(Morning Joe) Destroys Corrupt Clinton Foundation (Laughable) "Total Corruption"
by Real News
[Mika Brzezinski] Alright, a lot of big stories to get to.
[Joe Scarborough ] Whoa! This Clinton, Inc. thing has just exploded!
[Mika Brzezinski] Wikileaks. Okay. Let’s go through this.
[Joe Scarborough] Hold on!
[Mika Brzezinski] This is huge!
[Joe Scarborough] Look at this! New York Times: “Donations to the Foundation Vexed Top Clinton Aides.”
[Mika Brzezinski] Wall Street Journal.
[Joe Scarborough] And you know, the interesting thing about this is it verifies what I think you said yesterday, that Philippe and everybody were just absolutely horrified what they had gotten themselves in to. That they walked into this campaign with this. And I guess Philippe at one point said, “There’s no fixing this. There’s no quick fix. There is no good answer." Bill Clinton, Inc.! The Washington Post article is absolutely fascinating.
[Mika Brzezinski] Alright, let’s go through it.
[Joe Scarborough] $66 Million dollars to them personally. They’re like bragging.
[Nicolle Wallace] Do you think they’re hiring? $66 Million Dollars!
[Joe Scarborough] They’re bragging in the memo that they can shake down the same corporations that they’re taking Foundation money for, that they can shake them down for $66 Million dollars for “Bill Clinton, Inc.,” for Bill and Hillary Clinton personally. Does that confirm what you and a lot of Clinton skeptics that supported Bernie Sanders were worried about all along?
[Eddie Glaude, Jr.] Well it certainly – yes! Right? I mean, one of the things that the New York Times said was there’s no clear evidence of quid pro quo, right? But one of the things we do know is that it certainly confirms a deep suspicion that there’s an ethical deficit that defines how they operate in the political domain, and how they operate generally. That there’s an ethical and moral deficit.
[Joe Scarborough] And they’re actually bragging about being able to shake down Foundation clients for Bill Clinton money! Doug Band is bragging about it. And it’s not like Doug Band dreamed this up on his own. He was doing his bosses’ bidding.
[William Russell "Willie" Geist] You know, what’s really interesting, this was initiated by Chelsea. Chelsea Clinton went to the family’s attorneys, and said she was worried that Doug Band was hustling business and funneling it to her father.
[Nicolle Wallace] That happened when her name went on the Foundation, I think when she had a bigger role.
[Joe Scarborough] Is there anybody who believes that Doug Band, Mika, would be doing anything that Bill and Hillary Clinton didn’t want Doug Band to do?
[Mika Brzezinski] No. I know. This all starts with Bill Clinton. And I also think it’s one of those situations, when you really look at this, and we’ll go through it point by point, you have to be careful about throwing stones. Because I love the way everyone calls the Trumps, you know, “sleazy, trashy,” whatever, because of a picture, and you know money that they take from one company and give to another as a donation as opposed to their own money. All legal, but still they consider it “trashy” and “sleazy”. And you [Eddie] call this “ethically challenged.” It’s so funny that nobody talks like that about the Democrats.
[Joe Scarborough] This is sleazy, and everyone knows it’s sleazy. You’re trading in public service while someone is Secretary of State –-
[Mika Brzezinski] Larger amounts of money, and the world is used, as opposed to –-
[Joe Scarborough] Yeah, you’re shaking down the world for $66 million dollars, instead of a Rolex watch, or a life-size portrait. I mean, somebody is going to win a Pulitzer Prize for finding a life-size portrait of Donald Trump that he paid money for with the Foundation. We’re talking about $66 million dollars here, maybe 100 million –-
[Mika Brzezinski] I call that more than “ethically challenged.”
[Eddie Glaude, Jr.] I said, “ethical and moral deficit.”
[Joe Scarborough] That’s what he said!
[Mika Brzezinski] Ohhh!
[Nicolle Wallace] And I feel like we shouldn’t -– you’re just elegant. I feel like you’re elegant.
[Mika Brzezinski] For Trump?
[Joe Scarborough] He’s elegant.
[NEW YORK TIMES: CONCERNS OVER DONATIONS VEXED CLINTON’S TOP AIDES]
[Mika Brzezinski] The Clintons, and the Foundation bearing their name, are facing fresh scrutiny over extremely thin lines between the Organization and the Family’s multimillion dollar fortune. The revelation stems from the latest release of emails by Wikileaks, allegedly hacked from the personal account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta. In a purported 2011 memo from longtime aide to former President Bill Clinton, Doug Band lays out extensive fundraising efforts by him and his company Teneo on behalf of the Clinton Foundation, and the Clintons personally.
