Tags: Trump Administration | Benghazi Scandal | Hillary Clinton | Steve Malzberg Show | War on Terrorism | Eleanor Clift | testy

Eleanor Clift Refuses to Answer Question on Hillary

Wednesday, 20 May 2015 06:03 PM

Veteran political commentator Eleanor Clift clammed up and refused to answer tough questions about Hillary Clinton during a testy appearance Wednesday on Newsmax TV.

Things started out calmly enough as Clift, a columnist at The Daily Beast and panelist on "The McLaughlin Group," came on "The Steve Malzberg Show" to talk about her piece "Are You Ready for President Biden?"

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"There's a chance he will throw his hat in the ring. I don't know that I will call it a realistic chance, but I started poking around into this 'Draft Biden '16' effort," Clift said.

"It's essentially two young guys who did field work and advance work for the Obama campaigns in '08 and '12, and they put together a pretty nifty website.

"They're selling bumper stickers and coffee cups and so forth with a really cool logo of the vice president with this aviator sunglasses in his Corvette, and it's in psychedelic colors that say "Riding with Biden."'

Clift said Biden, who has sought the Democratic nomination for president twice, in 1988 and 2008, "loves politicking" and easily connects with people — something Democrats like.

"You see Democrats worried that Hillary Clinton doesn't do that as well, and they just like to get good ol' Joe in there to liven up the place," she said.

"I'm not saying he's without baggage at all, but then name me a candidate who comes with no baggage. We're talking about the Democrats nervous that they're going to have a primary season without true competition.

"They want to have some debates. The Democrats are amazingly unified. It's not like they don't like Hillary. They just want to have a 'Plan B,' some backup equipment, just in case."

But Clift predicted that in the end, Democrats are "all going to back Hillary Clinton, and she certainly looks like the likely Democratic nominee."

But the cordial interview turned acerbic when host Steve Malzberg turned the conversation to Clinton's campaign so far, and her decision to answer reporters' questions on Tuesday after nearly a month of dodging press inquiries.

"For a candidate who's got as high a profile as she does … she doesn't need to be out there answering questions every day or even every month," Clift said.

"There's still a long way to go until November of '16, and until the Iowa caucuses in January. She'll be [saying] more as we get closer to the dates."

Malzberg then asked about the revelation that Clinton used two private email accounts to conduct government business while she was secretary of state.

"This is journalism. We're having a good time here. There's lots to uncover," Clift said.

Asked what she meant by that, Clift replied, "Lots of stories, lots of stories on both sides of the aisle. This is what politics is about."

"Do you think a Republican who did what Hillary has done would still be mentioned as a possible presidential candidate?" Malzberg then asked.

"I will leave that to the voters to decide. I'm not cooperating with you as a journalist."

"I asked you about the double standard," Malzberg said.

"You can take things that have been done on the Republican side and say if a Democrat did that, would they be viable? We can play that game," Clift answered.

Trying his question once more, Malzberg asked, "You won't answer whether or not a Republican who did what Hillary did would still have a political career?"

"I'm not going to answer that, and what Hillary did, there's no proof of wrongdoing, for starters," Clift said.

It's the second time her appearance on the Malzberg program has erupted in fireworks.

In May 2014, she made headlines when she stuck like glue to her controversial statement that Ambassador Christopher Stevens was not murdered in Benghazi but rather succumbed to smoke inhalation.

"I realize this causes a lot of emotion. As I said, I'm going to just stick with [it]," Clift told Malzberg at the time.

Earlier, Clift had said on "The McLaughlin Group": ''I would like to point out that Ambassador Stevens was not murdered. He died of smoke inhalation in a safe room in that CIA installation.''

When quizzed by Malzberg on Tuesday, Clift remained adamant.

Then, pressed by Malzberg on whether she would say that people who died in terrorist attacks were not murdered — such as the nearly 3,000 people who died in the World Trade Center attacks — Clift said:

"I was just trying to add a little bit of complexity, and I'm going to stick with what I [said] . . . I would say that he died of smoke inhalation and there was another person in that room who did get out."

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Veteran political commentator Eleanor Clift clammed up and refused to answer tough questions about Hillary Clinton during a testy appearance Wednesday on Newsmax TV.
Eleanor Clift, testy, answers, Hillary Clinton, emails, Benghazi
Wednesday, 20 May 2015 06:03 PM
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