Tags: Trump Administration | Hillary Clinton | Paul Begala | Jake Tapper | CNN

Begala on Hillary Emails: I Was 'Dopey' to Insult CNN Segment

By    |   Wednesday, 01 Jul 2015 06:56 PM

Former Bill and Hillary Clinton adviser Paul Begala looked a bit uncomfortable Wednesday when he took on his role of CNN political commentator to discuss his own part in the recent batch of Hillary Clinton emails.

In one of the 3,000 emails released by the State Department Tuesday night, Begala sought advice about Clinton's accomplishments as secretary of state during the first 100 days of the Barack Obama presidency.

"Who at State should I talk to about getting a briefing on what HRC has accomplished in the first hundred days?" Begala asked then-Chief of Protocol Capricia Penavic Marshall. "CNN is doing special coverage all night tomorrow night, and we'll be rating HRC as well as the President."

Following the segment, Begala wrote: "I gave Sec. Clinton an A+ in our dopey CNN report card last night." That email was forwarded to Clinton.

Appearing Wednesday on CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper" to analyze the presidential field, Begala was left squirming and laughing uncomfortably when Tapper brought up his emails.

"The first 100 days of the Obama administration were consumed with the economic crisis," Begala told Tapper. "Plus it's not my beat. It seemed to me the world was doing just fine with Hillary as secretary of state, but I didn't know the specifics. I knew I was going to be asked about them. Who am I supposed to ask? The Koch brothers?"

Begala pointed out that he did disclose his personal bias in the segment when he gave Clinton the high grade, and added that he also has a professional bias an adviser to a pro-Clinton superPAC.

"So I think as long as the audience knows that, you don't need a congressional subpoena to know that I love Hillary Clinton," he said. "I think she was a great secretary of state. She will be a great president."

"You don't think I'm dopey in my segments?" Tapper asked.

"No," Begala answered. "Let me say, I was dopey to put that in an email. I was feeling grumpy. I was on the set I think with (former presidential adviser David) Gergen, these very tall people and I'm short. So I was feeling like a dwarf. I picked the wrong dwarf."

Begala said he loves CNN, and "sometimes I say things that are dopey. That's part of the gig, I guess."

But Mediaite columnist and Newsmax TV host Joe Concha said the emails should make CNN reconsider Begala's gig.

"Partisans exist everywhere in cable news. That’s understood. But this is written collusion between government officials and a veteran media member and therefore a whole new bowl of wrong," Concha wrote on Mediaite.

The Begala emails weren't the only ones related to the media that were part of Tuesday's release.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Leslie Gelb was depicted in a series of exchanges as offering to write a favorable story on Clinton for Parade magazine and give Clinton's staff "a veto over content," Politico reports.

Gelb has denied he made any such promises, and says he allowed Clinton's people only to fact-check his story. He said he recalled them suggesting no changes.

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Politics
Former Bill and Hillary Clinton adviser Paul Begala looked a bit uncomfortable Wednesday when he took on his role of CNN political commentator to discuss his own part in the recent batch of Hillary Clinton emails.
Paul Begala, Jake Tapper, CNN
538
2015-56-01
Wednesday, 01 Jul 2015 06:56 PM
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