WASHINGTON, June 5, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In an Interview aired over this weekend on the Rick Smith Show's six Pennsylvania radio stations and now online, National Democratic Strategist Robert Weiner, a former Clinton White House spokesman and senior staff for Congressmen John Conyers, Charles Rangel, Claude Pepper, and Ed Koch, rebuts critics' claims against Hillary Clinton's emails and Benghazi issues as untrue, gives substantive counter-arguments, and commends her foreign policy speech.
TRANSCRIPT -- THE RICK SMITH SHOW ON SIX PENNSYLVANIA RADIO STATIONS:
Robert Weiner talks commanding Hillary Clinton speech and rebuts Claims about Hillary's emails Benghazi accusations.
June 4, 2016 Robert Weiner, former spokesman for the Clinton White House joins Rick to discuss Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's recent foreign policy speech aimed at GOP front runner Donald Trump and The Donald's response, and rebuts Claims about Hillary's emails Benghazi accusations.
RICK SMITH: I guess it could be worse... We could have Rick Perry as the nominee. Rick Perry had another beautiful comment after the speech by Hillary Clinton, Perry was quoted as saying, "Donald Trump will peel her skin off in a debate setting." Here to talk a little about the big speech and the reaction that came along with it, Bob Weiner, weinerpublic.com the website, he is a former spokesman in the Clinton White House. Bob, thanks for taking time for us.
BOB WEINER: It's a pleasure, Rick, but you know what the problem with Rick Perry's analogy was? He couldn't remember what the third layer of skin was.
SMITH: (Laughter), You know, that's probably true...
BOB: And then Trump's reaction to Hillary's (speech), Forget about substance, It's "Lyin Hillary, political, she's going to jail," What about (her pointing out) the bizarre rants, the dangerous nukes to Japan, don't support NATO, Iran's OK in Syria, you've offended our strongest allies. Nothing on that. Hillary scored big-time, credibly, and it turns out she has a twenty-point edge on Trump over who has the better temperament to handle foreign policy and she showed why in that speech.
SMITH: Do you think she moved any of the Trump supporters away or do you think the Trump supporters are your 5's and you leave them alone?
WEINER: She's not worried about the Trump supporters. She's worried about the Independents. Any independent who wants to have a country that has a sane foreign policy run with reason. Despite her warts, despite her mistakes, despite what Tom Cole said this morning on some failures during her tenure, God knows you want that kind of reasoning she has versus the impulse out of nowhere, the impulsive foreign policy that Trump does.
SMITH: I tend to agree with you but there are a lot of folks who would point to those failures during Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State as maybe not making the right choices even though she did it in the right way.
WEINER: Get to the bottom line though. We have 95% fewer troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. So people who say, "You're still fighting the war in Iraq, you're still fighting the war in Afghanistan," you know, Obama DID earn his Nobel Peace Prize by pulling 95% of the troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan and only having a residual force so you can actually do something about al Qaeda/ISIS. What, are we supposed to sit on our rears and do nothing about them? You've got to do something that is a base to do special ops from. So he's doing just the right thing, and he did keep his promises. Plus, GOT BIN LADEN, unlike Bush, and Hillary was a big part of all that. Bush told the Afghanis and Pakistanis what we were doing and they let bin Laden slip out of Tora Bora. Obama kept it secret, sent the Seals, privately, while telling jokes at the White House Correspondents showing the laser sense of importance and priorities that he has about this top secret mission. And while he was telling the jokes, and later watching in the situation room, he was spearheading the mission, which was on a thread, with the first helicopter crashing, everyone probably thought that mission was dead meat, but somehow kept that mission going, privately, and got bin Laden. So how is that a failure?
SMITH: I'm not saying that it was. But at the end of the day, you've got the Benghazi crowd screaming about that. I'm not sure what Trey Gowdy's going to trot out in a couple of months.
WEINER: Well let me tell you what Trey Gowdy didn't trot out, Rick: He actually came out and said, "It wasn't true that the military could have done anything more." He conceded what the thirteen other investigations found. Next, they are going to have to concede that Hillary asked for $500 million in embassy support, hundreds of millions of dollars more, a year before Benghazi, and only a year after it did a press release come out by the Foreign Relations Committee saying "we are now full funding Embassy support that the Administration requested." And why? Only because they were embarrassed about it from Benghazi. Hillary had asked for that support.
