On April 26, 2015 Peter Schweizer appeared ABC’s This Week as part of the promotional tour for his newly released book, “Clinton Cash.” From the very beginning of the interview George Stephanopoulos (who worked in the administration of Bill Clinton) attacked Schweizer, not on the merits of his research but in an attempt to damage Schweizer’s credibility.. Many thought that Stephanopoulos’ was simply protecting Clinton because of their long-term relationship. But in today’s Wikileaks dump Team Clinton brags about their work helping the ABC anchor to put down Schweizer. Another email indicates that “testimony” of the Stephanopoulos/Team Clinton’s witness claiming Ms. Clinton had no involvement with the Uranium One deal was made by someone who was asking campaign head John Podesta for a job within the Clinton campaign.
Before we proceed in the interests of transparency that neither Team Clinton or George Stephanopoulos care about, when I was writing for Breitbart years ago Peter Schweizer was one of the editors I worked with. However as you are about to see, this story is based upon the words and emails of the people involved not any relationship I may have with Mr. Schweizer.
From the very start of the April 2015 interview with Peter Schweizer, George Stephanopoulos was serving the Clintons by attack rather then serving the audience of the program by seeking information.
Stephanopoulos: You know, I was looking at the book jacket right here and you say that, here in the book jacket, that your reporting raises serious and alarming questions about judgment of possible indebtedness to an array of foreign interests and ultimately, a fitness for high public office. So how does your reporting show that Hillary Clinton may be unfit for the presidency?
Schweizer: Well, I think the real question here, George, is when you ever have an issue of the flow of funds to political candidates, whether that’s to their campaigns, whether that’s to private foundations, whether that’s to their spouse, is there evidence of a pattern of — of favorable decisions being made for those individuals?And I think the — the point that we make in the book is that there is a troubling pattern. There are dozens of examples of that occurring.
Some people, I think particularly the Clinton camp, would say that these are all coincidence. I don’t think, when you’re talking about 12 instances, you’re talking coincidence. I think you’re talking trend.
Stephanopoulos: But you take it pretty far. You write that, “The pattern of behavior is troubling enough to warrant further investigation by law enforcement officers. ..Do you have any evidence that a crime may have been committed?
Any objective reporter reporter might say, “Wow, 12-incidences! That’s may be a pattern. It at least should be investigated.” And perhaps that objective reporter would follow up by asking questions that would help him (and the audience) understand how the author researched the incidents in question.
But not George, he had a different agenda. Stephanopoulos asked if Schweizer had evidence a crime has been committed as if he was interviewing Lt. Joe Kenda of Discovery ID instead of Peter Schweizer, author. If Stephanopoulos watch some news reports (or Kenda’s show) he would understand that the very purpose of an investigation is to determine if a crime has been committed. But the ABC host wasn’t being a reporter….he was being a member of Team Clinton.
Stephanopoulos continued to attack without asking any questions about the content of the book.
Stephanopoulos: : As you know, the Clinton campaign says you haven’t produced a shred of evidence that there was any official action as secretary that — that supported the interests of donors. …We’ve done investigative work here at ABC News, found no proof of any kind of direct action. And an independent government ethics expert, Bill Allison, of the Sunline Foundation (ph), wrote this. He said, “There’s no smoking gun, no evidence that she changed the policy based on donations to the foundation.”
Finally Stephanopoulos got into the content of Clinton Cash. tried to tear apart one element of one person involved in the Uranium One story. Then he followed by pointing out that the State Department was only one of nine votes needed to approve the deal. And besides he explained, the State Department employee most involved with considering the Uranium One deal which gave a Russian company control of 20% of America’s uranium reserves, Jose Fernandez said Mrs. Clinton was not involved. So who cares if at the very same time the Clinton Foundation was receiving millions of dollars from people connected to the sale of Uranium One? That’s just a coincidence.
Stephanopoulos wasn’t done, he decided he couldn’t attack Schweizer’s research so he did his best to go after the author’s credibility.
Stephanopoulos: As you know, the Democrats have said this is — this is an indication of your partisan interest. They say…you used to work for President — President Bush as a speechwriter. You’re funded by the Koch brothers. How do you respond to that?
To which Schweizer responded:
Well, George, what did I do when this book was completed? I went to the investigative unit at “The New York Times,” the investigative unit here at ABC. I went to the investigative unit at “The Washington Post.” And I shared with them my findings, OK. These are not cupcakes. These are serious researchers and investigators.
One may wonder where Stephanopoulos came up with all those personal attacks and the information about Fernandez. Based on Friday’s Wikileaks release of John Podesta emails, there is strong evidence that Stephanopoulos was fed his information from his old friends at Team Clinton.
