Now that David Shuster has returned from MSNBC exile after the Clinton campaign complained about his comments on Chelsea, will Tucker Carlson's be the next head Camp Hillary hunts?
Senior Clinton advisor Kiki McClean comprehensively rapped Carlson's knuckles this evening over comments Tucker made about Clinton campaign spokesman Phil Singer.
View video here.
The jumping-off point was an astounding Dana Milbank piece in today's WaPo: Team Clinton: Down, and Out of Touch, which described the frayed nerves within Hillary's camp. Milbank singled out Singer for particularly tough treatment, painting the picture of a man on the verge. Tucker had the temerity to raise the matter.
TUCKER CARLSON: Phil Singer, who is the Clinton spokesman, was also quoted by Dana Milbank in this piece in the Washington Post today, and he described his own mindset as this, and I'm quoting: "Sixteen months into this, I'm just angry."That one quote doesn't do justice to just how beside himself Singer appeared to be, per the Milbank column.
KIKI MCLEAN: You know what? Phil Singer's a great guy. He's been working really hard --That set McLean off.
CARLSONL: He's an angry guy.
MCLEAN: He's a guy who's been working really hard for something and somebody he believes in.
MCLEAN: And you know what? Let's be honest: you said it in your own coverage. Senator Clinton and her campaign have taken a pounding, sometimes not always fairly. And you had a moment, you had a very human moment there, and I think we can all appreciate that.
CARLSON: Should the Hillary Clinton campaign continue to employ an emotionally troubled spokesman? Is that wise?
MCLEAN: I think you're totally out of line to make a comment like that.The conversation moved on, but a bit later Tucker had one of those classic message-in-the-earpiece moments.
CARLSON: He said he's angry. He said "I am angry."
MCLEAN: Tucker, Tucker.
CARLSON: You want a spokesman who is angry? Come on.
MCLEAN: You and I have always had a good relationship, but I think for you to use a phrase like that about a member of our staff is totally inappropriate.
CARLSON: He's describing himself this way.
MCLEAN: You used the phrase "emotionally troubled." And what I'm telling you is that this is a staff person who believes in what he's been fighting for, believes in the senator's plans for the country and the vision for the future, and he had a very human moment yesterday, and I think you probably have human moments too. I think the way you're characterizing that is really inappropriate.
CARLSON: I think it's exactly what the guy just said, and moreover I think it's counter-productive to have people who are out who are enraged and whose dealings with the press reflect that rage.
MCLEAN: You know what, I think we're talking about what's been a long race. Both teams are tired.
CARLSON: I just heard that Phil Singer has just called apparently MSNBC, he's upset about what I said . . . oh, I'm sorry, I totally misunderstood [MSNBC source informs me it was internal, not from Singer]. I did not mean in any way to imply that Phil Singer was crazy, I'm just saying, he described himself as distraught, and that's the point I was hoping to make.Will the forces of Hillary call for the head of Carlson as they did in Shuster's case, and if so, will MSNBC again cave?
MCLEAN: You used a phrase that was inappropriate and that's what I challenged.
CARLSON: I don't believe it was inappropriate. I did not mean to say the guy was crazy. I just mean to say he described himself as distraught and is that an effective spokesman? That's the point I'm making.
MCLEAN: And what I'm telling you is that, that's a very human person yesterday in one moment.
CARLSON: OK, OK.