Wednesday night, Donald Trump brought up the rape allegation made by Juanita Broaddrick against Bill Clinton. It didn’t take long for NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell to claim the allegation was “discredited.” In fact, NBC reporter Lisa Myers, who was the first to interview Broaddrick back in 1999, continues to stand by her report, telling C-Span in 2014, “nothing has come up since that story was reported that in any way undercuts what Juanita Broaddrick said.”
After showing the clip of Trump using the word “rape” Mitchell did a voice over which said, “Donald Trump using that word unprompted during an interview last night with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, bringing up a discredited and long denied accusation against former President Bill Clinton dating back to 1978 when he was Arkansas Attorney General.” Here’s video of the segment posted by the Washington Free Beacon:
Mitchell is correct to say this allegation is “long denied” but on what basis is she calling it discredited? On the contrary, Broaddrick’s allegation is arguably the most consistent and believable accusation of sexual assault made against Bill Clinton (though not, of course, the only one). For a little perspective here, note that even progressive site Vox says the allegation, “has not been definitively refuted.” Vox also notes that reporter Michael Isikoff’s book contains a reference to a concession by Clinton’s lawyers that he may have had “consensual sex” with Broaddrick:
In his book Uncovering Clinton, Michael Isikoff — who helped break the Monica Lewinsky story as a reporter at Newsweek — writes, “Privately, Clinton’s lawyers have conceded that Clinton may have had consensual sex with Broaddrick but insist that he would have never forced himself upon an unwilling participant.”
So this boils down to the he would never defense. That’s a long, long way from discredited.
For her part, Juanita Broaddrick has told a consistent story about what Clinton did to her (and about Hillary’s attempt to insure her silence). Lisa Myers, who interviewed Broaddrick about the allegations for NBC News in 1999 continues to stand by her rerporting. In a 2014 interview with Brian Lamb of C-Span, Myers said, “I can say that nothing has come up since that story was reported that in any way undercuts what Juanita Broaddrick said.” That’s pretty much the definition of something having not been discredited. Andrea Mitchell needs to correct her statement on the air and explain why she got it wrong.
Here is the full 1999 report Lisa Myers did. Broaddrick tearfully describes her (alleged) rape by Bill Clinton and says, “He was just a vicious, awful person.”