The no-transparency election

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The no-transparency election


Stephen Collinson of CNN reports that The 2016 election is setting new lows for presidential transparency in the modern era.


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Hillary Clinton is under fire for waiting until she nearly collapsed at a public event Sunday to disclose she was diagnosed Friday with pneumonia. She hasn’t provided a full accounting of her health, though Donald Trump has revealed far less. The Republican nominee is departing with decades of tradition by not releasing his tax returns, which could provide key details about his investments and financial interests. And both candidates have declined traveling with a “protective pool” of reporters that follow them to provide continuous coverage of their activities (CNN).


On Monday night, transparency questions surfaced again as PBS interviewer Charlie Rose grilled former President Bill Clinton about his family’s foundation.

In other words, Trump and Clinton have less than two months to close the sale, but most voters aren’t sure exactly what they’re buying (CNN).


Few candidates relish throwing open their most intimate health and financial secrets. But the issue is particularly acute this year given Trump’s decades of business dealings. And, of course, Trump, 70, and Clinton, 68, would be the oldest and second oldest presidents inaugurated for a first term in a job that comes with intense physical and mental demands — making their health a highly relevant issue (CNN).


When asked by CNN’s Anderson Cooper Monday why she kept her pneumonia diagnosis secret, Clinton said she “just didn’t think it was going to be that big a deal” (CNN).


“It’s just the kind of thing that if it happens to you and you’re a busy active person, you keep moving forward,” she said. “I think it’s fair to say, Anderson, that people know more about me than almost anyone in public life. They’ve got 40 years of my tax returns, tens of thousands of emails, a detailed medical letter report, all kinds of personal details” (CNN).


Clinton campaign manager: Staff to blame for slow health disclosure


Trump has said he will soon release details of a physical exam he underwent last week. In an interview Monday with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room,” Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence said both candidates should release detailed medical information (CNN).


Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway fought back against the allegations Tuesday that Trump’s campaign shared Clinton’s lack of transparency (CNN).


“As far as I can see, there are two major party candidates running for president and only one of them has pneumonia and lied about it, especially to the press because she always treats you all like second class citizens,” Conway told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day” (CNN).


‘People have a right to know’


“People are vying for the highest office in the land,” the Indiana governor said. “People have a right to know” (CNN).


But when it comes to taxes, Pence said Trump wasn’t violating any laws by withholding the data, though he acknowledged “there’s a bit of a tradition here” (CNN).


Trump has said he would release his returns once the Internal Revenue Service completes an audit. When pressed why Trump would not release topline information about previous returns now — which would not interfere with the audit process — Pence told Blitzer the Republican nominee would release his returns “in totality” and “not parse them out piece by piece” (CNN).


Still, the Clinton campaign is already trying to use her weekend misfortune to increase pressure on Trump (CNN).


“We know more about Hillary Clinton in than any presidential candidate in history … we know almost nothing about Donald Trump and he has got to come forward,” Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook told CNN’s Jake Tapper (CNN).


Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine also weighed in.


“I hope that there will be an even standard applied to getting them both to release sufficient information, not just on health but obviously we have the ongoing issue on taxes too,” Kaine said in Ohio (CNN).


Politicians have long tried to shroud themselves in secrecy to varying degrees.

“You have had candidates that have been a little close to the vest before — many of them if not all of them having something they would rather not talk about,” said Bruce Buchanan, a presidential historian at the University of Texas at Austin.


But this year threatens to set unprecedented levels for the lack of disclosure, Buchanan said, because the election matches up two candidates who have “reputations in that vein” (CNN).


Presidential candidates have not always been under such a spotlight (CNN).


After all, President Franklin Roosevelt took extensive — and successful — measures to hide his paralysis during his 1932 election campaign and subsequent presidency (CNN).


See the full article here.


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