In an interview released on the day of his Clinton Cash book launch, Peter Schweizer admitted he overreached in attacking Hillary Clinton's purported role in approving a Russian uranium deal.
Schweizer is a Republican activist and consultant with a long history of errors and retractions. His latest book, Clinton Cash, is being released today and claims the Clintons helped foreign donors through State Department decisions. The book features over 20 errors, fabrications, and distortions.
During an April 26 appearance on Fox News Sunday promoting the book, Schweizer falsely claimed that then-Secretary of State Clinton "had veto power" to stop the Russian State Atomic Nuclear Agency from purchasing Uranium One. Schweizer has suggested Clinton approved the deal as a favor for Clinton Foundation donors.
Schweizer's "veto" claim is false. As Media Matters and others have noted, the State Department was just one part of a nine-agency review panel that oversees such decisions. And members can only make recommendations to the president, not unilaterally "veto" deals. Furthermore, as TIME reported, there's "no indication of Hillary Clinton's personal involvement in, or even knowledge of, the deliberations." To the contrary, one official involved in the process said Clinton "had nothing to do with the decision in the Uranium One case."
During a May 5 Politico podcast interview, Schweizer admitted that "veto is probably not the best word" and "what I meant by veto power was as we explain the process, you know, if somebody objects it kicks in the special investigation."
Peter Schweizer and conservative radio host Dana Loesch speculated that Schweizer could be murdered by "the Clinton machine" over his new book Clinton Cash.
During a May 4 appearance on The Dana Show, Loesch told Schweizer "there is always that concern for anyone who goes up against the Clinton machine that they could be Vince Fostered" and asked if he considered that possibility when "getting himself security." Schweizer replied: "Yeah, I mean look -- there are security concerns that arise in these kinds of situations."
Schweizer added that the security decision was made by his group, the Government Accountability Institute, and the "reality is we've touched on a major nerve within the Clinton camp. They are very, very upset, and they are pulling out all the stops to attack me in an effort to kill this book off."
Anti-Clinton pundits have for years pushed the deranged conspiracy theory that the Clintons had then-deputy White House counsel Vince Foster killed in 1993 and covered it up. Multiple investigations concluded that Foster actually died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Northern Virginia's Fort Marcy Park.
There are over 20 errors, fabrications, and distortions in Clinton Cash, which is being released on May 5. Schweizer is a Republican activist and consultant who has worked for Republican politicians like George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, and Bobby Jindal.
From the May 4 edition of KFTK's The Dana Show:
LOESCH: We're going to have more on the terror attack in Garland, Texas, last night. I'm glad that they had security, well-thought-out security for that event. And I was reading an article just the other day where author Peter Schweizer, whose new book Clinton Cash -- and this book is just, is really making a lot of people uncomfortable -- Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich. I was reading the other day that Peter Schweizer who, the author who joins us by phone right now, was very smart and ended up getting himself security. And I know that Peter, first off, thanks so much for joining me. I know you don't want to talk too much about it, but there is that, there is always that concern for anyone who goes up against the Clinton machine that they could be Vince Fostered, and I'm sure that that was something that you took into consideration.
SCHWEIZER: Well, Dana, first of all thanks for having me on the show. I always love doing it. Yeah, I mean look -- there are security concerns that arise in these kinds of situations. You know, you don't like to go into too much detail, there were some things that were going on that we felt needed to be addressed. The decision on security wasn't actually made by me, it was made by board members of Government Accountability Institute, and you know, it's I think showing an abundance of caution. The reality is we've touched on a major nerve within the Clinton camp. They are very, very upset, and they are pulling out all the stops to attack me in an effort to kill this book off.
Republican activist and consultant Peter Schweizer's new book Clinton Cash, obtained by Media Matters ahead of its publication date, is a trainwreck of sloppy research and shoddy reporting that contains over twenty errors, fabrications, and distortions. Schweizer pushes conspiracies "based on little evidence" that are "inconsistent with the facts" and "false"; takes quotes "badly out of context"; excludes exculpatory information that undermines his claims; and falls for a fake press release.
Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer's conspiracy that Bill Clinton's speaking fees influenced State Department grants in Haiti has fallen apart.
In his forthcoming book, the Republican activist and consultant alleges that Hillary Clinton's State Department "was quick to send taxpayer money" through a program called the Haiti Mobile Money Initiative (HMMI) to the company of Irish billionaire Denis O'Brien, who had allegedly helped arrange paid speeches for Bill Clinton that amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars around the same time. But Schweizer's allegation is undermined by numerous errors.
BuzzFeed reports today that "Bill Clinton was not paid for several speeches as reported in a forthcoming book about his family's foundation, spokespeople for the former president said."
Princeton Lyman, who served as an ambassador under Republican and Democratic administrations, has rebuked Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer for taking his comments about the Clinton Foundation's work "badly out of context."
Lyman has held numerous senior government positions, including ambassadorships to Nigeria and South Africa under President Reagan and President Clinton, respectively. He's now a senior advisor to the president of the U.S. Institute of Peace.
Schweizer targets the Clinton Foundation's efforts to combat HIV/AIDS in his forthcoming book. In a section wondering "how much good has the Clinton Foundation actually done," Schweizer took issue with the foundation's statement that Bill Clinton has helped decrease the cost of HIV/AIDS drugs.
Media should be cautious with Republican activist and strategist Peter Schweizer's new book Clinton Cash. Schweizer has a disreputable history of reporting marked by errors and retractions, with numerous reporters excoriating him for facts that "do not check out," sources that "do not exist," and a basic failure to practice "Journalism 101."
Conservative pundits are attacking Hillary Clinton as "anathema to feminists" because she "married up," never achieved anything aside from being "the president's wife," and "has only ever gotten anywhere in politics because of who she's married to."
