With much of the country up in arms that late-night comedians had not — until very recently—made the same types of jokes about Harvey Weinstein that they made about accused sexual predators on the right like Roger Ailes and President Donald Trump, you may have noticed two other prominent voices missing from the conversation.
As of Tuesday morning, Weinstein benefactors Meryl Streep and George Clooney have both denounced the increasingly abhorrent allegations against him. But Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, both of whom received hefty campaign donations from the Hollywood producer, have stayed silent.
As CNN’s Alisyn Camerota pointed out on New Day, Hillary Clinton spoke for 90 minutes at an event in California Monday night. And while she did comment on President Trump’s war with the NFL, she had nothing to say about Weinstein.
When she asked Clinton’s former running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) about her silence, he said that “any leader should condemn this,” adding, “I’m sure she’ll have a word to say when the time is right for her.” In a separate interview later on CNN, Clinton’s 2008 campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle said it was “disappointing that she hasn't come out and condemned Harvey Weinstein."
The CNN commentators could not understand what she is waiting for. Because Bill Clinton has been accused of similar behavior, Camerota suggested that “condemning it so strongly” could put Clinton in a “dicey” situation.
“I actually don’t understand this at all,” CNN political director David Chalian said. “Hillary Clinton does have a record of her career speaking out against violence against women, so while there is a complicated history at home no doubt, I don't think it's complicated for her to come out and condemn somebody who gave her political donations simply for that fact alone.”
Asked why she isn’t speaking out, Chalian was left almost speechless. "Barack Obama also,” he said, “this is just unconscionable to me that people with huge megaphones, even more important because they did receive his donations and had been patronized by him, do not come out and speak against this.”
Chris Cuomo suggested that the reason for the silence has everything to do with Clinton and Obama’s cozy relationship to Weinstein. “You don’t criticize people that you’re close to the way you do with people that you’re not close to,” he said. “I mean, let’s be honest, this has been quiet, this story.”
Former Meet the Press moderator David Gregory said there is no defense for not speaking up, especially if they had heard the rumors about Weinstein in the past. “You are at least a hypocrite if you're going to really step out and speak about people who are in the middle of all this,” he said. “And look, if you're Hillary Clinton, what have you also got to lose? Is somebody going to criticize her? What is there left to be said about Hillary Clinton critically?”
Compounding all of this is the fact that Malia Obama worked as an intern with the Weinstein Company earlier this year. If her parents had heard the rumors about Harvey Weinstein, it’s hard to imagine they would have been okay with her working for him.
UPDATE: After CNN's segment aired, Hillary Clinton released a statement through her spokesperson.