[THE WASHINGTON POST: TOP AIDE’S LEAKED MEMO DETAILS ‘BILL CLINTON INC.’]
The Washington Post reports that Band “detailed the circle of enrichment in which he raised money for the Clinton Foundation from top tier corporations such as Dow Chemical and Coca-Cola that were clients of his firm, while pressing many of those same donors to provide personal income to the former President. The memo, which came during Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State, goes on to discuss how that work for the Foundation could be used to extract large speaking fees and other paid work for the former President, even referring to the operation as “Bill Clinton, Incorporated.” The Post adds that the contracts for the Clintons would pay out $66 million dollars over nine years if the deals remained in place.”
Eddie’s shaking his head, so I’m wondering whether there are new words coming from him like, “damn!” A part of the memo allegedly reads: “Independent of our fundraising and decision-making activities on behalf of the Foundation, we have dedicated ourselves to helping the President secure and engage in for-profit activities -– including speeches, books, and advisory service engagements.” “In support of the President’s for-profit activity, we also have solicited and obtained, as appropriate, in-kind services for the President and his family -– for personal travel, hospitality, vacation and the like.”
[Joe Scarborough] Nicolle, what you do think? How bad is this?
[Nicolle Wallace] Well, it’s not good.
[Joe Scarborough] Is that what they would say if the Bushes did this?
[Nicolle Wallace] Um, listen, the Bushes would never do this.
[Joe Scarborough] I know they wouldn’t.
[Nicolle Wallace] I think it’s so interesting what Willie said, that this came about because Chelsea Clinton started asking questions. And one of the other revelations I think that came out before this story did, is that she’s been called a “spoiled brat.” She doesn’t sound very bratty to me. She sounds pretty insightful.
[Mika Brzezinski] Uh hmm.
[Joe Scarborough] So Willie, this says basically everything that Ron Fournier has been saying for a year now. “Follow the money.” A source inside the Clinton camp -– oh, there it is: “Follow the money, my Clinton source said in 2015. Follow the money.” I mean, it’s trading in public service for hundreds of millions of dollars personally.
[William Russell “Willie” Geist] And again, just like the emails -–
[Joe Scarborough] And by the way, forget the State Department. Maybe they’re using the State Department. But using relief work in Haiti: “Hey, can you help the suffering in Haiti? It’s really important. Thanks. Listen, could you also give Bill Clinton $500,000 to give a speech in your corporate luxury box?"
[Mika Brzezinski] Yuck!
[William Russell “Willie” Geist] The emails also show that just like you talked about yesterday, that the people around her are well aware of the problem. I mean, Huma Abedin talked about how the King of Morocco gave $12 million dollars, right, to the Clinton Foundation, so Hillary goes to Morocco. And Huma writes in one of these emails about Hillary: “She created this mess and she knows it.” Everybody, the people closest to Hillary Clinton know, and Hillary Clinton must know on some level, that all of these things will not look good when you go into a presidential campaign. At best they are unethical. And now, again, the question has always been “Has it led to policy change?” “Was something done differently by Secretary Clinton as Secretary of State as a result of donations made to her and the Foundation and Bill Clinton?” That line hasn’t been drawn directly, yet again, I think if you find that line in the next 10 days, you’ve got a massive story in the election. This is big on its own, but if you find –-
[Mika Brzezinski] In a kind of morally-deficit kind of way, sleazy way, it’s gross! It’s gross! My father would find, like he just does not get how this has constantly happened in the Clinton empire, and even from connections to Wall Street, the Foundation, these thin lines, that it’s just perplexing to him that this seems to be acceptable.
[Joe Scarborough] Um, Mark Halperin, I actually find myself this morning stunned by how crude, how crude, and how crudely drawn out this was about the blurring of lines, of using a Foundation that you say you’re setting up to help the world, and at the same time you’re bragging about how you’re going to blur the lines between the money raised for the Foundation on the one hand, and on the other raise $66 million dollars for Bill Clinton, Inc. They’re bragging about it.
[Mark Halperin] There’s no question that if you’ve ever been to CGI, you see business going on. And that Bill Clinton, Doug Band, and others, enrich themselves by leveraging those relationships, and by offering access to people in the context of CGI. As Willie said, the big missing piece here, which doesn’t diminish scrutiny on the other things you’ve been talking about, is, “Did any of those people get stuff from the government when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State?” We already know they got the ability to rub elbows with people in the Clinton orbit. And I guarantee you, while some of those companies were motivated by doing good, some of them were motivated by at least also doing well.
