NBC Rushes to Defend Hillary Clinton From Karl Rove

On Tuesday, the cast of NBC's Today felt it necessary to spend a minute of air time defending Hillary Clinton from Karl Rove raising questions about her health, with co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaiming: "Karl Rove's explosive new claims about Hillary Clinton. The Republican strategist has suggested that she may have a brain injury." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Guthrie quoted Rove "reportedly" claiming at a recent conference that Clinton being hospitalized for "thirty days" in 2012 after suffering a fall may have been evidence she had a "traumatic brain injury." Following the quote, Guthrie noted: "Well, for the record, Clinton was in the hospital for three days, not thirty. And her team is hitting back hard this morning."

Guthrie continued: "A spokesperson saying, 'Karl Rove has deceived the country for years, but there are no words for this level of lying.' As for Clinton's health, her rep adds, 'Please assure Dr. Rove she's 100%.'"

Fellow co-host Matt Lauer remarked: "In an attempt to be provocative, I think, he [Rove] stepped a little bit into it, as they say." News anchor Natalie Morales chimed in: "Over the line."

Neither ABC's Good Morning America nor CBS This Morning thought Rove's unrecorded comments were worth reporting. Only NBC found the time to protect Clinton from criticism.


Here is a full transcript of the May 13 report on Today:

8:14 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Alright, we're back, it's 8:13, time for What's Trending Today. First up, Karl Rove's explosive new claims about Hillary Clinton. The Republican strategist has suggested that she may have a brain injury.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Damaging Claims? Rove: Hillary Clinton May Have Brain Injury]

We all remember Clinton's fall at her home in late 2012. She was hospitalized. And the official diagnosis was a blood clot. But, at a conference last week, Rove reportedly said, quote, "Thirty days in the hospital? And when she reappears she's wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury? We need to know what's up with that."

Well, for the record, Clinton was in the hospital for three days, not thirty. And her team is hitting back hard this morning. A spokesperson saying, "Karl Rove has deceived the country for years, but there are no words for this level of lying." As for Clinton's health, her rep adds, "Please assure Dr. Rove she's 100%." Karl Rove has not returned our request for comment. So I guess the battle begins.

MATT LAUER: In an attempt to be provocative, I think, he stepped a little bit into it, as they say.

NATALIE MORALES: Over the line. 

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC