Bill Clinton

Tags ››› Bill Clinton
  • Pro-Trump outlets falsely suggest the Clintons murdered a former Haitian government official

    Blog ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN


    Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

    Media outlets that favor President Donald Trump are claiming that former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were involved with the death of a former Haitian government official. The claim is just the latest in a long-running series of unsupported allegations that the Clintons have murdered people.

    On July 12, the Miami Herald reported that Klaus Eberwein, a former director of the Haitian government’s economic development agency, “was found dead Tuesday in a South Dade motel room in what the Miami-Dade medical examiner’s office is ruling a suicide.” According to the Herald, Eberwein “had fallen on hard times” and "faced allegations of fraud and corruption," and he was scheduled to testify before a Haitian anti-corruption commission. While neither the Clintons nor the Clinton Foundation were mentioned anywhere in the article, some fringe outlets and figures and fake news purveyors drew a connection, claiming that Eberwein’s expected testimony would have implicated the foundation. Far-right troll Mike Cernovich tweeted that Eberwein was “Found Dead Before Testifying Against Clinton Foundation” (discredited filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza promoted the claim), and fake news purveyor YourNewsWire claimed Eberwein was going to “testify that the Clinton Foundation misappropriated Haiti earthquake donations from international donors” (which conspiracy theorist Kim Dotcom and pro-Trump radio host Mark Simone promoted).

    Those claims were, of course, false. According to Snopes, a quote attributed by YourNewsWire to Eberwein attacking the Clinton Foundation actually came from someone else, and before his death, “no reports said or even hinted that any probe in which [Eberwein] was involved targeted Hillary Clinton or the Clinton Foundation”:

    As it turns out, however, the article from YourNewsWire from which the Haiti Sentinel piece was written is suspect, containing a “quote” from Eberwein — the only part of the article that linked him to the Clintons to begin with — that was actually spoken by someone else:

    “The Clinton Foundation, they are criminals, they are thieves, they are liars, they are a disgrace,” Eberwein said at a protest outside the Clinton Foundation headquarters in Manhattan last year.

    Someone did say that outside Clinton Foundation headquarters in Manhattan in November 2016, but YourNewsWire appears to have, for some reason, confused one person of Haitian descent with another. The actual person who spoke this phrase is a community activist and New York area radio host named Dahdoud André, and this comment originally appeared in a BBC article[.]

    [...]

    Before news of Klaus Eberwein’s suicide was reported on 12 July 2017, no reports said or even hinted that any probe in which he was involved targeted Hillary Clinton or the Clinton Foundation. The claim originated on the frequently disreputable YourNewsWire.com, and was uncritically repeated and amplified by readers and blogs. However, we have found no specific information tying Eberwein to Clinton before his July 2017 death.

    Since the Snopes report, not only have outlets and figures not retracted their false reporting, but the claim has spread. Pro-Trump TV network One America News (OANN) claimed Eberwein was “due to appear in court this week to testify in the Haitian senate against the Clinton Foundation for alleged corruption.” OANN went so far as to link Eberwein's death to the suicide of a GOP operative who sought Hillary Clinton's emails from Russian hackers and the murder of a Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer, saying, "Now with three mysterious deaths all leading back to the Clintons in some way, it's only a matter of time before the authorities connect the dots and see the pattern of a Clinton cover up."

    Far-right conspiracy outlets Zero Hedge and Infowars both published the same piece claiming “deaths seem to follow the Clinton’s (sic) around, and this one especially is probably something – considering since the mainstream media is silent about this death.” Conspiracy outlet WorldNetDaily alleged Eberwein “told acquaintances he feared for his life for his fierce criticism of the Clinton Foundation,” and pro-Trump website The Gateway Pundit suggested Eberwein was “another victim of Clinton Arkancide.” Fake news purveyors Right Alerts, American Today, Conservative Fighters, USA Politics Today, Global Politics Now, TruthFeed, and Right Wing News also all suggested or outright alleged a connection between the Clintons and Eberwein’s death. Their pieces have received hundreds to thousands of Facebook engagements apiece, according to social media analytics website BuzzSumo: YourNewsWire (419,200), Infowars (7,800), Zero Hedge (20,400), WorldNetDaily (13,500), Gateway Pundit (11,000), Right Alerts (1,800), American Today (400), Conservative Fighters (10,400), USA Politics Today (1,400), TruthFeed (18,300), and Right Wing News (931).

    Conservative media figures have falsely alleged for years that the Clintons have killed several people, including then-White House deputy counsel Vince Foster, despite multiple investigations concluding that his death was a suicide. Recently, some in conservative media, including OANN, have baselessly suggested that the Clintons were connected to the death of the DNC staffer, Seth Rich, even though law enforcement has concluded he was likely the victim of a botched robbery.

  • “Mind control,” “shadow government,” and Seth Rich: Sean Hannity’s history of pushing conspiracy theories

    ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS

    Fox News host Sean Hannity attracted widespread condemnation for pushing conspiracy theories about a murdered Democratic National Committee staffer, but it wasn’t his first time promoting or entertaining such wild claims on air. From claiming that the NFL’s Colin Kaepernick protested the national anthem because he “may have converted to Islam” to implying that former President Barack Obama is a terrorist sympathizer, here are some examples of Hannity embracing conspiracy theories.

  • Trump Tweets Congress Should Investigate Clintons After Hannity Promotes Uranium One Conspiracy

    Blog ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS

    President Donald Trump tweeted that Congress should investigate Bill and Hillary Clinton for a “deal that allowed big Uranium to go to Russia,” hours after Fox News host Sean Hannity promoted the story on his radio show.

    On the March 27 edition of The Sean Hannity Show, Hannity revived the long-debunked conservative claim from discredited Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton allegedly sold “20 percent” of American uranium to the Russian government in exchange for Clinton Foundation donations. Hannity and guest Pat Buchanan argued that the “whole Uranium One fiasco” involved Bill and Hillary Clinton, with the former president “giving speeches in Russia, getting paid twice what he normally gets paid.” Hannity also mentioned “John Podesta’s connections to the Russians” as something that is a “bigger crime” than Trump and Russia:

    SEAN HANNITY (HOST): We already know a bigger crime, and what about John Podesta's connections to the Russians during the campaign, number one. Number two, look at this whole Uranium One fiasco, while Bill Clinton -- Hillary Clinton’s secretary of state, he's giving speeches in Russia, getting paid twice what he normally gets paid. They get -- for the Clinton Foundation -- literally millions and millions of dollars sent to the Clinton Foundation, Hillary herself has to sign off on the Uranium One deal, where Russia literally controls 20 percent of American uranium?

    PAT BUCHANAN: Well exactly, all of these things were revealed, but the question is who will investigate the investigators? I mean, I saw, I think it was in the Post this morning or one of the papers, they're said, "Look at these -- they're trying to divert the attention away from the Russia connection to the WikiLeaks and to the getting into the DNC and Podesta files to this other thing." But look, I’m not against doing that, going into the Russian connection, if it's fair, but after eight months of investigating and you’ve turned up -- you can't even say who talked to who?

    A few hours later, Trump, who has pushed the smear before, parroted Hannity’s comments on Twitter, asking, “Why isn't the House Intelligence Committee looking into the Bill & Hillary deal that allowed big Uranium to go to Russia.” Trump also said Congress should investigate the “Russian speech" and the "money to Bill,” as well as the “Podesta Russia Company.”

    This appears to be the latest public example of Trump responding to segments from Fox News figures. In January, Trump responded to a segment on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor about crime in Chicago, tweeting, “If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible ‘carnage’ … I will send in the Feds!” Trump has also responded directly to Fox & Friends at least half a dozen times in March. On March 17, Trump blamed Fox News as the reason for his false claim that former President Barack Obama used British intelligence agencies to spy on him. Even after causing an international incident by citing a Fox figure, Trump continues to follow their lead, this time by resurrecting the repeatedly debunked Uranium One smear.

