Bloomberg's With All Due Respect Highlights Media's Insistence On Lowering Bar For Trump

John Heilemann: “This Pam Bondi Thing Is A Classic Example” Of Pay For Play

From the September 6 edition of Bloomberg's With All Due Respect:

Video file

JOHN HEILEMANN (CO-HOST): Questions have resurfaced about a 2013 donation that Donald Trump's foundation gave to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi around the same time Bondi's office was deliberating over whether to investigate fraud allegations against Trump University. Trump and his campaign deny any shady business but this is just one of a litany of controversies and accusations that have been dogging the Republican nominee of late. What else might be on that list, you ask? Today Hillary Clinton walked to the back of her shiny new campaign plane and rattled off a few of them. 


HEILEMANN: Trump is still trying to clear up his stance on mass deportations for undocumented immigrants as well as some of those other matters. Yesterday, he tried to put any questions about his health to rest, telling ABC's David Muir that he plans to release his full medical records. So Mark, thinking about the whole spectrum here of what we will call flaps, controversies, imbroglios, which of the Trump, those matters is likely to stick to Donald Trump? 

MARK HALPERIN (CO-HOST): Let me stipulate that the Clinton campaign is right. Trump is being held to a less high standard than Clinton right now. There are so many controversies involving Trump, partly it's the fault of the Clinton campaign for not being able to choose but partly it's because the press is not treating them equally. Trump is doing things that if Clinton did, she would be hit a lot harder. We shouldn't do that. Everyone should work on fixing that. I think the immigration thing is the one that's most likely to stick, because most of these things involving his personal finances and his flip-flops and inconsistencies, the press is just not holding him accountable and I don't think will, although they should. We should. The thing about immigration is Trump basically I think has tried to land where a lot of Republicans are which is I'm not going to talk about the 12 million. Border security first. You and I have had countless Republicans on this show who have taken the position.

Heilemann: Can't answer the question. 

Halperin: I that's basically where he's trying to be but he's being held to in this case a tougher standard, most reporters let Republicans get away with saying that. Trump isn't being allowed to get away with it.  

Heilemann: This Pam Bondi thing is a classic example of the thing you just cited. Which is, this is an actual thing that on the face of it looks like pay for play. It is outrageous. 

Halperin: Remember what Trump used to say. I know all about pay for play. That's what I used to do. 

Heilemann: Yes. Exactly. You think about it, there's nothing close to that on the surface on the face of it that looks as much like pay for play in the Clinton Foundation whole thing, we will talk about that in a second, nothing close to this. This is bad. I think that potentially the group of issues that surround Trump and corruption and potentially Russia are things that could stick to him, especially if Putin and more hacking stuff comes up later in the campaign. 


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CNN's Jeff Zeleny Says There Is “More Smoke Here” In Trump's Illegal Pam Bondi Donation Than Many Other Controversies