MSNBC hosts and analysts severely and unanimously criticized Hillary Clinton on Thursday after the Obama-appointed inspector general of the State Department that she once led published a damning report contradicting her repeated claims that she was allowed to conduct official correspondence on a private email server.

The rebuke is remarkable because with a few exceptions MSNBC has treated Clinton favorably in the 2016 primaries.

“I really don’t want to be the one delivering this, but I’ve got to tell you, this is really hard to believe. It feels like she’s lying straight out,” host Mika Brzezinski said in a discussion on “Morning Joe.”

“It doesn’t hold up. There are so many inconsistencies, including their response yesterday,” journalist Andrea Mitchell said in the same discussion, adding: “We now see new emails, never turned over, never before revealed, that the IG found. What’s that all about? And one of them has her writing to [her aide] Huma Abedin that she’ll go with … another private device after spamming and things were not being received. … She said we want to make sure that the personal is not accessible.”

“There are so many flaws in their argument,” Mitchell continued. “I don’t see how this is anything but devastating given the fact that they have been making a completely different argument now for more than a year.”

“Because of this breach, … I don’t think she could get confirmed, for instance, to be attorney general,” commentator Chuck Todd said.

Todd even attributed motive to Clinton’s behavior, traditionally a no-no in the corporate media: “The most logical explanation is that she wanted to make it harder for the press and Congress to see her correspondence. So they made the FOIA requests more difficult by doing what? Making sure it wasn’t on a government server, putting it on a private server.”

Clinton has long claimed that she had the private server set up for the sake of convenience. “I’ve never been able to accept that,” Todd said, “because what is convenient about putting a server in your house? I hate dealing with Wi-Fi in my house. It’s a pain.”

At the heart of this story is an inconsistency between the standards that Clinton and the Obama administration have applied to others accused of mishandling sensitive material — think of whistleblowers Edward Snowden, John Kiriakou, Thomas Drake, William Binney and Chelsea Manning — and the standards to which she has held herself. If they faced prosecution by the Justice Department, why shouldn’t she? Are voters comfortable with someone who blithely embraces this double standard becoming president?

The rebuke from some of the news media’s biggest supporters of Clinton came as a new poll found Sen. Bernie Sanders gaining on Clinton among Californians likely to vote in the upcoming June 7 primary.

The New York Times reported Thursday:

The poll, released Wednesday night by the Public Policy Institute of California, showed Mrs. Clinton leading Mr. Sanders among likely voters, 46 percent to 44 percent — within the margin of error. A survey by the organization in March found Mrs. Clinton with a lead of 48 percent to 41 percent over Mr. Sanders.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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