  • Sean Hannity Brings Supermarket Tabloid To Life By Inviting Clinton “Fixer” To Fox News Prime Time

    Hannity Hypes National Enquirer Story That “Fixer” Helped "Secret Sex Freak" Hillary Clinton Set Up "Illicit Romps With Both Men And Women"

    Blog ››› ››› THOMAS BISHOP

    Sean Hannity will host Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s alleged “Mr. Fix it” on his Fox News show October 24. Reports about the man’s “key role in some of the Clinton’s dirties schemes” come from the National Enquirer, a supermarket tabloid with a history of launching smear attacks against the Clintons.

    The Enquirer reported that “Hillary Clinton’s shady Mr. Fix It will tell all on TV tonight” as he joins Hannity to reveal his identity:

    The man who’s rocked Washington, D.C., will join Sean Hannity on tonight’s episode of “Hannity” — airing on the FOX News Channel at 10 p.m. EST — to reveal his true identity at last.

    Viewers will finally see the face of the Clinton insider who’s finally speaking out to tell voters the truth about the former First Lady and current presidential candidate.

    As The ENQUIRER reported, this man played a key role in some of the Clintons’ dirtiest schemes: the plot to take down Bill Clinton mistress Monica Lewinsky, sleazy deals to buy women’s silence, and so much more.

    In a series of stories about the purported “fixer,” the Enquirer alleged that “Hillary Clinton is a secret sex freak who paid fixers to set up illicit romps with both men AND women.” The man claimed to have been hired by the Clintons for $4,000 a month in cash, “paid by a third party” to hide “what effectively was the Clintons’ open, polyamorous marriage.” The man claimed to have kept the stories quiet in part because of Bill Clinton’s health, but said he was coming forward because of negative attention Republican nominee Donald Trump has received for his treatment of women:

    I have kept these secrets for a quarter-century because Bill Clinton had become an elder statesman with heart trouble and Hillary Clinton seemed to be focused, at last, on the business of doing her job — for better or for worse.

    I am coming forward now because of the endless attention the alleged indiscretions of Donald Trump have received. Nothing I have heard comes close to the sexual and moral corruption of the Clintons — many of which have yet to be revealed.

    Predictably, the liberal media is focusing on one man’s alleged misdeeds and ignoring another’s proven sins.

    The Enquirer, one of the few publications to endorse Trump, repeatedly published false stories about Trump’s opponents during the primary election. During the primary, the Enquirer falsely connected Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s father to the assassination of John F. Kennedy Jr. (and Sean Hannity refused to disavow the story). The tabloid also claimed that Jeb Bush used cocaine on the night his father became president and that Ted Cruz has had affairs with multiple women.

    During the general election, the Enquirer published baseless claims that Hillary Clinton’s health is so bad she will “be dead in six months.” Sean Hannity repeated the tabloid’s allegations, even inviting doctors on his prime-time show to discuss conspiracy theories about Clinton’s health.

    It is unclear whether Fox News has independently verified the “fixer’s” identity, and Hannity’s FoxNews.com website says only that “a reported Clinton 'fixer' speaks out.” The National Enquirer has been the only national media outlet to report on the unnamed “fixer,” but Hannity has made it clear that he is not a journalist and will do whatever it takes get Trump elected. 

     

  • Right-Wing Media Bolster Trump’s Campaign Strategy Of Baselessly Painting Hillary Clinton As “An Enabler Of Sexual Violence”

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    Right-wing media have bolstered Donald Trump’s campaign strategy of falsely claiming that Hillary Clinton has targeted women who have accused her husband, former President Bill Clinton, of sexual misconduct, in order to distract from numerous reports that Trump sexually assaulted several women. Multiple independent fact-checkers and media organizations have debunked the claims as unsubstantiated, calling them an “exaggeration too far.”