Erika Falk, an executive director at Georgetown's McCourt School of Public Policy, wrote in Women for President: Media Bias in Nine Campaigns that during the 2008 campaign, media "conveyed disrespect for Clinton ... by implying that she has no personal accomplishments and all her success was due to her husband." University of Maryland professor Shawn J. Parry-Giles similarly noted in Hillary Clinton in the News: Gender and Authenticity in American Politics that pundits "complained that Clinton's accomplishments derived from her opportunistic marriage rather than her own credentials, further eroding her feminist commitments and her political authenticity."
The refrain that Clinton "has only ever gotten anywhere in politics because of who she's married to" has resurfaced again regarding her 2016 presidential campaign.
Presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is reportedly trying to downplay his connections to fringe conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones.
Bloomberg Politics' David Weigel reported that when "asked whether he regretted talking to Jones, Paul demurred," stating: "I've been pretty open to doing a lot of interviews with a lot of different people ... And people want to characterize one or two of them, whether they're on the right or left, you know, they're welcome to do it. But I've been pretty open to doing interviews and it's one way to get the information out."
Weigel added: "Asked if he listened to Jones's show, Paul said that he simply didn't listen to much news. 'When I'm brushing my teeth in the morning I turn on the news channel,' he said, 'but I'm busy all day.'"
Paul's suggestion that his connection to Jones was just a random media appearance is disingenuous: Paul has made numerous appearances on Jones' radio program since the 1990s and admitted Jones and his audience were integral to helping him win his first Senate race.
Further, Jones said yesterday that Paul has "been a listener of this show for years."
UPDATE (4/5): In a statement issued to media outlets on April 5, Chris Wallace apologized for his remark. He stated: "I sincerely apologize to Kelly Clarkson for my offensive comment. I admire her remarkable talent and that should have been the focus of any discussion about her."
Fox News host Greta Van Susteren called on colleague Chris Wallace to apologize for his "obnoxious" remark that singer Kelly Clarkson "could stay off the deep dish pizza."
During the April 3 edition of The Mike Gallagher Show, Gallagher asked Wallace: "Have you seen Kelly Clarkson? You know the singer, Kelly Clarkson? Holy cow, did she blow up."
Wallace remarked that "Clarkson's got a lovely voice" but "she could stay off the deep dish pizza for a little while."
Van Susteren referenced Wallace's remarks on her FoxNews.com blog -- in a post headlined, "Chris Wallace owes Kelly Clarkson an apology" -- and wrote that Wallace was being "obnoxious. He should apologize."
Wallace's remarks are below:
Fox News host and Daily Caller editor-in-chief Tucker Carlson acknowledged he instructs his employees that "you can't go after Fox ... because I work there." Carlson added that the rule is a "conflict" and "Is that unfair? Yes, it is. But that's what it is."
Carlson's policy surfaced after blogger Mickey Kaus quit the Caller when a piece critical of Fox News was yanked from the website. Kaus said Carlson told him he took down the post because "We can't trash Fox on the site. I work there."
Carlson acknowledged his rule prohibiting criticism of Fox News during a Real Clear Politics interview posted on April 2:
CARLSON: I have two rules. One is you can't criticize the families of the people who work here. And the other rule is you can't go after Fox. Only for one reason. Not because they're conservative or we agree them; because they're doing the Lord's work. Nothing like that. It's because I work there. I'm an anchor on Fox. And so I had a couple of my employees say, "Well, isn't that a conflict?" To which I said, "yes, it's a conflict. For sure." It's a conflict that I am the owner of The Daily Caller -- my business partner and I own it. And I'm an employee of Fox. That's a conflicted situation, but I don't know what to do about it.
Carlson added: "You don't criticize your employer. I mean that's just kind of 101 ... Is that unfair? Yes, it is. But that's what it is." Prior to being hired by Fox in 2009, Carlson was one of Fox's fiercest critics, calling the network "a mean, sick group of people" and The O'Reilly Factor a "shit" show hosted by "a thin-skinned blowhard."
In a 2010 interview, Carlson claimed that his then-new site was "not going to suck up to people," stating: "Our goal is not to get Republicans elected. Our goal is to explain what your government is doing. We're not going to suck up to people in power, the way so many have. There's been an enormous amount of throne-sniffing ... It's disgusting."
Though The Daily Caller won't allow criticism of Fox, there are a lot of things they'll still permit. This includes employing blatant sexists and producing sexist content; heckling the president during a Rose Garden address; publishing anti-science "reporting" denying the existence of depression; selling out readers to a firm they previously said is headed by a fraudster; and failing to adequately correct errors, among many other issues.
Washington Examiner correspondent Eddie Scarry tweeted in response to Carlson's admission that Glenn Beck's The Blaze enacted a similar policy against criticizing Fox News. Scarry, who worked for the conservative website from 2011-2014, wrote: "100% true: I was told at TheBlaze not to write about Fox News. But no editor there would have admitted that in public." He added that the rule "was because they didn't want to upset Fox, which has heavy clout with cable providers. Blaze really wants to be on Comcast."
UPDATE: Mickey Kaus tweeted the following in response to Tucker's admission (h/t Erik Wemple):
Tucker admirably honest about his No-Trash Fox rule. Except he didn't tell me about it when he signed me up (or ever) http://t.co/XeHxghMUtP-- Mickey Kaus (@kausmickey) April 2, 2015
Kaus expanded in a post on his website, writing that "The Rule is not sustainable. We're about to enter a media driven Republican presidential primary in which Fox is accused, not without basis, of favoring Jeb Bush" and "that means everything Daily Caller writes about Fox is suspect (of being BS) since they are presumably leaving out any bad parts, even if true" (emphasis in original).