In a conversation with the hosts of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Friday, former executive editor and co-founder of Politico Jim VandeHei opens up about the real problem inside the Hillary Clinton campaign: The candidate is isolated from reality, surrounded by a group of 4-5 yes-men who "think she is always right" and "love her," making them unwilling to explain to her the seriousness of the situation surrounding her homebrew email server.
"They all have the bunker mentality," he said about the Clinton team. "There's four or five people who can really speak into her life. It's always been the truth about her. There's not a large group of people and they love her, and think she's always right, and clearly no one is saying to do what you're saying she should do -- [tell the truth]," he explained.
JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC: In 2009, there was a federal regulation as far as recordkeeping goes passed across the entire government. Jim, I don't understand, it doesn't help her. Honesty and trustworthiness? She's just not telling the truth. And her own State Department said she was not telling the truth. It would be better for her politically to say she screwed up and I'm sorry. Why can't they do it?
JIM VANDEHEI: You're teasing this focus group you're doing... that's why they don't like Hillary Clinton--
SCARBOROUGH: Is there no one around who can tell her-- you have to start telling the truth?
VANDEHEI: They are in a bubble, where they all have the bunker mentality. There's four or five people who can really speak into her life, it's always been the truth about her. There's not a group of people, and they love her, and think she's always right, and clearly no one is saying do what you're saying she should do [tell the truth], otherwise she wouldn't do an interview and get that answer [lie].
SCARBOROUGH: Tell the truth!
VANDEHEI: It's just to say, I wanted to keep my personal e-mails personal. I screwed up. I'm sorry. The part where she gets herself into trouble is her spokesman, when they use these really cute words. "I did nothing wrong."
MIKA BRZEZINSKI, MSNBC: You know, Jim VandeHei, that this is more than a screw up, right? You know that? That's what she should say. But you understand this is way more, far more problematic than a screw up. Right?
VANDEHEI: It has become a big issue because of the way she's handled it.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: No. Actually, the action of---
SCARBOROUGH: Having classified information, we don't know what the FBI is going to rule on that because the state department themselves said that 22 of those e-mails that passed through the servers were of such a sensitive classified nature that to release them would be devastating to America's national interest.