  • The NY Post Lies About The Clinton Foundation And Haiti

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    The New York Post editorial board claimed that the Clinton Foundation “isn’t even denying” the claim that foundation donors got “special treatment” from Hillary Clinton’s State Department during the response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. But the story the editorial cites as evidence quotes the chairman of the Foundation’s board explicitly saying that donors received “no special treatment.”

    The editorial board writes:

    Long-secret e-mails just caught Team Hillary in another blatant lie — namely, the claim that Clinton Foundation donors got no special treatment from Clinton’s State Department. In fact, ABC’s “case study” of the 2010 Haiti-relief feeding frenzy may be the most damning foundation scoop yet.

    And the foundation isn’t even denying it.

    ABC News got the e-mails via a Freedom of Information lawsuit. They show that, after the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake, a top Hillary aide repeatedly gave special attention to “Friends of Bill” looking to cash in.

    The Post is lying. The ABC News story the paper links to does include a denial of the claim that donors received special treatment:

    Bruce Lindsey, the chairman of the board of the Clinton Foundation, told ABC News in a written statement that “no special treatment was expected or given.”

    “This was a time of dire need, and we mobilized our network and wanted to make sure that any help offered was put to good use,” Lindsey said. “Many had been involved in disaster response before, in New Orleans after Katrina or after the tsunami, and again sought to help.”

    In his October 11 press briefing, State Department spokesman John Kirby said the department had reviewed the issue and found “no evidence that preferential treatment was given to any particular entity or organization with respect to contracts” with regard to Haiti:

    QUESTION: There’s a report that just came out a little while ago, an ABC report based on the – some emails. And I haven’t had a chance to read it closely enough yet to know if it actually makes the allegation or just suggests that there might have been – there might be some impropriety. So let me just ask the question that I think it hints at: What’s – in the wake of the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, did the department give preference to people or companies that donated – that had donated to the Clinton Foundation in terms of contracts to help Haiti recover from the earthquake?

    MR KIRBY: No, we looked into this with this – when ABC was working this story. We found no evidence that preferential treatment was given to any particular entity or organization with respect to contracts.

    QUESTION: So in other words, you’re saying that although these emails show that people were flagged as being friends of the former president or their companies were – they – your – you looked – your review found that that didn’t actually translate into any favoritism?

    MR KIRBY: Right, right. In preparing our response for that story, we looked into that and didn’t find any evidence that preferential treatment or – in a – for contracts was given.

    QUESTION: All right.

    MR KIRBY: But I don’t think it should – with President Clinton being the – designated by the United Nations as a special envoy for Haiti, I don’t think it would come as a shock to anybody that the people associated with or friends of him or the Clinton Foundation would also in a time of great need want to contribute. But I see no evidence of any preferential or special treatment.

     
  • Reminder To The Media: Trump Is The Worst Possible Messenger On The Clintons’ Marriage

    ››› ››› CAT DUFFY

    Media should report on the immense hypocrisy of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump levying attacks on former President Bill Clinton’s history with women and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s responses to those women.Trump and several of his closest advisers have long histories of engaging in infidelity, workplace sexual harassment, and misogynistic behavior. Trump himself has also called Clinton’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky “totally unimportant,” and, The Washington Post reported, he “repeatedly dismissed and at times mocked” the women who have accused Bill Clinton.  

  • Sound Bite Coverage Of Bill Clinton's Obamacare Comments Highlights Media's Policy Problem

    Blog ››› ››› CAT DUFFY

    The predominant media narrative surrounding Bill Clinton’s recent remarks about the Affordable Care Act illustrates a problematic trend in which coverage of public policy simplifies complex issues into sensationalized sound bites. This trend toward reductionist headlines is particularly problematic in the realm of health care policy, which is one of the most misunderstood policy arenas in American politics.