And third, it WAS a video that was the foundation, and the guy that got arrested and is in jail said, they used the video as an overlying basis for support, and then they threw the bomb after the crowd was riled up, and they used that video as a basis to rile the crowd up. The New York Times said, with very little magnified coverage, that it was a combination of the video and a terror attack. So there is no :"there there" on any of this stuff on Benghazi.
SMITH: You see, that's a lot more nuanced, a lot more complicated, than just "She didn't do anything."
SMITH: Now you're explaining stuff. People don't want facts...
SMITH: I mean...
WEINER: Ha! Now let's talk about the emails.
SMITH: Do we have to talk about the "damn emails"?
WEINER: You've got to read down to the bottom paragraph of every story which says, "It wasn't classified at the time." You can always classify after, but there was no legal law-breaking and no "malicious intent." In fact, having Bill Clinton's private server, the former President of the United States, was safer than the White House, which has been hacked, OPM which has been hacked, Homeland Security which has been hacked, Target which has been hacked. So they had a safer, more secure email and there was no malicious intent concerning any national security secrets.
SMITH: So let me ask..
WEINER: Again there's no "there there" and you're only going to get another report, from the FBI, same as the State Department, which is going to say, "Bad girl, bad judgment," which she's already agreed to.
SMITH: Yeah, well here's the thing, Why isn't she taking that position then? Instead of saying, "Colin Powell did it, Condi did it, everybody else did it," Why isn't she saying, "Our computer systems are antiquated, we need to be investing in upgrading, we need to be making sure our things don't get hacked as often as they are, and this was a simpler way to make sure that things got done?"
WEINER: The real answer is what Carville said, she didn't want Louis Gomert combing through her emails. And by the way, on your Colin Powell point, and Condi Rice, Colin Powell erased and got rid of all of his emails, a complete zero of turning over to the National Archives, even though he was asked and Condi was asked. The only one who turned them over was Hillary. Powell didn't turn them over because he didn't want people to know that he had supported a lie in the U.N. and that it wasn't weapons of mass destruction. He was embarrassed and called that his worst moment. Condi also destroyed her emails because she didn't want anyone to know she supported torture. So these people destroyed their emails, didn't turn them over, and Hillary's the only one who did, and gets blamed for doing it.
SMITH: Maybe that's the case, and what you are saying isn't getting out, because everyone I talk to says, "Hillary's the only one who had a private server. They all had private email addresses but she set it up so not to turn over her emails. In fact they all had private servers. They all didn't have Yahoo accounts.
WEINER: When there was a hacking attempt on her email, her staff was smart enough to block it and to stop it when there was an attempt. So it never happened. Unlike, and you know I ticked off that list, the White House, the Department of Homeland Security, all these federal departments other people are getting into-- you remember even the Office of Personnel Management, with all people's Social Security numbers and everything -- the Office of Personnel Management had all the key people in the White House and all the executive agencies -- Hacked! Bill Clinton's house - - NOT hacked.
SMITH: But someone did get the Monica emails though.
SMITH: I just had to throw that out there. Anyway, I looked at the speech yesterday. She was, in my view, very presidential. You could see her in that role.
SMITH: That will help her against Trump, but will it help her against Bernie in California Tuesday?
WEINER: I sent an email to my friends in the Hillary campaign. I told them I thought it was substantive, I thought it was fun, it had good timing, it had great audience reaction except for the ten minutes in the middle when she started reading faster without allowing audience reaction. But her beginning and end were masterful, using putdowns of Trump's own words. People saw in all the breadth and depth of what she talked about that she's got it all over Bernie. You know, I like Bernie by the way, and his economic message is terrific. She's picking up on it, and she's got Elizabeth Warren with her. But on foreign policy, nobody's going to touch her.
SMITH: She's got Elizabeth Warren with her? Whoa, back up the bus. She's got Elizabeth Warren with her now?
WEINER: She is out there saying all the things about why we have to beat Trump, and Hillary is on the phone regularly with Elizabeth Warren. Here's what I think is going to happen. You know, everybody's saying, "You know, Bernie's staying in until the convention." They always forget the second half of the sentence, that Jane Sanders said: "unless he says he's out." And Bernie says, "Until the last ballot is cast." That translates to me as the split second that California and New Jersey are over, Bernie has a news conference with love and harmony. That's what I think is going to happen.
