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Thursday, October 22, 2015

What does The Donald think about the hearings?

by digby

I knew you'd be dying to know what the GOP frontrunner for president had to say about what we watched all day today. He spoke with CNN's expert commentator Hugh Hewitt, who fed him all the talking points he'll need. (Great hire, by the way. Hewitt's a real catch.)

HH: Let me begin with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Have you had a chance to watch any of today’s hearings?

DT: No, I want to get your input, because I actually watched her first five minutes, and then I had to go, because I had a big meeting. And I thought her opening remarks really looked bad, but I don’t know. I have not been hearing positive things. How is she doing?

HH: Terribly. There are smoking guns all over the place. It’s an armory of smoking guns. Let me play for you one exchange. This is Congressman Mike Pompeo talking to her, Donald Trump, about security at the embassy.

MP: Do you know how many security requests there were in the 1st quarter of 2012?

HRC: For everyone or for Benghazi?

MP: For, I’m sorry, yes, ma’am, related to Benghazi and Libya. Do you know how many there were?

HRC: No, I do not know.

MP: Ma’am, there were just over a hundred-plus. In the 2nd quarter, do you know how many there were?

HRC: No, I do not.

MP: Ma’am, there were 172ish. Might have been 171 or 173. That’s…how many were there in July and August, and then that week and a few days before the attacks, do you know?

HRC: There were a number of them. I know that.

MP: Yes, ma’am, 83, by our count. That’s over 600 requests. You’ve testified here this morning that you had none of those reach your desk. Is that correct also?

HRC: That’s correct.

MP: Madame Secretary, Mr. Blumenthal wrote you 150 emails. It appears from the materials that we’ve read that all of those reached your desk.

HH: What do you make of that, Donald Trump?

DT: Wow, that’s unbelievable. That sounds pretty amazing. So these were requests for protection, essentially?

HH: Yes.

DT: Wow, that’s not good. So hundreds and hundreds of requests? I would say that doesn’t sound so good. I mean, I just saw, you know, it was very interesting, because I did have to leave, and I watched maybe five or six minutes, maybe ten minutes, her opening remarks, and the way she was reading them, it sounded terrible. The whole thing sounded terrible. And I thought, I was very, I was so looking forward, and I am looking forward, actually. You know, I’m going to Florida. I’m doing a big thing at Doral tomorrow, like thousands of people, and we’re going to have 15,000 people in Jacksonville, Florida. I said I have to go back upstairs. I don’t want to watch this hearing. But I can get, from you, I’ll get better than watching it. That’s the thing I like about you. So you think that, I mean, you think that she is not doing well?

HH: I think she’s doing terrible, and there’s one aspect I want to go to your Art of the Deal experience.

DT: Okay.

HH: She has listened to the [Congressmen] with her hand on her face, with her head, you know, cocked to one side contemptuously throughout hours and hours of testimony. When you see that at a negotiation, Donald Trump, what does that tell you?

DT: Well, I think she’s trying to feign boredom, but I think she probably wants to just get out of there. It really, you know, sort of indicates two things. But she’s trying to feign disdain and boredom. And it just sounded to me, I have other friends that have been watching it very studiously today, and they are really surprised. You know, when I watched Trey Gowdy on, I think it was Face The Nation this weekend, it sounded to me like he was not going to go after her that much, Hugh, because he was sort of saying well, we have other people, and she’s just a small part of it. It sounded to me like he was pulling back. But as I’m hearing it today, they’re not pulling back at all. They’re really going into it, and I’m just hearing she’s looking very bad. 

Maybe Biden did the wrong thing getting out yesterday.

HH: Maybe he did. Here is a second, the smoking gun exchange. This is Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan with the former Secretary of State.

JJ: In that email you sent to your family, here’s what you said at 11:00 that night, approximately one hour after you told the American people it was a video, you say to your family two officers were killed today in Benghazi by an al Qaeda-like group. So you tell the American people one thing, you tell your family an entirely different story. Also, on the night of the attack, you had a call with the president of Libya. Here’s what you said to him. Ansar al-Sharia is claiming responsibility. It’s interesting. Mr. Khattala, one of the guys arrested and charged, actually belonged to that group. And finally, and most significantly, the next day, within 24 hours, you had a conversation with the Egyptian prime minister. You told him this. We know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack, not a protest. Let me read that one more time…

HH: Now Donald Trump, Lindsey Graham has called these the smoking gun emails.

