Columnist Robert Novak suggested in his weekend potpourri that Hillary Clinton is surprising supporters with some wild allegations. Have you heard anyone else in the national media on this outburst?
Clinton was off message in a Bloomberg News interview last week when she suggested "this administration has been very willing to talk about using nuclear weapons [against Iran] in a way we haven't seen since the dawn of a nuclear age." There have been no such statements by President Bush or his aides.
Hillary's Bloomberg interview was conducted by Al Hunt, the longtime Wall Street Journal D.C. editor and a longtime partner of Novak's on CNN's "The Capital Gang." Her remarks are more comical when you notice she asserts that Republicans are ruining Washington by refusing to hammer out an immigration bill: "This is another example of the denial that I see afflicting Washington right now. It's part of what I call turning Washington into an evidence-free zone." But her Bush-nuke remarks have already landed in that spot.
Hunt also drew out Hillary on the Plamegate kerfuffle:
HUNT: Came out a couple days ago that Scooter Libby revealed that President Bush authorized the leaking of classified information to bolster his case on Iraq. It seems he clearly has the authority to do that. But was that the proper use of the classification process? And was that proper politically?
CLINTON: No, it was absolutely not the proper use. Obviously it was done not just for political reasons, which sounds kind of everyday Washington politics. It was done to protect the decision makers from being held accountable for some of the information they used in the run up to the invasion of Iraq.
Our system is such a wonderful balance – the checks and balances that our framers put into it, the accountability that the Congress is supposed to provide, the courts having an independent view of what happens. But there's another element to this, Alan. And that is sort of the discipline, the habits of a White House in the sense of public policy.
Presidents should know not to go too far. We saw it with Richard Nixon. Claiming national security to break into Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office, to break into the Democratic National Committee. Well, here we have a president at least giving an implicit go ahead ...
HUNT: Is this analogous to what Nixon did?
CLINTON: We don't know. We don't know. But we do know that for political purposes that really use national security to score political points and to protect decisions and decision makers material was declassified. And clearly it was aimed at undermining Joe Wilson, who had been a distinguished diplomat in the service of his country for many years.
HUNT: You're convinced that your husband never engaged in any similar leaks.
CLINTON: Not that I'm aware of. Look, everybody leaks.
HUNT: No ...
CLINTON: I mean, everybody leaks. I know that. But the point is that classified information in the middle of a war and the goal being to out a CIA covert operative in order to discredit her husband who raised legitimate and we now know truthful questions about whether Iraq was seeking uranium in Niger, that's a pretty convoluted explanation of national security.