Brzezinski: Clinton Foundation Dealings ‘Really Questionable,’ ‘We Need to Get Answers’

MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski said the Clinton Foundation’s dealings are “really questionable” and “we need to get answers,” although she seemed to deny the existence of any quid pro quos on Monday’s “Morning Joe.”

After playing a clip of the Sunday shows’ discussions of the Clinton Foundation’s dealings, Brzezinski remarked, “I think that it’s really questionable.” And “He [Newt Gingrich on Sunday’s ‘This Week‘] made sense, he made a valid point and we have to ask questions. We need to get answers.”

Fellow host Joe Scarborough added, “it’s just vulgar what they have turned public service into.”

Frequent panelist Mike Barnicle argued that there wouldn’t be any “leverage” over Hillary Clinton as a result of any dealings with the Clinton Foundation. Brzezinski said that it wasn’t known how the Clintons’ financial dealings would impact a Hillary White House because the situation is “unprecedented.”

Barnicle then stated, “you’ve got all of these charges in the book [‘Clinton Cash’] which are beyond me, I don’t understand them. Did Estonia give some money to the foundation because the president — former president was there? That’s one thing. But the what, the huh factor, the wow factor, is in the last ten years, a former President of the United States married to at times a United States Senator and then Secretary of State, has made over $100 million in speaking engagements. Now, you go into Chipotle and explain to the woman behind the counter, ‘she’s for you.'”

Bloomberg Politics Managing Editor John Heilemann said, “former presidents and former administration officials in both parties leave service and cash in. They go and give speeches and get paid a lot of money. Ronald Reagan did. George W. Bush has done it, everybody does it.”

Scarborough pushed back, “there wasn’t policy attached to Ronald Reagan when he went to Japan. They wanted a star. They didn’t want a husband of a Secretary of State.”

Heilemann added, “There are a lot of other speeches in which these questions are totally legitimate, and — there’s no doubt in my mind that some of the people who gave money to the foundation, some of the people who paid money to Bill Clinton to speak to them wanted to be able to have conversations with people that might eventually get back to the Secretary of State…there may or may not be a quid pro quo, but there is a lot of appearance of conflict of interest that if Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton had wanted to be — wanted to try to be — to run a disciplined life that didn’t revolve around [making money], they could have avoided a lot of this, they chose not to. It’s created a huge political problem actual and [perceptive.] I don’t think it’s all about that, I think there’s some of it that’s totally clean.”

Barnicle then said, “Don’t you think that our scant knowledge of the former President bill Clinton, our scant knowledge of him internally, personally, on an everyday basis. He has no quid pro quos. You’re there to be used, you’re giving him money, you know ‘thanks, very much, I appreciate it. Yeah, sure, I’ll call him for you, and he’ll never call.'” Brzezinski, while Barnicle was talking, remarked “there’s none [quid pro quos]”

i think that’s completely wrong. i think if you look at the uranium deal, where he brings his Canadian buddy up there…they go up, they do a deal, money is written to the Clinton Foundation because he helps make the deal work, and then down the road a bank that’s involved in the deal pays him half a million dollars to go give an hour speech. I think the Clintons are all about quid pro quo. The Clintons never forget…and the Clintons take notes on who helped them and who didn’t.” Washington Post opinion writer Jonathan Capehart disagreed, saying “there’s nine agencies involved in that decision.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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