NBC Touts Bill Clinton's Unhappiness with Embarrassment of Weiner Sex Scandal
During a report on growing calls for Anthony Weiner to resign from Congress on Thursday's NBC Today, Politico's Maggie Haberman noted how former President Bill Clinton was particularly troubled by the sex scandal: "Bill Clinton is very unhappy with Anthony Weiner right now. The Clintons are not thrilled with this."
Congressional correspondent Luke Russert had described how "Among those Weiner has turned to since the scandal has broke is former President Bill Clinton, a close friend who presided at the Congressman's wedding and has referred to Weiner's wife [Huma Abedian] as his second daughter."
Following Russert's report, new co-host Ann Curry spoke with foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell about how Hillary Clinton was reacting to the scandal: "It's been reported that her [Abedin's] boss has been advising her. How do you think that's playing out, given that her boss is Hillary Clinton and she's been in the spotlight for this kind of thing before?"
Mitchell oddly claimed: "I think there's going go to be a lot of anger at the media." She made no attempt to remain objective or detached from the story: "No one wanted to ask the questions of anyone at the State Department about this. This is really tough for those of us who like Huma a lot."
Mitchell then shifted to praise Clinton's focus on women's rights as Secretary of State:
I mean, one of the things about Hillary Clinton that you know so well is she has elevated women's issues to – human rights issues starting in Beijing all the way back in the '90s. And throughout her travels, she's always meeting with women's groups. She talks about women's empowerment and this is just so humiliating and devastating for a team of strong women at the State Department who have made it U.S. policy and done it so effectively and with so much respect worldwide.
Here is a full transcript of the June 9 segment:
7:00AM ET TEASE:
MATT LAUER: Mounting pressure. More Democrats call for Anthony Weiner to step down, this as an explicit new photo emerges amid word that the Congressman's wife is pregnant with their first child. How long can Weiner hang on to his seat on Capitol Hill?
7:05AM ET SEGMENT:
ANN CURRY: There are startling new revelations this morning on embattled Congressman Anthony Weiner's sexting scandal. NBC's Luke Russert is on Capitol Hill with more on this story. Luke, good morning.
LUKE RUSSERT: Good morning, Ann. A new twist in the Anthony Weiner saga. We learned his wife Huma Abedin is pregnant. This news comes on the heels of a new lewd photograph emerging on the internet and members of the Congressman's own party calling on him to resign.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Under Pressure; Dems Call for Weiner to Resign as Nude Photo Leaks]
Seen for the first time since the scandal broke, Anthony Weiner's wife Huma Abedin arrived in Abu Dhabi with Secretary of State Clinton amid yet another new revelation late Wednesday. Multiple sources who say they have direct knowledge confirmed to NBC that Abedin and Weiner are expecting their first child. That news comes as a rising chorus of prominent Democrats is calling for Weiner to resign from Congress.
TIM KAINE [FORMER DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN]: Lying is unforgivable. Lying publicly about something like this is unforgivable and he should resign.
ALLYSON SCHWARTZ [REP. D-PA]: Certainly as a member of Congress, as a woman, as somebody who is appalled by this behavior, that the right thing to do is for Anthony Weiner to resign.
RUSSERT: And there's even more pressure on Weiner, a picture showing a naked man below the waist, purportedly of the Congressman, is making the rounds on the internet. On Tuesday, conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart told Matt he had the naked picture but said he would not release it.
ANDREW BREITBART: I can't foresee a circumstance in which I would release that. I don't think I want to put his family through that type of thing.
RUSSERT: Breitbart says the picture was leaked after he showed it to radio hosts during an interview, not knowing they had a camera.
BREITBART: I think it's content and I it is proof. I just chose not to put it out there for public consumption. I still stand by that, and I'm upset that it's out there.
RUSSERT: Late Wednesday, Weiner's office issued a new statement, saying quote, 'As Representative Weiner said on Monday when he took responsibility for his actions, he has sent explicit photos. With the full support of his wife he is working on righting these wrongs with his family and colleagues.' Among those Weiner has turned to since the scandal has broke is former President Bill Clinton, a close friend who presided at the Congressman's wedding and has referred to Weiner's wife as his second daughter.
