Thursday on CNN’s “New Day,” New York Times presidential campaign correspondent Maggie Haberman, who is also a CNN contributor, discussed the controversy involving Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and the “overlap” of the State Department and the State Department while she was secretary of state.
Haberman explained this has been a problem for the Clinton campaign and it is being used by her general opponent Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump against her. Haberman described Clinton’s campaign as being “extremely unprepared” to respond to the accusation, noting it was as if they are saying, “You’re not seeing what you think you’re seeing.”
“There is an existing narrative about the Clintons that’s been there for many, many years about the overlap between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department and there has been a lot of criticism about this kind of interaction before to see if there in writing is of course going to illicit criticism,” Haberman said. “Donald Trump is making the criticism that the Clintons would make about him if this kind of thing showed up and none of the explanations for it have really done much to say exactly – essentially what they’re saying is, ‘You’re not seeing what you think you’re seeing. Take our word for it.’”
“They would not take that again from Republicans or Donald Trump if that was the case and this is the kind of thing they had said they would not do essentially in this agreement when she was made secretary of state governing what would happen between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department,” she continued. “There was sort of a clear discussion of it. Her allies say this doesn’t violate any of that. It got lots of unsolicited messages from Clinton allies in the last 12 hours saying, ‘This is all nothing,’ ‘This doesn’t mean anything.’ But a – the campaign seemed extremely unprepared for it. And b – it is clearly a story.”
“There is no way somebody can look at this and not see it as there was a special point of access for people who were involved in the foundation,” she added. “And the fact that she is not involved in it and the fact that her name is not on the emails, again, is not an explanation the Democrats would ever accept from a political opponent. And it doesn’t answer anything. If you want to be president, you’re the boss and you’re running an organization. That’s a problem.”
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor