Department investigations, one under Tillerson, one under Pompeo, frankly looking for something to hold me accountable for, there was nothing there. 

This is the worst example of arrogance and just a sense of impunity that I can remember in recent history from anybody in a high position. So, the Justice Department is doing what they’re supposed to be doing, which is recovering classified material, analyzing them to try to figure out what damage has been caused. 

I mean, as a senator, as a secretary of State, I was privy to classified materials. And, you know, they hold some of our nation’s, you know, most important information, our secrets. And when we heard that there might be a document that had information about the nuclear posture of either an ally or adversary, I mean, the stakes could not be higher. 

So, certainly the Justice Department needs to vigorously pursue this and follow the facts and the evidence wherever they might lead. If that leads to accountability for the former president, that’s exactly where they should go. 

GEIST: What do you think, Secretary Clinton, when you hear elected officials, many of them prominent senators, who, some of them calling for you to be put in prison for having the server at your home, now saying of this event, of this incident, “well, it’s a bookkeeping issue, it’s a storage problem. There’s nothing to see here” or Lindsey Graham even saying “Well, you know, if you indict this former president, watch out, there gonna be riots in the street.”

 Obvious hypocrisy but dangerous, too. What do you make when you hear those things? 

CLINTON: Well, exactly what you just said. Dangerous hypocrisy. You know, I served with a number of the people who say these kinds of things and honestly, you know, I don’t know how they can live with themselves. I don’t understand how they can be enthralled to such a fraud and such a con artist as Donald Trump. I just don’t get it. I don’t know what he has on them. 

I don’t know what they expect to get from him. I don’t understand their fear. So, it’s a mystery to me and it’s a mystery, though, with huge implications. I mean, if you go back and read history, and we are reminded of that by, you know, incredible historians like Timothy Snyder, look at how these kinds of authoritarian, totalitarian regimes get started. They get started by a demagogue and an authoritarian basically demanding fealty and just to himself, but to his version of reality. 

We saw start on the afternoon of the inauguration where, you know, alternative facts about the size of the crowd became the argument the White House was making to overlook the fact that there wasn’t that big of a crowd and it continues to today where people who you would think not only know better, but would want to do better are siding with this outrageous and I believe probably illegal use of classified material. So, it’s a mystery to me but it is a dangerous mystery that you have the Republican Party still enabling the fantasies and the power-hungry dreams of the former president. 

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