MAGGIE HABERMAN [POLITICO]: Bill Clinton is very unhappy with Anthony Weiner right now. The Clintons are not thrilled with this. This is very hurtful to Huma Abedin, who they consider to be a family member, and it is very embarrassing generally.
RUSSERT: And, Ann, despite many Democrats telling Anthony Weiner he should leave the House of Representatives, I spoke to a Weiner aide recently who said, quote, 'Resignation is not where the Congressman's head's at.' Ann.
ANN CURRY: Alright, Luke Russert this morning. Luke, thanks. As NBC's chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell has traveled around the world with Anthony Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin. Andrea, good morning.
ANDREA MITCHELL: Good morning, Ann. And congratulations, Ann.
CURRY: Oh, Andrea, thank you so much, especially coming from you.
MITCHELL: This is so exciting for all of us.
CURRY: Thanks, now let's turn to the subject at hand. And with this news that Huma Abedin is pregnant, according to Politico.com in her first trimester, what is the reaction now, in Washington, to this news, Andrea?
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Pregnant and in the Spotlight; Huma Abedin: Who is Anthony Weiner's Wife?]
MITCHELL: Well, there is no one more private than Huma and no one more loyal and her friends and colleagues are returning that loyalty. Reached in Abu Dhabi late last night, even after this was confirmed by NBC, the word back from Huma was no comment. So it's not – her pregnancy was not well known at the State Department, except, Ann, among those very close friends and colleagues. And according to those who know her, it is something that she has long looked forward to, certainly not in these circumstances. It is notable that she was not standing at her husband's side when he held that extraordinary news conference Monday, but she did watch it. And she was with him later that night, Monday night, in New York. From all accounts she does remain committed to making this marriage work.
CURRY: She – we don't know a lot about her. She's described as a very private person. However, she has a very close relationship, you've seen it up close, with Hillary Clinton. How would you describe that relationship? And how would you describe what we don't know about Huma?
MITCHELL: Well, I think there's no one closer – other than Bill Clinton, Chelsea and Dorothy Rodham, Hillary's mother – no one closer than Huma. She's in Abu Dhabi, as you know today, as Luke was just showing. She's been at Hillary Clinton's side almost since she began as a White House intern back in 1996. She was with her in the Senate race in 2000, in 2006, and throughout the 2008 campaign. She is her closest confidante. She's smart, she's dignified, she's completely reliable, she's tireless. Hillary once told Vogue that Huma's combination of, quote, 'Poise, kindness and intelligence are matchless' and she's described her as her other daughter. Bill Clinton officiated at the wedding last July. So this is family, this is close, this is very painful.
CURRY: She was also raised in a very conservative environment, as you know Andrea, in Saudi Arabia, though she was born in Michigan. But do you think that this has made – this environment, this – the way that she was raised has made this actually even harder for her?
MITCHELL: Certainly. I mean, she was raised – Pakistani and Indian background – raised in Saudi Arabia, educated here at GW. She is a private person. She is a Muslim. She observes – she is an observant Muslim married to a Jewish man. That's already quite a stretch, so she's evolved. But she is very private, very conservative. And for any woman this would be painful, for Huma it is just awful. But as I say, she's very much in love with Anthony Weiner and friends say they will try to work this out.
CURRY: It's been reported that her boss has been advising her. How do you think that's playing out, given that her boss is Hillary Clinton and she's been in the spotlight for this kind of thing before?
MITCHELL: They've dealt with this. I think there's going go to be a lot of anger at the media. No one wanted to ask the questions of anyone at the State Department about this. This is really tough for those of us who like Huma a lot. I mean, one of the things about Hillary Clinton that you know so well is she has elevated women's issues to – human rights issues starting in Beijing all the way back in the '90s. And throughout her travels, she's always meeting with women's groups. She talks about women's empowerment and this is just so humiliating and devastating for a team of strong women at the State Department who have made it U.S. policy and done it so effectively and with so much respect worldwide.
CURRY: I think that's a good point to leave it this morning. Alright, Andrea Mitchell, thank you so much.
MITCHELL: Thank you, Ann.