ABC is running a promo strangely claiming no topic is “off limits” in Diane Sawyer’s Hillary Clinton interview. “No questions off limits,” promised substitute anchor David Muir on Friday’s World News.
But in an excerpt shown on Friday night, Sawyer sticks to questions so short they barely count as sentences. She’s not an interviewer. She’s just a facilitator. It’s another puff job, even if Diane keeps a dour face on (video, transcript by Matthew Balan below):
DAVID MUIR: Bowe Bergdahl, meanwhile, and the controversial deal that brought him home was fair game when Diane sat down with Hillary Clinton for that exclusive one-on-one conversation – no questions off-limits, including Hillary Clinton's own health – that concussion. And what about her age, after one Republican said, if she runs, it would be like 'The Golden Girls.' What does she say to that?
Tonight here, your first look at the Diane Sawyer interview, beginning with the President's decision to trade those Taliban detainees for Bowe Bergdahl.
DIANE SAWYER (from pre-recorded interview): Did he make a deal with the devil in releasing those five Taliban?
HILLARY CLINTON: I think this was a very hard choice, which is why I think my book is so aptly named. If you look at what the factors were going into the decision, of course, there are competing interests and values. I mean, one of our values is, we bring everybody home off the battlefield the best we can. It doesn't matter how they ended up in a prisoner of war situation.
SAWYER: It doesn't matter?
CLINTON: It does not matter. We bring our people home.
SAWYER: How is your health?
CLINTON: It's very good, thank you.
SAWYER: How serious was it?
CLINTON: It was – you know, it was a – I think a serious concussion-
SAWYER: But the clot, in addition – if the clot had dislodged?
CLINTON: Yes. Well, can I tell you? That's what – that was a scary point.
SAWYER: You had trouble with vision?
CLINTON: I had – because of the force of the – of the fall, I had some – I had double vision for a short period of time, and I had some dizziness.
SAWYER: Did you have trouble talking?
CLINTON: No, I had no – I had no problems. The only thing I had-
CLINTON: No. I didn't – I didn't – I didn't have any of that. I didn't – I felt fine, and I felt it was kind of silly that I was supposed to stay in bed.
I ran into Congressman Paul Ryan at the inauguration last year, and I had read he was this great athlete. And I said, 'Congressman, did you ever have a concussion?' He goes, 'Oh, yes!' He said, 'I had several' – I think three – 'and the last one was serious. But my mother was smart enough to make me stay in' – because what happens to athletes, soldiers, young people in car accidents – all the reasons why people get concussions – is they kind of shake it off. And I felt like – you know, I can – I can get back up. I can go to work. And the doctor said, no – you're going to say and rest, because then, you will have a complete recovery.
So, fast-forward – I go home for Christmas – go to New York for Christmas – and I want to go back to work. And so, my doctor said, okay, let's just do – you know, a MRI to make sure that everything's healing as we think it is. So, here's what they say: they say, the good news is, the concussion is totally resolving like we told you. It's going to be fine. The bad news is, you've developed a clot behind your right ear, and you must immediately go the hospital, because we have to immediately put you on blood thinners.
SAWYER: Because you had a clot in your right leg before when you were traveling-
CLINTON: I have; I have-
SAWYER: Are they related?
SAWYER: So, blood thinners now?
CLINTON: Blood thinners – yeah; yeah.
SAWYER: For life?
CLINTON: Probably – but I don't mind, because I don't ever want to have to go through that again. (laughs)
SAWYER: So, no lingering effects?
CLINTON: No lingering effects-
SAWYER: Of any kind?
CLINTON: No – nope.
SAWYER: So, you would release your medical records if you ran for president?
CLINTON: I would do what other candidates have done – absolutely.
SAWYER: And what would you like to say to Karl Rove about your brain?
CLINTON: (laughs) That I know he was called 'Bush's Brain' in one of the books written about him, and I wish him well. (laughs)
CLINTON: Age! Yes – isn't it great to be our age?
SAWYER: Mitch McConnell said at one point that 2016 will be the return of 'The Golden Girls.'
CLINTON: That was a very popular, long-running TV series. (Sawyer and Clinton laugh)
Muir then concluded: "You can watch the entire interview – Diane Sawyer with Hillary Clinton – Monday night, 9 pm Eastern. Nothing off the table – her marriage; her plan for 2016; and when we will all know whether she's going to run – a look inside Clinton's life, like we have not seen before, on the eve of her new book, 'Hard Choices.' The prime-time special Monday night right here."