Bill Clinton’s comments that he will continue giving paid speeches even if his wife Hillary is elected president and that the family’s foundation has never “done anything knowingly inappropriate” aren’t flying with many political observers, including panelists at the Clinton-friendly MSNBC network.
“I think the president — the former president — said a lot of things today that are going to be remembered,” said Politico White House correspondent Glenn Thrush on MSNBC’s “NewsNation.”
“He said, I think the term he used, I think that Republicans are going to keep throwing back up in his face is — that any of the mistakes that may have been done at the foundation were unintentional. And I think that is going to come back to haunt them,” Thrush continued.
In an interview with NBC’s Cynthia McFadden that aired Monday, the former president defended himself and Hillary against accusations that their Clinton Foundation has been used to peddle political favors for donors.
“There is no doubt in my mind that we have never done anything knowingly inappropriate in terms of taking money to influence any kind of American government policy,” Clinton said. “That just hasn’t happened.”
He also said that he asked Hillary about accusations against the foundation, and she told him: “No one has ever tried to influence me by helping you.”
Bill Clinton said he would consider stepping down from the Clinton Foundation if Hillary becomes president, but that he has no plans to stop giving paid speeches.
“I gotta pay our bills,” he said in defense of his main source of income. “And I also give a lot of it to the foundation every year.”
“I think Hillary Clinton is probably happier that the President, Bill Clinton, answered these questions instead of having her to answer them, but there’s three or four things that he said in this interview that are going to open up further questions,” Thrush opined on MSNBC.
Beth Fouhy, MSNBC’s senior political correspondent, lumped in on the Clintons as well during a segment with Thomas Roberts.
She said that while Bill Clinton can at times seem believable and convincing, “Hillary Clinton always manages to sound very evasive, and I think that’s a real problem for her and that’s why she’s been the target of so much of this scrutiny.”
“But for Bill clinton to say that I’m going to keep taking six-figure speech fees because I have to pay the bills if my wife is the president of the United States — that just simply isn’t going to fly,” said Fouhy.
“Both Clintons are sort of maddeningly odd around all of this stuff. They can sound very reasonable, but they also sound like completely out of touch. And I think in that interview with Cynthia McFadden you saw Bill Clinton doing both.”