Lessons from Last Night: Trump sure loves a compliment! Even if it’s from Russian President Vladimir Putin…
Last night’s Commander-in-Chief Forum – being moderated by Matt Lauer and NBC News – was… interesting. Yeah, let’s go with interesting. An event that flirted with becoming a flaming dumpster fire at any moment, looked to have dodged such a fate multiple times throughout the night. Oddly enough, even if there wasn’t much new substance coming from either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, there were still interesting tidbits on how they would approach national security issues. Here’s our rundown from the night’s event.
That Awkward Moment Where You Might Have Gotten Special Treatment
A few weeks ago when the FBI decided not to pursue the Clinton’s private email server case any further, many who had ties to intelligence agencies were left feeling pretty salty.
Break classification rules for the public's benefit, and you could be exiled.
Do it for personal benefit, and you could be President.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) June 1, 2016
Their grievances are simple. Even if Hillary Clinton had no idea running a private email server put classified information at risk, that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Because of that, if she was anyone else other than Hillary Clinton, she would have gotten a far worse punishment than the FBI director just telling them they “practiced bad judgement!”
Whether Clinton got special exemption from her email brouhaha is hard to say – since most cases like these are either kept within an agency or are rarely brought to the media’s attention – but based on the questions that were being lodged at Clinton last night at the Commander-in-Chief forum, it’s still a touchy subject with many people. At least those that deal with national intelligence.
Granted, could the NBC News team chosen fewer questions regarding Clinton’s personal email server? Absolutely. But does that mean many people, particularly those in the intelligence community, are getting over the fact that Hillary Clinton may have gotten a pass on something that would have landed them in jail? Based on last night’s town hall style forum, not a chance.
Hold Up! So You’re Telling Me There’s a Double Standard Whenever a Women is Running for Political Office?!?
@HillaryClinton was angry + defensive the entire time – no smile and uncomfortable – upset that she was caught wrongly sending our secrets.
— Reince Priebus (@Reince) September 8, 2016
Naw man, it’s all in your head!
Grading on a Curve
Guys, let’s be real here for a moment. Imagine if LITERALLY ANYONE ELSE other than Donald Trump had made these comments regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin during a nationally televised forum.
For any other presidential candidate, this would have been the self-inflicted wound to end their presidential run. For anyone else, last night would have been their “Dukakis in a Tank” moment.
For the Trump campaign, it was just a Wednesday.
The 2016 election cycle has been increasingly strange thus far, and a large part of that has to do with how the media has treated comments made by Donald Trump. For example, take a look at Katherine Krueger’s tweet (from the Talking Points Memo) from earlier today.
Trump would’ve captured bin Laden before 9/11, he says
— Katherine Krueger (@kath_krueger) September 8, 2016
WHAT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE SAYS THAT!?!?!
Yet in a few hours, it’s will be dissolved into the 24-hour news cycle ether to be completely forgotten.
From the beginning the media at-large has treated Trump very differently when compared to not only Hillary Clinton, but with any other presidential candidate in the last 20 years. Somehow reading off a teleprompter or sticking consistently to a concentrated view has been looked at as presidential. Signs of basic competency from Trump have been framed as “impressive” when reporting about his campaign.
Usually in these cases, the debate stage acts as a great equalizer, in that you have to ask Trump the same questions as you would Clinton. Last night, Matt Lauer clearly didn’t do that. While he drilled Clinton for specifics, he looked to have settled for very basic answers when it came to Trump.
In these type of town hall style forums, September 26th can’t come soon enough!
Meanwhile in Gary Johnson’s World
FYI kids, for those that don’t know, Aleppo is pretty much the epicenter of the Syrian Civil War and ground zero for the Syrian refugee crisis. Or aka, something a presidential candidate should probably know…
(Photo Credit: MSNBC)