On the June 30 edition of MSNBC Live, anchor Contessa Brewer falsely claimed that former President Bill Clinton "reportedly told London's The Telegraph paper that [Sen.] Barack Obama was going to, quote, 'have to kiss my you-know-what,' unquote, if he wanted the former president's help." In fact, the Telegraph article to which Brewer referred did not say that Clinton had talked to The Telegraph, but rather quoted an anonymous "senior Democrat who worked for Mr Clinton," who in turn cited another anonymous source: "One person told me that Bill said Obama would have to quote kiss my ass close quote, if he wants his support." Brewer's comment came in response to Washington Post New York bureau chief Keith Richburg's statement that "we heard some pretty unkind words that President Clinton, apparently, according to a British newspaper, had said about Barack Obama."
Earlier on MSNBC Live, during a discussion with Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis, anchor Tamron Hall cited The Telegraph's anonymously sourced claim, saying: "You've heard about how angry or upset Bill Clinton is said to be. This might be to a whole 'nother level." She then asked Kofinis, "According to London's Telegraph, Bill Clinton allegedly told a friend that Barack Obama needs to kiss his expletive if he wants his support. If this report is true, does that surprise you?" Hall did not note the anonymous sourcing used in the Telegraph article.
From the Telegraph article:
A senior Democrat who worked for Mr Clinton has revealed that he recently told friends Mr Obama could "kiss my ass" in return for his support.
But his lingering fury has shocked his friends. The Democrat told the Telegraph: "He's been angry for a while. But everyone thought he would get over it. He hasn't. I've spoken to a couple of people who he's been in contact with and he is mad as hell.
"He's saying he's not going to reach out, that Obama has to come to him. One person told me that Bill said Obama would have to quote kiss my ass close quote, if he wants his support.
"You can't talk like that about Obama -- he's the nominee of your party, not some house boy you can order around.
"Hillary's just getting on with it and so should Bill."
From the 4 p.m. ET hour of MSNBC Live on June 30:
BREWER: We begin with three developing political stories. First up, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, BFF? Well, maybe that's going a little bit too far. BFF, by the way, best friends forever. You'd know that if you had teenagers. This afternoon the two men reportedly had friendly chats over the phone. Mr. Clinton said he will do whatever he can to get Barack Obama elected. Keith Richburg is The Washington Post New York bureau chief. All right, they have the conversation on the phone. Does that mean that the feud is over?
RICHBURG: Absolutely not. I mean that the ice is broken, at least. I mean, they're not quite BFFs yet, but they're not -- they haven't fallen out, you know, while teenagers sometimes do. I mean, we heard some pretty unkind words that President Clinton, apparently, according to a British newspaper, had said about Barack Obama.
BREWER: The former president reportedly told London's The Telegraph paper that Barack Obama was going to, quote, "have to kiss my you-know-what" --
BREWER: -- unquote, if he wanted the former president's help. But what we're hearing on the phone today, President Clinton had a good conversation with Senator Obama, he's impressed by Senator Obama, he believes that he's going -- he's this great inspiration for millions. I mean, now we're really hearing the praise that we were expecting to hear from the first statement when he came out in support of Obama.
RICHBURG: Absolutely. The first statement was very strange. It was just kind of a one or two sentence, "Obviously he's working for him because he's the nominee." We still haven't actually seen Bill Clinton say something out of his mouth, though, and that's what we're waiting for. We're waiting for Bill Clinton to give that kind of full-throated praise of Barack Obama, the way Hillary Clinton did in Unity, New Hampshire, and in her final concession speech. Not the first concession speech.
From the noon ET hour of the June 30 edition of MSNBC Live:
HALL: Well, within days, Barack Obama and former president Bill Clinton are expected to speak for the first time since Obama took the Democratic nomination away from his wife. But after the hard-fought, bitter primary season, what will it take for President Clinton to put his heart into campaigning for Barack Obama? Joining me now, live from Washington is Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis, and here in the studio, Republican strategist Andrea Tantaros. Thank you both for joining us. So Chris, I'll start off with you.
TANTAROS: Thank you.
HALL: You've heard about how angry or upset Bill Clinton is said to be. This might be to a whole 'nother level. According to London's Telegraph, Bill Clinton allegedly told a friend that Barack Obama needs to kiss his expletive if he wants his support. If this report is true, does that surprise you?
KOFINIS: Well, I have a hard time believing it's true. I mean, the reality is, I think what you've seen from both Senator Hillary Clinton and the former president is a very vocal amount of support since they left the race. They had the event in Unity, New Hampshire. I think you saw that. I think it was a fantastic event. So, I mean, listen. Are there raw feelings? Of course, there's always going to be raw feelings --
KOFINIS: -- after a really kind of heated, contested race. But the notion that, you know, President Bill Clinton, a lifelong Democrat, who's done incredible things for the Democratic Party --
KOFINIS: -- isn't going to go -- isn't going to go out there and work his heart and soul to elect Barack Obama I think is just fantasy and just wishful thinking on some other people's part.