In May, 2015, the Clinton Campaign gave NBC’s Cynthia McFadden an exclusive interview with former President Bill Clinton for the “TODAY” Show.
But it came with an agreement.
Specifically a “70-30” arrangement to for 70 percent of the piece to be on the work of the Clinton Foundation and 30 percent to be about “the book.”
Well — that didn’t happen. At least not to the campaign’s liking.
So the campaign tried to plant a hit piece against NBC in New York Magazine. Clinton Director of Communications Jennifer Palmieri also called up Chuck Todd, moderator of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” to bitch about it.
“Not sure it will help, but I called Chuck Todd (as head of political unit) to let him know how outrageous and ludicrous this was and that our side of the house is watching to see how NBC handles this,” Palmieri wrote in a May, 2015 group email to staff that was released in the latest WikiLeaks email dump of Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta‘s emails on Monday.
Palmieri was irate that McFadden apparently did not ask a single question about the work of the Foundation. Instead, she posed questions about potential conflicts of interest concerning the Foundation accepting donations from anyone trying to affect decisions made by the U.S. government.
See the email from Palmieri in its entirety below:
“We got a readout of WJC’s NBC interview from our friends in Africa. Going in, NBC agreed to do 70 percent of the piece on work of the Foundation and 30 percent about the book. Cynthia McFadden was the interviewer and didn’t ask one question about work of the Foundation. Not one. Absurdly, NBC is still promising Craig that they will stick by 70-30 agreement by using footage of the events and Cynthia describing the work of the Foundation. Not sure it will help, but I called Chuck Todd (as head of political unit) to let him know how outrageous and ludicrous this was and that our side of the house is watching to see how NBC handles this. The piece will air on Monday on the Today show. I think we have to make this public. We are being hit by the press for not getting more attention for the good work of the Foundation, take a network to Africa to see the work, give them an interview with the President, and they do not ask ONE question about the work of the Foundation. Craig has gotten in touch with NY mag this am to do a story about how grossly the media has handled the story on book/foundation and make this experience with NBC part of that story. I also think we need to make it appropriately known on our ‘briefing’ page on the website where all of our response content will live (it will be hillaryclinton.com/briefing). Will figure out a way to do so in a rational, dispassionate way. But think we need to do. Below is a summary readout of the interview. We should have a transcript soon. Jen -Tone was calm and civil. -Says he has never knowingly accepted money from someone trying to influence government decisions, and if he knew that was any donor’s goal, he wouldnt take their money -says there is not a ‘shred of evidence’ they did anything wrong. -said the 990 forms were an innocent mistake -says he does not think foundation is hurting HRC campaign – Said it will be up to voters to decide if there is an appearance problem, he is confident they will come to the right conclusion -said he might step down from Foundation if she wins – if he is asked to do something in government -Blamed media in having double standard with him compared to other presidents. His best lines were a riff saying the ‘theory of the case’ behind the allegations was nuts in that you have government officials being influenced by philanthropic donations to poor people.”
Watch the NBC interview here.