- Law Cases
by Sharon Rondeau
(Feb. 2, 2013) — On Tuesday, January 29, an interview between outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Fox News’s Greta van Susteren aired at 10:00 p.m. EST. During the exchange, Clinton discussed the current volatile situation in Egypt under President Mohamed Morsi, who the Obama regime had supported following the Arab Spring which topped Hosni Mubarak; the prospect of a nuclear Iran; and the attack on the U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.
There are several minor differences between the written report, which is termed “a rush transcript,” of the interview and the actual words spoken by Clinton and Van Susteren.
Clinton admitted that the Obama regime has not approved of everything Morsi has accomplished since his election in June 2012, including “abrogating a lot of power unto himself personally” and “reinstating emergency law provisions that had been a hallmark of the Mubarak regime.”
On November 22, Morsi had granted himself significant new powers not outlined in the constitution then in effect. Riots leading to injuries and deaths ensued, and many groups boycotted the December 15 referendum which resulted in the approval, by a slim margin and low voter turnout, of a new constitution with elements of Sharia law, something which secular interests in the country had feared.
As a result of recent riots in three major cities, Morsi declared martial law and gave the Egyptian army permission to detail civilians. However, despite Morsi’s recent actions, the Obama regime is delivering F-16 fighter jets and Abrams tanks to Morsi’s government based on an agreement forged with deposed leader Hosni Mubarak in 2010, to which several Republican senators have strongly objected.
Two years after the Arab Spring protests began in Egypt, violence continues against Morsi’s perceived influence by the Islamic group The Muslim Brotherhood. On February 1 alone, 54 people were reported to have been injured. As shots rang out, police brutalized a man who appeared to be unarmed. Women have also been targeted for attacks in violence which has ensued throughout the country protesting Morsi’s rule, which is seen as “authoritarian.”
An group opposed to Morsi has compared him to Mubarak, stating that “The policies of the president and the Muslim Brotherhood are pushing the country to the brink, but they are adopting the same language of the old regime and accusing their opposition of betrayl [sic].”
One of Clinton’s remarks to Van Susteren about Morsi was that “But you have to, I think, take a step back and look at the fact that the people now in power in these countries have never been in government, never had a chance to really learn how to run agencies or to make decisions.”
On January 30, commentator Glenn Beck reported on his radio show that Clinton had issued “criticism of the Obama administration” during the Van Susteren interview the evening before in an article entitled “SHOCKING: Hillary Opens Up About Obama?”
In a report which alternates between first-person and third-person narrative, Beck is reported to have said on air:
I was shocked to see video last night, live, Hillary Clinton on television talking, you know, talking about how her and her husband feel about the president of the United States.”
But is that what Clinton did?
Beck went on to quote Clinton as having said:
But you have to I think take a step back and look at the fact that the people now in power have never been in government, never had a chance to really learn how to run agencies. You do get the impression that he and the team around him are trying to deal with the economy that is in very bad shape. And some of what he’s done we have approved of and supported and some of what he’s done, like abrogating a lot of power unto himself, personally reinstating emergency law provisions, are troubling. And, you know…
The quote is actually a blend of several separate statements Clinton made during the interview which should have technically been expressed by several ellipses (…) to show that one or more words have been omitted.
Van Susteren’s question, “Is President Morsi, though — is he sort of with the program with us or not? Because he’s said some horrible things about Israelis two years ago, and there’s some things printed today from one of his senior aides about, that the Holocaust didn’t exist. And so there’s sort of very sort of suspicious things that he’s saying. And with all this turmoil, I’m wondering if his — you know, is he with us or against us?” was answered by Clinton with “But you have to I think take a step back and look at the fact that the people now in power have never been in government, never had a chance to really learn how to run agencies.”
Later in the interview, following Van Susteren’s question about Morsi: “When you met him, did you have a sense that he was a good partner, someone that we can deal with, or do we have to, you know, sort of, you know, be very cautious with him?” Clinton responded, “…you do get the impression that he and the team around him are trying to deal with the economy that is in very bad shape…” Clinton’s response prior to and after the text quoted here was omitted without ellipses showing the omissions.