DT: Yeah, well, it’s…

HH: What do you think?

DT: …certainly a part of it. It’s certainly a part of it, and it’s so different than what she’s been saying for so long. So that’s a problem for her. Wow. Very interesting.

HH: Do you think when you lose…

DT: You must be, you must find this very interesting, I would say, as a student. You must find this very interesting.

HH: Oh, I think her credibility is shattered, and I wonder, once you lose credibility, how do you get it back, Donald Trump?

DT: It’s very hard. It’s very hard, especially when you lose it in such a public forum. You know, a lot people are watching and want to watch it, and they’re going to be going home tonight, like me, and they want to devour it. And they want to see what’s going on. And I mean, just from the little bit that you’ve played for me. And plus, there’s a level of, you know, the questions are tough. They’re tough. The way they’re put is very tough. And…

HH: Let me ask you this. This is also occurred to me.

DT: I think it’s amazing.

HH: …as appropriate for Donald Trump. Lots of people want to get to you. Obviously, you’ve got hundreds of thousands of people want to get to you. They want you in their deals. They want your name, etc. If someone like Sidney Blumenthal gets through to you 130 times, and you respond to them, does that person have standing? Should we as an outsider say that person has standing with Donald Trump, or in this case, with Hillary?

DT: Yes, that person, that person has great standing, and Blumenthal obviously had great standing. Most people are not able to get through. I’d say 99.9, most people are not able to get through to somebody like Hillary. He gets through, and from what everybody tells me, this is not a good person. And this is not a person that she should be dealing with. And I think the President, as I remember from seeing it a long time ago, didn’t they even request that she not deal with him? They don’t like him.

HH: Yes.

DT: They don’t want him dealing with her? So she’s doing that behind the President’s back, and in theory, she’s working with the President and for the President. So I think that’s amazing, and I noticed how much he seemed, the access he seemed to have to her. And has that come up, yet, today?

HH: Oh, yeah, quite a lot. Sidney Blumenthal is in this hearing more than Ambassador Stevens is in this hearing.

DT: Wow.

HH: And it just goes to the fact that he basically owns a private channel. And does anyone have that to you, Donald Trump? If you’re the president of the United States, does anyone have a back channel to you that we should know about going in?

DT: I would say Ivanka, Ivanka Trump, okay?

HH: (laughing)

DT: Maybe nobody else. You know, it’s amazing, and what really amazed me is the level of hatred and I think distrust and everything else that the President had for Blumenthal. You know, it’s really surprising that she’d do that, because she actually, I thought somewhere along the line, sort of indicated like she wouldn’t be dealing with him much anymore.

HH: She did. Let me talk to you about secret servers, because the CIA director’s email’s been hacked. She had a secret server. These emails are now appearing. Are your emails at the Trump operation, and your servers’ protected? Does the private sector have an advantage here over government contracting?

DT: They’re in theory very secure, but you know, honestly, my emails are so boring, I would release them tomorrow. My emails are not exciting, and I’m not a big fan of the email stuff. You know, I’ve seen so many people have problems because of emails. I’ve watched it. And you know, going a step further, I’m not sure, I have a son who’s 9 years old. He’s so good with computers. And I’m not sure with computers that you know, as wonderful as they are in so many different ways, you know, we’re talking about technology. In the old days, when you wanted to attack, you’d have a courier with armed guards, and you’d have an envelope, and you’d give it to the general, right?

HH: Right.

DT: Now, you send it to the general, and you don’t have, you have no idea how many people are watching and reading, they’re, you know, they’re hacking your messages. It’s really pretty, I think MacArthur would not like the whole concept of computers. You understand what I mean. There are so many brilliant people out there that understand the innards of these machines, and when you look at heads of agencies that have been totally hacked, and I mean totally hacked, and I guess there was one yesterday or the day before where some young kid was hacking top people in different agencies.

HH: Yup.

DT: I mean, that’s pretty sad stuff. I’m not sure that you could stop it, to be honest with you.

HH: So are you going to, are you assuming that everything…

DT: I think computers are very, when you talk about lack of security, I think there’s a great lack of security with computers, I’ll tell you.

HH: Are you assuming that everything that you put on an email, or you put into a direct message, is public?

DT: I assume that.

HH: All right, that’s a good rule.

DT: And it’s totally illegal for people to do things about it, but I assume that when I send out emails, and when I sent, which are very seldom, frankly, I’m not a big believer. I like to do it as little as possible. But I assume that they’re being looked at by other people.