    At an October 3 rally for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, former President Bill Clinton gave a speech on a variety of policy issues including Hillary Clinton’s proposals for expanding and improving the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to address the challenges of the existing insurance market system. The former president specifically outlined how the Clinton campaign’s plan to “let people buy in to Medicare and Medicaid” would address the customers who were left out of the private insurance market even after President Obama’s landmark health care reform law went into effect:

    BILL CLINTON: Now the next thing is, we got to figure out now what to do on health care. Her opponent said, ‘Oh, just repeal it all. The market will take care of it.’ That didn’t work out very well for us, did it? We wound up with the most expensive system in the world and we insured the smallest percentage of people. On the other hand, the current system works fine if you’re eligible for Medicaid, if you’re a lower income working person, if you’re already on Medicare, or if you get enough subsidies on a modest income that you can afford your health care.

    But the people that are getting killed in this deal are small businesspeople and individuals who make just a little too much to get any of these subsidies. Why? Because they’re not organized, they don’t have any bargaining power with insurance companies, and they’re getting whacked. So you’ve got this crazy system where all of a sudden, 25 million more people have health care and then the people that are out there busting it ― sometimes 60 hours a week ― wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. It’s the craziest thing in the world so here’s the simplest thing ― you raise your hands, you think about it ― here’s the simplest thing: figure out an affordable rate and let people use that ― something that won’t undermine your quality of life, won’t interfere with your ability to make expenses, won’t interfere with your ability to save money for your kid’s college education. And let people buy in to Medicare or Medicaid.

    Here’s why: you can let people buy in for just a little bit because unlike where you are now, if you were on the other side of this, if you were an insurer, you’d say, ‘Gosh, I only got 2,000 people in this little pool. Eighty percent of insurance costs every year come from 20 percent of the people. If I get unlucky in the pool, I’ll lose money.’ So they overcharge you just to make sure, and on good years, they just make a whopping profit from the people who are least able to pay it.

    It doesn’t make any sense. The insurance model doesn’t work here; it’s not like life insurance, it’s not like casualties, it’s not like predicting flooding. It doesn’t work. So Hillary believes we should simply let people who are above the line for getting these subsidies have access to affordable entry into the Medicare and Medicaid programs. They’ll all be covered, it will not hurt the program, we will not lose a lot of money. And we ought to do it. [The Huffington Post, 10/4/16]

    Media jumped on just a fragment of Bill Clinton’s speech, framing his comments as an attack on Obamacare, a political gaffe, and a potential rift with President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s vision for health care policy -- framing that originated with the Republican Party’s so-called “war room,” which serves as a clearinghouse for opposition research. Much of the immediate coverage focused on the most inflammatory aspects of Clinton’s remarks, claiming Bill Clinton called Obamacare “the craziest thing in the world,” depicting his comments as trashing Obamacare, or declaring, “Bill goes rogue again.” Others emphasized that Bill Clinton later tried to clarify his purportedly “scathing” comments by changing his tune on the health care law.

    This focus on sensationalizing Bill Clinton’s comments on the ACA fails to situate them in the broader context of the current health care policy debate. While the media has depicted his comments as an attack on Obamacare, in reality, Clinton was making the case for enacting the improvements to the Affordable Care Act that are an integral part of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. A July 9 health care fact sheet from the Clinton campaign explicitly states that despite the progress made by the ACA, “Hillary believes that we have more work to do ... to provide universal, quality, affordable health care to everyone in America. This starts by strengthening, improving and building on the Affordable Care Act.” The New York Times noted Clinton’s stance on the ACA in September 2015, writing, “Mrs. Clinton has also consistently said that the health care act … is flawed and that if elected she would work out the kinks.”

