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ABC Censors ‘Embarrassing’ Leaks of Hillary Clinton Speeches

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ABC’s morning and evening newscasts, as of Saturday morning, have yet to report on the Friday release of purported excerpts from some of Hillary Clinton’s speeches to corporate audiences. The same programs on Friday evening and Saturday morning hyped the vulgar Donald Trump audio from 2005. By contrast, Friday’s CBS Evening News mentioned how the website Wikileaks “published…some embarrassing excerpts from her [Clinton’s] paid Wall Street speeches.” Saturday’s Today on NBC and CBS This Morning Saturday also aired full reports on the potentially-problematic revelations for the Democratic nominee,” as the latter program put it. [video below]

Friday’s CBS Evening News wasted little time before airing two back-to-back segments lasting four minutes and nine seconds on the latest Trump controversy, despite the state of emergency in the Southeast due to Hurricane Matthew. The program didn’t mention the Clinton speech excerpts until the end of correspondent Margaret Brennan’s report on the Obama administration’s condemnation of the Russian government over their suspected hacking of political institutions in the U.S.:

MARGARET BRENNAN: Tonight, Wikileaks published what it claims are 2,000 e-mails from Clinton’s campaign chair; and they include some embarrassing excerpts from her paid Wall Street speeches…the Kremlin denied any role in the hack — calling the accusations ‘nonsense.’

The following morning, NBC arrived on the Clinton story with a two minute and 13 second report from correspondent Kasie Hunt on Today. Hunt noted that “these documents do give a glimpse of a Hillary Clinton that’s different in private than in public. She even went so far as to say as much.” She also pointed out that “on the issue of trade…she actually went so far as to say she would call for an open border policy — quote, ‘My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders’ — potentially causing her some trouble.”

Despite these details, the NBC journalist soon contended that “there are no major bombshells in these documents, if they are authentic, that really stands up to magnitude of that story about Donald Trump,” and underlined that “many Democrats I’ve talked to in the last 12 hours, privately saying they think this race might already be over.”

On CBS This Morning Saturday, correspondent Paula Reid gave a minute and 22 second report on the Wikileaks release. Reid detailed how “the portions released Friday point to why Clinton has refused to make them public. In a speech to Goldman/Blackrock in early 2014, Clinton recalled a middle-class upbringing, but admits she’s far removed from that now, ‘because the life I’ve lived and the economic fortunes that my husband and I now enjoy.’ A year before, she told the National Multi-Housing Council that ‘politics is like sausage being made. It’s unsavory. You need both a public and a private position.'”

The transcripts from Kasie Hunt’s report on NBC’s Today and Paula Reid’s report on CBS This Morning Saturday — both of which aired on October 8, 2016:

10/08/2016
07:10 am EDT
NBC — Today

STEPHANIE RUHLE: Hard to believe that’s not all that happened in politics yesterday — at about the same time that Donald Trump tape was made public, Wikileaks released more e-mails that they claim are from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s personal e-mail account. The e-mails appear to reveal contents of Clinton’s private Wall Street speeches. Many people wanted to know what was in those.

Well, NBC’s Kasie Hunt is in St. Louis, the site of tomorrow night’s big debate, with more on that. Kasie, good morning.

KASIE HUNT: Steph, good morning — just so much news all at once here. We’re finally getting a glimpse into those speeches that you mentioned that Clinton gave to Wall Street and other private groups that Bernie Sanders demanded she release during the primaries. She never did.

Now, we should say these are from Wikileaks. We haven’t confirmed the authenticity of them; and the campaign hasn’t either. John Podesta Tweeting, ‘I’m not happy about being hacked by the Russians in their quest to throw the election to Donald Trump.’ But these documents do give a glimpse of a Hillary Clinton that’s different in private than in public. She even went so far as to say as much — saying that politicians need to have one public position and one private position, as they try to get things done in Washington.

And, of course, on the issue of trade that was so important to Sanders, she actually went so far as to say she would call for an open border policy — quote, ‘My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders’ — potentially causing her some trouble.

Now, the Clinton campaign out with a statement — again, focused on the Russians — saying, quote, ‘The U.S. government removed any reasonable doubt that the Kremlin has weaponized Wikileaks to meddle in our election and benefit Donald Trump’s candidacy.’ He says that they’re ‘not going to confirm the authenticity of stolen documents released by Julian Assange, who has made no secret of his desire to damage Hillary Clinton.’

But, at the same time here, there are no major bombshells in these documents, if they are authentic, that really stands up to magnitude of that story about Donald Trump; and many Democrats I’ve talked to in the last 12 hours, privately saying they think this race might already be over. Steph?

RUHLE: Oof. All right. Kasie Hunt in St. Louis, I’ll see you there tomorrow.
10/08/2016
09:04 am EDT
CBS This Morning Saturday

ANTHONY MASON: As the Trump video leak swirled, Hillary Clinton faced a campaign controversy of her own Friday. Wikileaks released what it says are e-mails from her campaign chairman. They contain some potentially-problematic revelations for the Democratic nominee.

CBS News justice reporter Paula Reid is in our Washington bureau with more on that. Paula, good morning.

PAULA REID: Good morning. Wikileaks has released a batch of more than 2,000 hacked e-mails from the account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta. The e-mails include excerpts from Clinton’s private Wall Street speeches. Clinton has, of course, repeatedly been asked to release transcripts of those speeches; but said she won’t until the other candidates are held to the same standard.

The portions released Friday point to why Clinton has refused to make them public. In a speech to Goldman/Blackrock in early 2014, Clinton recalled a middle-class upbringing, but admits she’s far removed from that now, ‘because the life I’ve lived and the economic fortunes that my husband and I now enjoy.’ A year before, she told the National Multi-Housing Council that ‘politics is like sausage being made. It’s unsavory. You need both a public and a private position.’

Trump has previously said he doesn’t care about the transcripts. That being said, tomorrow’s debate is a town hall style, so the audience or the moderators are bound to ask about this; and if they don’t, Trump is likely going to find a way to bring it up.

DANA JACOBSON: Paula Reid in our Washington bureau, thank you.

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