On MSNBC, Eric Boehlert Calls Out The “Amazing Double Standard” In Media Coverage Of Clinton And Trump Foundations

Boehlert: “Where Is That Thunder” For The Pay-To-Play From The Trump Foundation?

From the September 5 edition of MSNBC's The Place for Politics:

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JOY REID (HOST): Donald Trump today answered questions about a $25,000 check the Trump Foundation gave to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi in 2013. As The Washington Post reports this week, Trump has now paid a $2,500 penalty to the IRS for that gift, because the Trump Foundation, a registered non-profit, violated tax laws by giving a political contribution. Trump organization officials have claimed that the violation was an honest mistake and say that Trump has reimbursed the foundation. News of this donation is raising eyebrows, because at the time, Bondi was considering whether to investigate fraud allegations against Trump University and wound up not pursuing the case. Bondi isn't the only state attorney general to find a fat check in her campaign coffers from Trump. In June, the AP reported that Trump donated $35,000 to then-Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's successful gubernatorial campaign, three years after Abbott dropped his investigation into Trump U.


Pam Bondi, who we both well know, she has not been able to really escape the story, but at the same time it hasn't seemed to hurt her. My question is whether or not this winds up hurting Donald Trump in some way.

FERNAND AMANDI: Only if the Democrats decide to make it an issue. Let's play a game, Joy. Let's take out Donald Trump's name and plug in Hillary Clinton's name and ask what would have happened if Hillary Clinton had paid off a Democratic state attorney general and had a favorable decision afterward? Donald Trump would be going crazy. All of the corrupt Hillary epithets would be out there. Why is this not the exact case of corrupt Donald doing something that clearly is pay-for-play? One-off? Maybe. Twice, a trend. Greg Abbott, Pam Bondi.

REID: That is a question, again, for the media. You haven't heard the calls to shut down the Trump Foundation. You haven't heard, really much about this story at all to be honest with you. But this seems to be as direct an instance of what really looks like pay-for-play as we've seen so far.

ERIC BOEHLERT: For 18 months the press has been looking for a pay-for-play for the Clinton Foundation, quid pro quo. It started in the spring of last year. They haven't found it. This is exactly what they have been looking for. This is, as he said, this would be all over the news. One mention on the Sunday shows over the weekend about it. Very little headlines or things like that. Previously Washington PostNew York TimesUSA Today all wrote editorials: “you have to shut down the Clinton Foundation.” Not because they've done anything wrong. It just doesn't look good. Now we've got Trump sending $25,000 checks to get investigations shut down. Where are those editorials, right? Where is that thunder? Where is that lecturing tone about how Trump really needs to figure out how to abide by the ethics? This is an amazing, amazing double standard.


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