Clinton’s following statement was also truncated without an indication:
But the — you know, the jury is out, Greta. You know, I’ve been around long enough to, so it’s not what somebody says, it’s what they do. And some of what he’s done, we have approved of and supported. And some of what he’s done, like abrogating a lot of power unto himself personally, reinstating emergency law provisions that had been a hallmark of the Mubarak regime, are very troubling.
And, you know, we have a balancing act to do, as do the Egyptian people as to how this is going to turn out.
Beck quoted the words, “And some of what he’s done we have approved of and supported and some of what he’s done, like abrogating a lot of power unto himself, personally reinstating emergency law provisions, are troubling. And, you know…”, omitting the word “very” before “troubling.”
Beck or his editor then contended, “As refreshing as it may be to hear Clinton call attention to some of the many flaws of the Obama administration, Glenn took issue with the fact she kept her mouth shut until she was on her way out the door.”
However, in her interview with Van Susteren, Hillary referred to Morsi’s flaws rather than Obama’s. When Clinton referred to “he and the team around him are trying to deal with the economy that is in very bad shape,” the words “in Egypt” followed, making it clear that she was speaking about Morsi, not Obama. Beck appears to believe that Clinton meant Obama when he states, “So she’s throwing the people under the bus saying, you know, some of the people in the administration around him that are running the government, they have never run government before. It’s true… But what I thought was shocking was she said some of the stuff they agree with but other things they don’t and one of them is taking so much power on and giving it to himself.” He then says, “As refreshing as it may be to hear Clinton call attention to some of the many flaws of the Obama administration…”
Beck then commented, “But what I thought was shocking was she said some of the stuff they agree with but other things they don’t and one of them is taking so much power on and giving it to himself.” However, Clinton had been talking about Mohamed Morsi, not Obama. At no point in the interview did Clinton criticize Obama.
Others, including members of the U.S. House of Representatives and a former Attorney General, have accused Obama of assuming unconstitutional powers, particularly by bypassing Congress. On January 25, a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC ruled that Obama had violated the U.S. Constitution by making four “recess” appointments when the Senate was not truly in recess, as required by the Constitution. As a result, the decisions issued by the entities, including the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), to which the four were appointed could be nullified.
Beck also made a reference to Hillary having made “controversial statements about ‘that guy,’” but those words do not appear in the transcript nor in the video of the interview.
If the video and transcript provided by Fox News are unedited, Hillary Clinton did not criticize Obama. Beck also stated that Hillary Clinton quoted her husband, Bill, as making statements about Obama, which does not appear in the interview.
Did Beck misunderstand, misinterpret, or mischaracterize what Clinton said? Has he, in fact, been concerned about Morsi’s actions “for years now?”
A breaking update published after Beck’s initial commentary states:
Glenn Beck issued the following statement at the end of the segment above:
“We’d like to just issue a statement here on the Glenn Beck Program that it’s come to our attention that Hillary Clinton tape may or may not have been edited.”
We don’t have time to discuss it anymore.”
The link leads to a Beck posting about MSNBC having edited a video of testimony of the father of a Sandy Hook shooting victim to make it appear that Second Amendment supporters had interrupted and heckled him as he addressed a Connecticut legislative panel on Monday. While the video was later updated to include the full exchange between the father and gun-rights supporters, appearing to validate the claim of selective editing, the testimony had nothing to do with Clinton’s interview with Van Susteren.
Did Beck report that the Clinton/Van Susteren interview had been edited, or did he misunderstand Clinton’s references to Mohamed Morsi as having been directed at Obama? Why was there “no time” to discuss the allegation of possible editing of the video?
Or was the fact that Hillary Clinton appeared on Fox News in itself interpreted as a criticism of Obama?
Tags: Connecticut, Egypt, Egyptian constitution, FOX News, Glenn Beck, Greta Van Susteren, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, martial law, Mohamed Morsi, MSNBC, National Labor Relations Board, NLRB, police brutality, Sandy Hook testimony, Second Amendment, Secretary of State, Sharia law, U.S. Constitution, violence in Egypt