Here's how Megyn Kelly and Rachel Maddow each tackled the Clinton-FBI 'quid pro quo' story

Megyn Kelly and Rachel Maddow each cover a Clinton-FBI story
(Image credit: Screenshot/Fox News/MSNBC)

If you want evidence to support the idea that liberals and conservatives are living in two parallel universes, watch how Megyn Kelly at Fox News and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow each covered the newly released notes from FBI investigators looking into Hillary Clinton's handling of classified information as secretary of state.

One FBI 302 summary suggests that Patrick Kennedy, U.S. undersecretary of state for management, had offered a "quid pro quo" to an unidentified FBI agent where the FBI would not retroactively classify one of Clinton's emails and in return, Kennedy would allow more FBI agents in Iraq. A second FBI interview summary released Monday says that the "quid pro quo" idea came from an FBI agent who suggested to an FBI colleague that Kennedy might be open to a deal. The FBI and State Department both said Monday there was never a deal offered or consummated; the FBI said it has ordered an internal ethics investigation into the conduct of the FBI official, who is retired.

Here's how Kelly covered the news on Monday's Kelly File. "Well, this stinks to high heaven," she said, "and we don't have to look far to figure out whether at least the person on the receiving end of the proposed deal thought it was a 'quid pro quo' — because it's in the FBI agent's notes!" Her guest, judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano, said Kennedy is guilty of "an attempt to commit bribery. The FBI didn't see it that way, they didn't charge him with anything, either because they didn't think they could prove the case, or maybe the FBI was in the tank for Mrs. Clinton and all of her people from Day 1 of these investigations." "That's not easy to believe," Kelly said, and he agreed.

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At MSNBC, Maddow said the whole story had been ginned up, starting with a Fox News report over the weekend, and doesn't hold up to scrutiny. "That Fox News report has been driving headlines all day," she said, "but also today, we all got to see the documents in question for ourselves, and if the scandal was the State Department offering something to the FBI, well, it turns out the State Department never offered anything to the FBI."

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.