On Sunday night, after the debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, MSNBC inadvertently aired footage of NBC journalist Kristen Welker telling Clinton communications director Jen Palmieri exactly what question she was planning to ask in an imminent live interview.
MSNBC anchor Ari Melber threw to Welker, who didn’t hear him. Unaware that she was live, Welker proceeded to tell Palmieri exactly what she could expect.
The exchange went like this:
Melber: We go right to Kristin Welker. Kristen, go ahead.
Welker, unaware she was live, speaking to Palmieri: Okay. Okay. And I’m going to ask you about Flint.
Melber, trying to warn Welker: Kristen, go ahead. You’re live. Kristen Welker, in the spin room, I believe she has the Clinton communications director with her. Go ahead, Kristen.
Welker, still unaware she was live, to Palmieri: Okay, thank you. I think this is his last question.
Melber, still covering: You know, we have Kristen Welker, we’re looking at her, she couldn’t quite hear me before. Can you hear me now? If you can, go ahead.
Welker, finally aware she was live: Hey, Ari, I’m here with communications director Jen Palmieri for the Clinton campaign.
Turning to Palmieri, Welker asked, “So, Jen your initial reaction to tonight’s debate, very fiery… ”
Palmieri, who has served as Director of Communications for Barack Obama, National Press Secretary for the 2004 Edwards for President campaign, and the National Press Secretary for the Democratic National Committee in 2002, replied:
Very fiery, also very substanitive [sic]. I think it was probably the most substanitive [sic] exchange that we’ve had, also if… there were a little bit of fireworks, but I think that it was useful because we think…
Welker, interrupting: Ari, I can hear you. I’m here with Communications Director Jen Palmieri. Can you guys hear me back in the studio?
Melber: Yes. We’re on a delay, but go ahead.
Welker: Can you guys hear what we’re saying here?
Welker: Okay. Here with Communications Director Jen Palmieri. Jen, thank you again. What was your general reaction? It was a very fiery debate.
Palmieri: It was fiery, but it was also very substanitive [sic].
After Palmieri waxed eloquent on the differences between Clinton and Sanders, Welker finally got to ask her a question. Quite unexpectedly, it went like this: “Let’s start with the issue of Flint — the Sanders campaign is saying that secretary Clinton flip-flopped to some extent. Tonight she came out for the first time calling for the resignation of the governor. Why tonight, and was that a last-minute decision to flip-flop?”