Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean repeatedly dodged questions Wednesday on Morning Joe about FBI Director James Comey’s “damning” statement on Hillary Clinton. Comey did not recommend charges but called Clinton and her State Department team “extremely careless” in their handling of classified information. Dean, a Clinton ally, spent most of the interview being vague or just refusing to answer questions that were being asked of him. MSNBC host Joe Scarborough asked him how the political mess from the statement should be handled. “I think you just have to keep doing what you do,” he said. Dean then said that all of the things that Comey said in his statement “obviously” had an impact. This sparked Scarborough to ask, in Dean’s opinion, what the most “damning” statement was about Clinton in Comey’s speech.
“What do you think was the most damning statement that Comey made about Clinton’s behavior yesterday?” he asked. Dean then did his first maneuver around the question. “We don’t exactly know,” he said. “I’ve spoken to the campaign about it—” Scarborough jumped in to clarify that he was just asking Dean’s opinion. He then did his second dodge. “One of the things that the Clinton folks say is, look, we don’t know what email he’s talking about,” he said. “They actually haven’t seen e-mails that were marked.” Scarborough hopped back in, clarifying his question once more. “I’m just asking you as a political pro watching yesterday, not what the Clintons told you to say,” he said. “But, were you watching—” Dean cut in to say that the Clintons don’t tell him what to say. Scarborough finally made his question as clear as possible.
“You brought up the Clintons twice,” he said. “I want to hear from you because we respect you so much and you’re a man, you’re a man of great character. I’m going to ask you, again, very simply. When you were watching the FBI director yesterday, what did you think was the most damning thing he said about Hillary Clinton?” Dean didn’t answer the direct question aimed at him. “I think it’s too early to tell,” he said.