SMITH: At some point something like that has to happen.
WEINER: When Bernie is now on TV, my assistant sees the screen and yells, "Will you leave already?" It's getting to that.
SMITH: Well, I don't know. I have friends in California who are thrilled to death that he's there.
WEINER: He's accomplished a lot, and it's great that he did, and he's moved Hillary. Moved her on the trade deals, moved her on the one per cent, moved her on the importance of not being in Wall Street's pocket, he moved her on a lot of things. But you're going to tell me you're going to compare Hillary to Trump? She's got to get Bernie's kids. I told John Podesta -- I had a chance to meet with him and told him, and gave him a recent oped I did on Reaching Millennials, she's got to go after Millennials and has to talk about Wall Street, criminal reform/drug policy, jobs and school loans and paying for college and all the things that kids care about forthright and directly. Podesta said, "We're going to send kids out," and I said, "John, That's not good enough. She's got to address these issues and I handed him the oped. Then I saw about 15 minutes later, he was in a corner of the room reading the oped. I would suggest to our listeners, to be honest, go to our website, www.weinerpublic.com -- I don't mean to push it...
SMITH. No. Go ahead.
WEINER: Then, on our website, click on OPEDS, and then click on 2016, and at the top you'll see five of them. Especially look at "The Myth of Rising Health Costs" which are half the inflation compared to pre-Affordable Care Act, and then Millenials-- "How to Reach Millenials", which I think is the key one because it's what Hillary's got to do to reach Bernie's kids.
SMITH: She's got to definitely figure out how to do that. But the narrative I think will happen, and maybe you'll push back, is the second Bernie is out, she is racing back to the middle.
WEINER: I don't think so because she knows she's got to get Bernie's kids. That's where the Elizabeth Warren factor comes in, who will run around with her, Bernie is going to be running around with her. Maybe he'll take the one minute of cry time, but you know after that he'll be running around with her because he has said he wants to do everything he can. He has even said you cannot compare Hillary to Donald Trump, she's a thousand times better. Bernie has said that.
SMITH: I'm with you. I've said from the beginning, I voted for Hillary when our primary was here, and in November, I'll vote for Hillary or Bernie, whichever it's going to be. Nobody on the Republican side seems to be sane or rational and now that they've taken a reality TV star as their nominee, it makes it that much simpler to vote for either one of Bernie or Hillary.
WEINER: You know that McConnell is about the most honest of the bunch saying that Trump is "irrational, you can't offend people like the Governor of New Mexico," Hispanics, and now Trump during his lawsuit is going after the judge because he's Hispanic-- oh there's a good reason to go after a judge, because he's Hispanic. So now the Hispanic commentators on the TV shows are saying he's ripped away "any shred" of an option of Hispanic votes. So McConnell is saying that people are going to be doing ticket splitting. That's what people are going to be doing in this election. It's going to be a disaster for them. Now, House members are even talking about taking back the House, Rick. This is the first time that's coming up because of the option of a wave election.
SMITH: I don't see the option of the Democrats taking back the House, because it's so badly gerrymandered.
WEINER: It only takes 15 seat, it's not that much-- You flip and you get the thirty and that's what it takes, that's the difference it's not that much, that's the margin.
SMITH: That would be nice to see, I'm still hoping for the Senate.
WEINER: Right, The odds that I see in Politioco and elsewhere are a 60-75% chance of the Democrats taking the Senate. It looks to me that Trump has not learned his lesson, and he has five months to learn, but it does look like he has not learned the lesson. You think Hillary's got to move, but Trump has to move from everything he's done despite having been told. He's ignoring it. He's got five months to get brow-beaten into getting more moderate by the time the debates happen. We'll see.
SMITH: We'll see. It will be interesting. As this continues, we'd love to have you back, often, to give us your thoughts.
WEINER: Rick, it's fantastic talking with you. Thank you for inviting me on your show where you uniquely inform Pennsylvania, and we send it around to everybody we know so that it can go to the American people. Thank you for what you do.
SMITH: All right, Bob. Thanks so much, man. Great talking to Bob. Again, the website, weinerpublic.com, check out the website and the opeds there, and we'll have a link on the Rick Smith Show. Quick break now. Be right back. You're listening to The Rick Smith Show, where working people come to talk.
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