Donald Trump has refused to release a serious report on his health, and has instead been hustling right-wing conspiracy theories about Hillary’s health, despite her disclosure of a medical assessment confirming her fitness. MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell made the inexplicably irresponsible decision to indulge Trump’s gutter politics during an interview with Clinton senior strategist Joel Benenson.
It’s hard to imagine just how grateful Team Trump must be to Andrea Mitchell for breathing credibility into their despicable rightwing conspiracy theories about Hillary’s health.
Watch as she introduces this reprehensible rumor-mongering by suggesting she’s just giving Benenson a chance to respond (how magnanimous!):
After Mitchell offers a litany of patently absurd garbage offered by conspiracy theorists as “proof” of their allegations regarding Hillary’s health, Benenson rightfully responds: “Those things do not even rise to a level of rebuttal. They’re ludicrous. They’re ridiculous. They’re trumped-up allegations, because they’ve got a desperate candidate.”
This is, of course, hardly the first time that Mitchell has happily carried water for conservatives hoping to discredit and defeat Hillary by any means necessary. Mitchell has reported on the OIG report on Hillary’s emails with positive glee, and wrongly reported “that the OIG report showed Powell ‘used both personal and official email.'”
In a sit-down interview with Hillary last year, Mitchell opened by asking her if she was sorry about her private email server, and it only went downhill from there.
Watch, starting at 5:02, as Mitchell asks Hillary, as if she and her colleagues had nothing to do with creating this dynamic: “Does it concern you that people don’t trust you on this?” Then she follows up by referencing a thoroughly discredited Quinnipiac poll, quoting their debunked findings: “The first words that came to mind when asked about you were liar, untrustworthy, crooked. How does that make you feel?”
That exchange is a perfect example of the dynamic I described here: “Asking her dreadful questions like, ‘Why don’t people like you?’ isn’t about trying to establish facts about Hillary’s fundamental truthfulness or integrity. It’s about an attempt to hurt her on camera and capture her pain. This persistent and recursive exploration of negative feelings toward Hillary is about shaming her, and nothing more.”
Now Mitchell has graduated from merely trying to humiliate Hillary on camera for the pleasure of her most vicious opponents to just openly doing the bidding of the Trump campaign.
Is there any reason to credit these absurd conspiracy theories as though their promulgators have a shred of credibility? No decent reason. The only purpose is to give Trump an assist in his noxious campaign, and to suggest, on a grand and visible scale, that maybe there’s something to these rumors.
Maybe, Andrea Mitchell implies, just by asking the question, Hillary is lying about her health. Maybe she’s concealing something. Maybe she conscripted a doctor into this conspiracy. Maybe.