Jake Tapper Calls Trump Attacks on Clinton “Ridiculous and, Frankly, Shameful”

Yes. Donald Trump can go too far even for the mainstream media. An MSNBC panel Tuesday condemned Trump’s predilection for conspiracy theories, and CNN’s Jake Tapper came down hard on Donald Trump for one in particular – pushing the conspiracy theory that the Clintons murdered their friend Vince Foster by saying there was something “fishy” about it.

But the stink is all of orange dye.

As Harry Reid said Tuesday, “To show how desperate he is, he brought up yesterday the suicide of [Vince] Foster. Even though suicide is a tragedy, it’s not a tragedy for Donald Trump.” No indeed. It is an opportunity for more appalling remarks and unfounded accusations.

Speaking on The Leader with Jake Tapper, Tapper called it a “bizarre and unfounded conspiracy theory” and that to say Foster’s death was anything but the suicide it was ruled to be by at least six investigations (including one by CNN) is “ridiculous and, frankly, shameful.”

The park service police concluded that year that Foster committed suicide. But that did not stop conspiracy theorists at time from concocting unfounded allegations.
 
Now that first investigation was followed by an investigation by CNN in 1994 concluding, Foster’s death was due to suicide and that alternative scenarios had no credibility. Other investigations reached the same conclusion, one by independent counsel in Robert Fiske in 1994, two by Congressional reviews in 1994 and 1995, another by independent counsel Ken Starr in 1997.

For the record, another mainstream media outlet, NBC News, also responded to Trump and says “case closed,” as does Glenn Kessler this morning at The Washington Post.

Watch courtesy of Media Matters for America:

JAKE TAPPER (HOST): Once again, journalists are in the unhappy predicament of trying to decide whether and how to cover false allegations raised by a candidate for the president of the United States. This time, in the midst of Donald Trump’s attacks against the Clintons using various scandals and accusations from 1990s, Mr. Trump has repeated an outrageous and long-ago debunked falsehood about former Deputy White House Counsel Vince Foster a friend, of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s until his tragic suicide. In July 1993, Foster, who suffered from depression, drove to Fort Marcy Park in Virginia, walked into the park with an old revolver, and shot himself in the mouth. The park service police concluded that year that Foster committed suicide. But that did not stop conspiracy theorists at time from concocting unfounded allegations.
 
Now that first investigation was followed by an investigation by CNN in 1994 concluding, Foster’s death was due to suicide and that alternative scenarios had no credibility. Other investigations reached the same conclusion, one by independent counsel in Robert Fiske in 1994, two by Congressional reviews in 1994 and 1995, another by independent counsel Ken Starr in 1997.
 
So, one would think case closed, right? Wrong. Donald Trump, in an interview appearing in today’s Washington Post called the circumstances surrounding Vince Foster’s death “very fishy,” and said, “I don’t bring foster’s death up because I don’t know enough to really discuss it. I will say there are people who continue to bring it up because they think it was absolutely a murder. I don’t do that because I don’t think it’s fair.” Right, except, of course, you just did that, Mr. Trump. You lent credence to a bizarre and unfounded conspiracy theory. Though, you’re right, it’s not fair that you did that, certainly not to Mr. Foster’s widow or their three children. To be clear, the notion that this was a murder is a fiction borne of delusion and untethered to reality and contradicted by evidence reviewed in at least six investigations, one of them by Ken Starr, hardly a Bill Clinton defender. To say otherwise is ridiculous and, frankly, shameful. Again, this is not a pro-Clinton position or an anti-Trump position. It is a pro-truth position.

Donald Trump’s strategy is right out of the Republican textbook. Throw everything you can at your enemy because you don’t have to prove anything, you only have to create doubt. As Jason Easley wrote here yesterday, his attacks “prove there is no boundary Trump has been afraid to cross.”

Joan Wash believes “that bringing Vince Foster into the context of the general election is ridiculous and it is going to backfire,” and we would like to believe she’s right, that Trump can go too far not only for mainstream media figures but also for voters. But the mainstream media is partly to blame – for Trump, and also for refusing to let go of Vince Foster. As Newsweek said all the way back in 1994, “many people in the news media simply won’t let Foster rest.”

Especially not when there is a Clinton to be attacked. And so far, Trump has had no problem convincing supporters that his lies are anything but a refusal to be ‘political correct.’ Even more sadly, rare cases like this excluded, the mainstream media has seem convinced of that too. Let’s hope this push-back becomes less the exception and more the rule.