Robby Mook struggles to defend Hillary against pay-to-play, embarrassingly reverts to ‘can’t comment’


It’s getting pretty bad when CNN — often dubbed the Clinton News Network — puts a Clinton supporter on the hot seat.

That’s exactly what happened Sunday during an exchange between CNN’s Jake Tapper and Hillary Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook.

CNN clip via GOP War Room

“We learned that the King of Morocco wanted to contribute $12 million to the Clinton Foundation last year, but he only wanted to do it if he could get a face-to-face meeting with Hillary Clinton. Clinton adviser Huma Abedin wrote that the contribution was a nonstarter if the King did not get a meeting with Hillary Clinton. Now, ultimately Hillary Clinton did not make the trip to Morocco because the campaign had already started,” Tapper said.

“But this does raise the kind of concerns that there is a pay-to-play,” Tapper continued. “He wanted to meet with Hillary Clinton, $12 million for the Foundation. I mean, doesn’t this feed into one of the concerns that voters have about Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation?” he asked Mook.

The campaign manager claimed it wasn’t news that Clinton didn’t attend the Monaco Clinton Foundation conference and reverted to the talking point Clinton used at the third presidential debate — that the Clinton emails published by WikiLeaks were obtained illegally and that it wasn’t a “real issue.”

Tapper replied that it was a real issue and then brought up the Clinton State Department granting contracts to rebuild Haiti to “friends of Bill” Clinton after the devastating earthquake there.

“This is from a Freedom of Information Act request. When Hillary Clinton was secretary of state and the Haiti relief program was going on and the State Department and the Clinton Foundation were working on that, emails were sent to the State Department in which people who were ‘Friends of Bill,’ ‘FOB’ were highlighted,” Tapper said. “Why would they be highlighted if it wasn’t because cronies of the Clintons would be given access and contracts to help rebuild Haiti?”

Mook couldn’t even invent a defense for this one.

“I can’t comment on what might have happened at the State Department and what would have been highlighted or not,” Mook said. “But again, the State Department has been clear repeatedly, there was never any special favors. Nobody has put up any evidence that any of this actually happened and the Obama White House and the Department of State put in the highest possible ethical standards and there’s never been any evidence of any pay-to-play at all.”

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