    Additionally, Clinton’s comments are in line with President Obama’s view of the challenges facing his landmark law. In an article published by The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) on July 11, Obama noted that there is still work to be done on health care reform, including the need for a “Medicare-like public plan” that could compete with private insurance. Obama has previously reached out to insurance companies, asking them to help him fix the ACA, and has pursued “fixes” to address issues like cost, market competition, and the need to entice young, healthy enrollees -- which is exactly what Bill Clinton was discussing.

    In comparison, the Republicans have yet to produce a viable alternative to the Affordable Care Act, despite years of pledging to “repeal and replace” the 2010 law. This past summer, House Republicans unveiled an outline for an Obamacare replacement plan (not legislation), but as The Huffington Post noted, their plan would result in “fewer people with health insurance, fewer people getting financial assistance for their premiums or out-of-pocket costs, and fewer consumer protections than the ACA provides.”

    While much of the coverage hyped Bill Clinton’s remarks by framing his word choice as a political gaffe, some media outlets actually addressed the substance of Clinton’s comments, noting that his criticisms of the existing health care system are accurate and in line with the proposals advocated by Hillary Clinton and President Obama.

    This trend toward reductionist headlines and promoting coverage that revolves around catchy sound bites is reflective of a bigger problem in media coverage of policy issues in general. Media coverage tends to either ignore discussions of substantive policy issues in favor of flashier partisan fights or reduce complex policy debates down to digestible but often misleading sound bites. For example, a Media Matters study examining early news coverage of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign found that broadcast evening news shows devoted twice as much time to Clinton’s use of a personal email server than to her more-than-a-dozen announced policy proposals. Similarly, Harvard professor Thomas E. Patterson conducted a content analysis of four weeks of media coverage of the Democratic and Republican national conventions and found that the news media chose “damaging headlines” over policy and context in coverage of Hillary Clinton. As Patterson wrote, Clinton’s policy proposals have “been completely lost in the glare of damaging headlines and sound bites.”

    The media emphasis on catchy soundbites is particularly problematic in the realm of health care policy because Americans are fundamentally uninformed about -- and polarized over -- the Affordable Care Act, and this type of coverage only further stigmatizes the ACA. The words we use to discuss complex policy like the ACA shape public opinion, which plays a fundamental role in determining future progress. Given the complexity of health care policy and the misinformation surrounding the Affordable Care Act, media outlets must approach discussions of the health care law (and all public policy) by devoting more attention to the actual substance of the policies instead of focusing on flashy talking points.

  • Media Outlets Correct Trump’s Characterization Of Bill Clinton’s Obamacare Comments

    ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS & BRENNAN SUEN

    Republican presidential running mates Donald Trump and Mike Pence took former President Bill Clinton’s comments about Obamacare out of context to claim he “absolutely trashed” Obamacare in recent remarks. Numerous media outlets noted that Clinton’s statements on improvements necessary to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are actually “referring to the same central challenge” that President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton want to address.

  • Media Falsely Equate Trump’s Billion-Dollar Tax Avoidance Scheme With Clinton’s Taxes

    ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN

    Media figures are inaccurately equating Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a common tax deduction on her 2015 tax return to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s $916 million declared loss in 1995, which, The New York Times reported, he could have used to virtually wipe out his federal income tax obligations over the past two decades. Several media outlets have falsely claimed Clinton “did the same thing” as Trump when, in fact, Clinton’s 2015 tax return shows that she could take only a $3,000 deduction for her reported $700,000 loss, and her campaign reports that she has paid between a 25 and 38 percent income tax rate since 2001.

  • Media Take Note: Trump Is The Worst Possible Messenger On The Clintons’ Marriage

    ››› ››› CAT DUFFY

    When media report on Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s latest attacks on former President Bill Clinton’s history with women and Hillary Clinton’s responses to those women, they should also mention the immense hypocrisy of Trump levying those claims. Trump and several of his closest advisers have long histories of infidelity, workplace sexual harassment, and misogyny. And Trump himself previously said both that Clinton’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky was “totally unimportant” and that people would have been more “forgiving” if Clinton had a relationship “with a really beautiful woman.”