On the day of the Schweizer interview, JSchwerin@hillaryclinton.com (who I assume is Josh Schwerin a Clinton campaign spokesman) sent the transcript of the interview to the campaigns rapid response team list (HRCrapid@googlegroups.com).
Another campaign spokesman Jesse Ferguson replied to Schwerin with an email to the team:
great work everyone. this interview is perfect. he [Schweizer] lands nothing and everything is refuted (mostly based on our work)
MMMM Based on our work? That certainly sounds like they did the research that Stephanopoulos used to attack the author.
Ferguson’s email was seemingly backed up by Oren Shur the campaign’s director of paid media who responded with, “nice work here.” Unless Stephanopoulos was on the rapid response team (which would be even worse) Ferguson and Shur were complementing the people on the list.
Interestingly while the campaign seemingly fed their partisan information to Stephanopoulos, they criticized the NY Times for using Schweizer’s research even though the Times independently confirmed the information. Just three days before the Stephanopoulos interview, campaign press secretary Brian Fallon sent an email to Jo Becker and Mike McIntire of the NY Times that in part expressed the campaigns disappointment that the Times didn’t ignore Schweizer’s research because he is a partisan:
At the outset, it is important to note that no one – neither Mr. Schweizer, nor the *Times*, nor anyone else — has ever produced a shred of evidence supporting the theory that Hillary Clinton ever took action as Secretary of State to support the interests of donors to the Clinton Foundation. Therefore, we are extremely disappointed that the *New York Times* intends to rely on research culled from a biased author like Mr. Schweizer. During our conversations with the *Times*, it has been unclear to what extent, if at all, the *Times*’ reporting goes beyond the allegations made in *Clinton Cash*. This is troubling because, as has been well documented already, the book’s author is a known Republican operative whose organization has links to the Koch brothers and a major donor to Ted Cruz. Moreover, the book’s rollout has been coordinated with another Republican presidential candidate, Rand Paul. It is worrisome that the Times would repeat the claims from such a questionable source.
Notice the letter to the NY Times contained many of the partisan attacks that Stephanopoulos used against Schweizer. I wonder how he got them…did he hack into the campaign’s emails? Or perhaps the same information was given to him by someone on the Clinton payrolls.
Later on in the same email Fallon made the argument (also used by Stephanopoulos) that Hillary Clinton was not involved in the decision.
“Apart from the fact that the State Department was one of just nine agencies involved in CFIUS, it is also true that within the State Department, the CFIUS approval process historically does not trigger the personal involvement of the Secretary of State. The State Department’s principal representative to CFIUS was the Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs. During the time period in question, that position was held by Jose Fernandez. As you are aware, Mr Fernandez has personally attested that “Secretary Clinton never intervened with me on any CFIUS matter.”
Let’s put aside for a moment the question of whether it is appropriate for the secretary of state not to be involved in a decision that would result in a Russian-owned company owning 20% of the U.S. Uranium supply. Instead let’s ask whether or not Mr. Fernandez could be trusted to make an honest report of Ms. Clinton’s involvement with the decision.
In another Wikileaks email, we learn that five days before Fallon told the NY Times that the decision was all Fernandez’s without the involvement of Hillary Clinton, Jose Fernandez wrote an email to John Podesta thanking the campaign head for calling him. Mr. Fernandez also thanked Podesta for his advice in securing a position with the campaign:
John, It was good to talk to you this afternoon, and I appreciate your taking the time to call. As I mentioned, I would like to do all I can to support Secretary Clinton, and would welcome your advice and help in steering me to the right persons in the campaign.
Now this does not prove that Mr. Fernandez wasn’t telling the truth when he said Hillary wasn’t involved in the Uranium One decision, but it certainly calls his account into question. After all he was looking for a job within the campaign, and at least in the opinion of some it is a bit strange that Mrs. Clinton would have any involvement with a decision giving Russia control of one-fifth of our uranium.
What these particular documents reveal is that rather than serving his audience on “This Week” exhibiting some journalistic ethics, George Stephanopoulos cheated his audience, simply acting as the mouthpiece for the team Clinton talking points. He didn’t even take the time to investigate whether or not Hillary’s alibi for not being involved in the Uranium One deal was tainted, which based on the evidence, it very well might a have been.
When conservatives say the mainstream media is biased, others in the MSM jump in to defend their colleagues, saying there is no evidence of bias. However, in this case there are some smoking guns, and it is very apparent that at least in the case of George Stephanopoulos it’s serve the Clinton campaign first, and his audience gets the leftovers..that’s very disturbing to know.
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