[Joe Scarborough] Okay, so we have two different quid pro quos, two different blurring of the lines. We’ve got this one, the State Department, the world is talking about. We’ll see. One of these days we’ll find out if there was ever a quid pro quo. But what we certainly have here though is, on the Foundation side, the use of a Foundation to make hundreds of millions of dollars for the Clintons. Now, I wonder, is the attorney general of New York going to shut the Clinton Foundation down like he shut the Trump foundation down? I mean, from what I’ve seen, I think the Trump Foundation probably needed to be shut down. But those are just nickels and dimes compared to the money here. They’re using this Foundation, and they’re bragging about using this Foundation, to make the Clintons hundreds of millions of dollars. Shouldn’t the attorney general of the State of New York launch an investigation, and at least shut down the Foundation, like they did with the Trump Foundation until they learn -– because there’s so much more money involved here?
[Mark Halperin] Well, the Clinton Foundation does do a lot of stuff that’s good around the world. You can’t ignore that piece of it. I think the thing that’s going to get more scrutiny again is “Why were these people giving money?" The Clintons would say, “The heads of these corporations were our friends! And we were in business with them. And that’s why they learned about the fact—"
[Joe Scarborough] But Doug Band himself says, “We’re going to exploit the Foundation to make Bill Clinton Inc. $66 million dollars. We don’t have to look into anybody’s -– Nicolle, I don’t have to wonder why the CEO of Dow Chemical wanted to give Bill Clinton $500,000 anymore. Doug Band tells me he was shook down by Bill Clinton.
[Nicolle Wallace] I think the other half of the sentence was that in-coming. So he talks about the $66 million in hand, and there were another, I think in excess of $100 million, owed to them. So, I mean, it’s sort of the more you read, the more –-
[Mika Brzezinski] Value is increased by the fact that she’s Secretary of State.
[Nicolle Wallace] And I remember when Vice President Joe Biden was toying with getting into the race. Maureen Dowd wrote a piece, and there were other pieces about maybe one of his motivations, and one of the sort of hungers in the Democratic party, was someone who had a better set of moral and ethical codes. I mean, there has been angst about the Clintons since their time in the White House.
[Joe Scarborough] And you know, Eddie, you can look at Bill Clinton’s speeches. I’ve certainly read multiple press reports. He made $250,000 for speeches. And then Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State, and suddenly he became twice as effective a speaker, because he started getting paid $550,000 per speech.
[Eddie Glaude, Jr.] I mean, it doesn’t smell good! It doesn’t smell good at all. And part of what I think the Democratic primary revealed, was a deep-seated suspicion about her character. Not only her policies, but her character, her intimate relationship with Wall Street, with Big Money. And I think what this report around the Foundation reveals is it gives us evidence that this wasn’t just made up. Right? I mean, you think about that one, the $10 million from Victor the Ukrainian steel magnate, Victor Pinchuk, and how he demanded access to President Clinton, and if he didn’t get it, the relationship would –- well, what we see here isn’t the direct line of quid pro quo, but you see all of these connections, and these relationships, that complicate how we think her judgment will be exercised.
[Mark Halperin] And Joe, there’s another factor here, which is we know when Bill Clinton gives a speech, like a lot of ex-presidents, he makes big money for giving a speech. That may be overpriced, but that’s what the market is. It’s these other payments, these consulting payments. What did he actually do to be paid money as a consultant?
[Joe Scarborough] But what about this Laureate University?
[Mark Halperin] That is a very big one, because it goes to the nonprofit college industry.
[Joe Scarborough] How much did he get paid for that? $14 million? 15 million? It was some staggering number, over $15 per year.
[Mark Halperin] Yep. But what did they get for their money? What is he actually doing for them?
[Joe Scarborough] I think he gave a couple of speeches.
[Mark Halperin] He did. He did. And he attended some meetings. And he leant his prestige to their business.
[Joe Scarborough] But Willie and I have been trying that for several, because we were runners-up in the Nobel Prize like every year.
[William Russell “Willie” Geist] We carry that prestige around with us no matter what.
[Joe Scarborough] I would, if somebody paid me $14 million dollars to let me be their provost, I would. And I would not go around saying that I’m helping little kids in Haiti on one hand, and say –-
[Mika Brzezinski] They do great things at CGI.
[Joe Scarborough] Yeah, they help themselves! And also, this thing James Carville said, “Somebody is going to hell for talking about this,” you know, you can just help little kids in Haiti –-
[Nicolle Wallace] Without the $14 million?
[Joe Scarborough] You can just set up hospitals. There are a lot of people who do that. You know, Bill Gates actually gives his money away. It’s not a profit-generating, it’s not, using context, “Okay, here, pay Peter to pay Paul. Now pay Peter. Now pay Paul." Again, that’s not me talking really, that’s Doug Band in a memo talking about how they’re shaking down -– and by the way, when I say that’s Doug Band –-
[Mika Brzezinski] It’s the Clintons all over again!
