Accuracy in Media

Former Democratic National Committee chairman and Hillary Clinton surrogate Howard Dean was completely clueless during an interview with MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts about newly released FBI documents that reveal an apparent “quid pro quo” negotiation between the State Department and the FBI regarding the classification of an email from Clinton’s private email server.

Among the 100 pages of documents released by the FBI were notes from an interview with an official in the records management division of the State Department, revealing Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy requested that the FBI change an email to unclassified in exchange for the State Department allowing the FBI to station agents in more countries.

Dean stumbled embarrassingly through the interview, showing his complete ignorance of the issue being discussed:

Roberts: So while we have State and the FBI on defense saying that this is not really an illumination of anything, how can Hillary Clinton and her team get in front of this?

Dean: This sounds like nothing. Who’s saying this? The last batch, couple of batches of e-mails have revealed exactly nothing. Now who is pushing this notion that this was a quid pro quo by the State Department?

Roberts then had to explain to Dean that what he was talking about were the notes that were taken during conversations between the FBI and the State Department and what they meant when they said “quid pro quo:”

Dean: So why would anybody suspect that the FBI had done anything crooked or criminal?

Roberts: Why would that phrase be used to talk with someone in Hillary Clinton’s State Department from the FBI? That’s the bigger question.

Dean: They’re all big questions. This is nothing. Somebody made this up. This is innuendo leaked by the Russians for their own political benefit. I don’t get it.

Roberts: This is not WikiLeaks. This is not WikiLeaks. These are documents that have been…

Dean: Is this Jason Chaffetz’s stuff?

Despite Roberts’ explanation that it was an unnamed FBI official who is alleging that Kennedy was trying to influence the agency’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server, Dean was still confused:

Dean: This makes no sense to me at all. This sounds like late in the campaign tricks that are meaningless. There is no there, there. I don’t understand where the there is. It is not plausible for Patrick Kennedy to be involved doing something to get the FBI to change the State Department investigation. This is crazy.

The only things crazy were Dean’s answers to Roberts’ questions. Give Roberts credit for trying to get Dean to understand the issue—a task that proved to be impossible in the end.


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