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Special Report

Hillary Clinton's trust troubles

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," July 4, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

HILLARY CLINTON, PRESUMPTIVE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: It was something I had offered to do since last August. I've been eager to do it, and I was pleased to have the opportunity to assist the department in bringing its review to a conclusion.

SEN. SHERROD BROWN, D-OHIO: She's released 55,000 pages of e-mails, 31,000 different e-mails. She's released her tax returns since 1977. She's released her health care records. She's always been willing to talk to authorities.

SEN. TOM COTTON, R-ARK.: I have always had confidence in our frontline FBI personnel as well as the FBI leadership. I think the events of the last week, though, do call into question Attorney General Lynch's judgment in taking a private meeting with Bill Clinton.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

DOUG MCKELWAY, GUEST ANCHOR: While most of us are having a relaxing Fourth of July weekend it was anything but that for presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton who not only had to tamp down all kinds of speculation about that allegedly impromptu meeting between her husband and the attorney general, Loretta Lynch, in Phoenix, Arizona, on the tarmac there, but she also had on Saturday a three-and-a-half hour interview with various members of the FBI and her legal team.

Let's bring in the panel right now: Charles Hurt, political columnist for The Washington Times; Julie Pace, White House correspondent for the Associated Press, and David Drucker, senior congressional correspondent for The Washington Examiner. Let's get right to the question that's on everybody's minds from the get-go, indictment or not? Charlie, we'll start with you.

CHARLES HURT, THE WASHINGTON TIMES: If you had asked me this six months ago, I would said absolutely there's no way she doesn't get indicted, and Joe Biden was waiting in the wings. I have no idea what to think at this point. But what we saw over the weekend is exactly why she has such a dramatic credibility problem. When she takes something like this, where she is interviewed for three-and-a-half hours by the FBI and calls it an opportunity that she's been inviting for six months, this is why nobody believes what she says.

MCKELWAY: You get an offer you can't refuse is the way the FBI might have put it, Julie.

JULIE PACE, ASSOCIATED PRESS: I'm also unclear on obviously whether she's going to be indicted or not. But I think to Charles's point, even if she's not indicted, she's going to have so many people that truly believe that she did something if not illegal, something that's wrong. And they don't trust her, and they don't trust the idea that the Clintons in power would try to use the system to their advantage. And the Bill Clinton/Loretta Lynch meeting I think is going to be top of the list for those people, just another example of what the Clintons would do if they were back in the White House. Whether they talked about anything improper or not is beside the point, I think.

MCKELWAY: You talked about the trust factor. Let's take a look at the most recent FOX News poll about that. June 16th, does honest and trustworthy describe Hillary Clinton? Yes, only 30 percent, no, 66 percent. And if you look at that same question that was posed earlier in January, 36 percent said yes, 62 percent no. June a year ago, it was 45 percent yes, 52 percent no. So numbers are declining, David.

DAVID DRUCKER, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Yes, it's not good news for her and it's one of the reasons why I think this race is so competitive.

Look, if we step back for a minute and really look where this race is, it's a competition between somebody Americans don't trust to tell them the trust and somebody Americans don't trust can actually do the job. And so I think for Hillary Clinton, one of the things she needs to try to do if at all possible is to put this thing behind her and try to inoculate herself from attacks, which I think could be effective.

It's not even that she did something wrong or not with the email server and the home server and all of that stuff, but that it calls into question her judgment and ability to do the job. And if you look at her selling points, right, why would people want to vote for Hillary Clinton for president? One of the biggest selling points is, whether you agree with her or not, she would know what she is doing because she has so much experience in government and politics, and this can completely undermine that.

But what she has going for her is her competition right now. He finds a way to give her a boost even over the past couple of days, when it should have been about her FBI questioning and her husband's meeting with Loretta Lynch. He gets creative with the tweets again, and there's more to talk about.

MCKELWAY: She's going to be campaigning with the president of the United States tomorrow, boarding Air Force One to head to North Carolina. It's the first time the president has campaigned with her officially as the presumptive nominee. And Donald Trump put out a tweet moments ago, I think I've got it here. It says, "Why is President Obama allowed to use Air Force One on the campaign trail with crooked Hillary? She's flying with him tomorrow. Who pays?"

HURT: And this is exactly where Donald Trump's sweet spot is. It doesn't matter there may be technical errors in all of that. What matters is people are sick and tired of these people. They're sick and tired of the politicians. They're sick and tired of Washington. And it makes people mad to think of the president flying around on Air Force One campaigning for Hillary Clinton.

But also, another way of putting it, Hillary Clinton -- people do believe she has experience. But what they believe is she's been part of the problem for a very long time. And Donald Trump has to turn all of this away from his personality and make the campaign about trade, terrorism, and -- largely trade and terrorism. And if he can do that and get it away from the thing about his personality, then he is going to be on strong footing.

PACE: I do think it's worth noting, though, that President Obama is experiencing his highest favorability ratings pretty much since his first term right now.

HURT: Partly because of the infighting among Republicans.

PACE: Partly because of the infighting. But if you assume that this election is going to be a base election, which I think a lot of people do, for Hillary Clinton to have him by her side in North Carolina, and then through multiple appearances through November, is a real advantage for her. He remains popular among Democrats. He remains someone who can appeal to young people, to Hispanics, African-Americans, and those are the people she needs to get out in the fall.

MCKELWAY: We're about out of time for this segment, but I have to ask you really quickly. Buried in a New York Times story today was this quote, "Democrats close to Mrs. Clinton say she may decide to retain Mrs. Lynch, the nation's first black women to be attorney general who took office in April, 2015." Was that the, quote-unquote, "bribe" that Bill Clinton offered her on this plane?

DRUCKER: Well, they didn't do a very good job of it if they did because we shouldn't be talking about it. It's, again, a story she doesn't need. It's the kind of thing that circles around the Clintons, and it's what we'll be dealing with for the next four to eight years if she wins.

HURT: But that is what you get with the Clintons. When you get a line like that in the New York Times you just assume that it's a private signal that the Clinton camp is sending to Loretta Lynch. Look, just back off, let me get into the White House, and I'll take care of you.

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