[Joe Scarborough] It’s Bill and Hillary Clinton. It’s not Doug Band. Doug Band is one of the most loyal people I’ve ever met. He’s extraordinarily loyal to Bill Clinton. So loyal it was maddening at times. So loyal he didn’t care what anybody thought about him. He didn’t care who hated him. His job was to protect Bill Clinton. And I will say, he did it better than anybody I’ve ever met in my life, protecting a political person. He was inseparable from Bill Clinton. So when we say Doug Band, we’re really saying, Willie, I’m saying at least, Bill and Hillary Clinton.
[William Russell “Willie” Geist] It’s unlikely that Doug Band is freelancing on any of this stuff. I think a larger point to think about too is it was only August when the Clinton Foundation finally said, “Okay, fine. We’ll stop taking foreign donations." The same thing with the email server. As you read through these, Hillary Clinton had to be convinced that they weren’t good ideas, that there could be a problem with these. It wasn’t her instinct to say, “You know what, as Secretary of State, maybe we should stop taking foreign donations –"
[Mika Brzezinski] "You shut this down!"
[William Russell “Willie” Geist] "–- and maybe I shouldn’t have a private server." It took a lot of people in her orbit to finally tell her it was a bad idea, and pressure from outside the campaign as well.
[Mika Brzezinski] But it’s insane! It’s insane!
[Mark Halperin] If she hadn’t been Secretary of State, if she had just been a private citizen along with her husband, this stuff would have been muckraking, it would have been leveraging the Foundation away that a lot of people would have found unseemly, but it wouldn’t be nearly the concern of someone who is trying to get elected as President. When she took the Secretary of State job, the Obama administration said, “There’s a lot of concerns here about this relationship. Let’s put some rules in place.” And I think that a lot of the stuff we already know about would not have been approved of or looked kindly upon by the White House or the State Department, in theory with the general counsel there, because it did not live up to the spirit, at a minimum, of trying to keep Hillary Clinton's Foundation activities from creating a potential conflict with her formal governmental role.
[Mika Brzezinski] It’s so frustrating, because then, doesn’t it of course call into question again the private server all over again?
[Joe Scarborough] Well, of course it does.
[Mika Brzezinski] How could it not?
[Joe Scarborough] Well, of course it does. Which again, is Ron Fournier, who is coming out of retirement and going to be on here at 7 o’clock today. We’re going to talk to Ron. And that’s gonna be our ray of sunshine in the morning from Michigan. Good morning Michigan!
[Mika Brzezinski] Still ahead on Morning Joe! Oh, God!
[Joe Scarborough] No, I’m not done yet!
[Mika Brzezinski] Please be finished!
[Joe Scarborough] So Nicolle, you know who for me are the good guys in this whole episode?
[Mika Brzezinski] Chelsea!
[Joe Scarborough] And it’s one of these things where you never know –-
[Mika Brzezinski] Chelsea!
[Joe Scarborough] Chelsea -– you never know how politics is gonna shake out. You never know. Right? So John Podesta has his emails hacked into, and it’s horrifying. Oh, God, please, don’t, it would be the worst nightmare ever if that happened to me. At the end of the process, I’m sure there’s stuff in there that Podesta didn’t want out there. I see Podesta as a straight shooter. As a good man. A no-drama political guy. The same thing with Robby Mook. And you can go down the list of them.
[Nicolle Wallace] We were talking about Philippe yesterday, a press person who understood exactly what the headline might be when this got out. I’m sure when you get through everything, he was the one saying, “This will not look good.” So, to restate Willie’s point, there were a lot of people very, very close to her and him, who knew exactly what this would look like when it came out. And I’m sure this was exactly the worst-case scenario that they described to their bosses Bill and Hillary Clinton.
[Joe Scarborough] And there are a lot of political figures, Mark Halperin, who are surrounded by people who put the blinders on, and never take them off. I’ve got to say, what these emails have revealed are those people who are around her inner political campaign have their eyes wide open, and they more often than not are pushing for transparency, and they understand the costs of not being transparent. And if Hillary Clinton is elected President of the United States, and if these people are surrounding her going into the White House, instead of those that get the Clintons in trouble, that might be seen as a hopeful sign.
[Mark Halperin] There are two kinds of people I know who work for Presidents and ex-Presidents: (1) those who trade on that access and influence in relationship to get rich, and (2) those who find another way to make a living.
[Mika Brzezinski] Wow. Okay. Still ahead on Morning Joe. Timing is everything, with just a dozen days to decide, the latest polls offer very different …