Clinton Email Controversy 'Amounts to Nothing', James Carville Says

The "This Week" roundtable on the firestorm over the former secretary of state's private email account.
10:13 | 03/15/15

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Transcript for Clinton Email Controversy 'Amounts to Nothing', James Carville Says
Let's get right the new developments in the controversy over Hillary Clinton's J Jonathan Karl is reporting that house speaker John Boehner is poised to announce a new investigation. Reporter: Hillary Clinton may have hoped she put the e-mail controversy behind her with the press conference. But the investigations are now about to begin. Top house republicans tell ABC news they expect speaker John Boehner to announce a new house investigation next week into Hillary Clinton's e-mail practices as secretary of state. Including her admitted destruction of some 30,000 e-mails that she determined to be purely personal. As for how Mrs. Clinton has handled the controversy so far, it seemed like a case study in how not to do damage control. She did not want to have two phones. She couldn't be like, hey, man, could you hold this other phone for me? Reporter: Nine days of silence. And then the reason she finally gave for not using government e-mail at all? It would have been inconvenient. I thought using one device would be simpler. And obviously, it hasn't worked out that way. Reporter: Under state department rules, while she was secretary, if an employee used a private e-mail account for official business, the e-mail was to be turned over and entered into government computers. She didn't turn over any e-mails until 22 months after she left office. Why did you not go along with state department rules until nearly two years after you left office? The laws and regulations in effect when I was secretary of state allowed me to use my e-mail for work. Reporter: Why did you wait to turn those e-mails over? The rules say you have to turn them over. I don't think -- I would be happy to have somebody talk to you about the rules. I was fully following every rule I was governed by. Reporter: Seeing Mrs. Clinton on the defensive may be giving some democrats second thoughts. As one former Obama aide told politico, you never quite feel like you're getting the full story. Will it matter to voters? In the polls since the controversy began, only 17% said they're following the story closely. And she still has one of the highest approval ratings among all likely candidates, 50%. It's a hiccup. I have no concerns about what she did. Reporter: And the e-mail mess has gotten more complicated. The state department is acknowledging it was not routinely preserving any e-mails. Not even those sent to and from official state department e-mail accounts. So while Hillary Clinton said the e-mails she was sending to employees on their state department e-mail accounts were being preserved, it now turns out that that was often not the case. Lots more questioning coming from congress. Let's dig with in James Carville, long-time Clinton ally. Ana Navarro. New Yorker editor David remnick and Fox News anchor Greta susteren. If you take this all and put it together, and you subtract 3.1415 from pi, you're left with not very much. And that's -- at the end of the day, the republicans can't pass a budget, we have another investigation. Just like we had the white water. Just like you go through file gate. You go through travel gate. You go through seven or different eight congressional committees. You wonder why the public is not following this. Because they know what it is. It was something she did. It was legal. I suspect she didn't want Louis doumit rifling through her e-mails. Which seems to me to be a kind of reasonable position for someone to take. It amounts to -- just like everything else before it, it amounts to nothing a bunch of people flapping their jaws about nothing. Nothing? Not one if it's illegal, it violated the spirit of the law. She shouldn't have done it. What I can't get over, how stupid. I mean, she must have known that everyone would be looking at everything she did. What in the world was she thinking? That's what I don't get over. She should have known better from the get go. Frankly, last August when trey Gowdy wanted to first -- got wind of the fact that these e-mails existed, why didn't someone run over and negotiate a deal with her? Instead this blows up all over her. Maybe she thought the investigations were coming no matter what. She's always thinking there's investigations coming no matter what. That's why she's got this level for paranoia, need for control, this secrecy. This wasn't for convenience. Let me tell you. I want to thank James for reminding us of all of the other scandals. Because part of the problem with this is that it brings back a narrative that with the Clintons come blurred lines. Like the song says. There comes drama and scandal. Just one more stpe on the zebra. No, no, no. It's made up. It's made up. You take pi. You subtract 3.1415, you don't end up with very much. I don't even understand what James just said. I think there was a reason. Here's the thing. I wish this were more convincing. You were not impressed by the press conference either? Not at all. It's one thing for a politician to be stupid, which Hillary Clinton is not. It's another thing for a politician to believe we're stupid. And that is deflating. A lot of people that I know, myself included, are not likely to vote for a conservative republican come 20 months from now. A lot of our readers are in that camp. They want Hillary Clinton to be the best Hillary Clinton she can be in the absence of any competition in the democratic party. Which I also think is a bad thing. That will make it difficult for her to get into fighting shape? Yeah. Look at the Obama will have Clinton race in 2008. That made both candidates a hell of a lot better. To have to see that spectacle, like at the press conference, it brings back a lot of bad memories and bad instincts on the part of the Clintons. James is right there were a lot of false scandals. There was a lot of stuff that -- I don't think it will change one vote. People who hated her from the beginning hated her. Those who loved her from the beginning, love her. The people in the middle probably haven't heard much about it. A year from now, it will probably be a lot of noise. I think the fatal thing, though, is she gave ammunition -- Back to the original question to you, James. Taking your points about a lot of scandals in the past have evaporated over time. The Clinton camp did demonstrate, I think in the last ten days, they were not up to speed. It took them a long time to figure out what the story was and to respond. This is not just spin. I actually believe this. In some ways this is good, because it reminds everybody of what it is. And so -- this happened. And it's never going to stop. All right. Because it's what I call a Clinton rule. The rule that applies to the Clintons. And then there's a rule that applies to everyone else. We agree. They think they're above the rules. No, again, this is what it is. There are people out there like me that don't accept that. We don't accept the standard that some rules apply to the Clintons and other rules apply to everyone else. You just stepped in it, James. You just stepped in it. No, you stepped in it. That's the whole idea. The rule on the e-mails applied to them and not everyone else. Colin Powell does the same thing, Jeb bush does the same thing, you say, oh, that's colin Powell. No. It's -- what she did was completely legal. Just as what Jeb bush did and colin Powell did. We do not accept it. May I address the Jeb bush thing? Because it's been the talking point du jour for all the democrats. Let me say this. May I please respond? Yeah. I'm a little familiar with the e-mail because I have been e-mailing that e-mail since before Jeb bush was governor. Jeb bush had that e-mail before he was governor. Hillary set hers up the week she was in confirmation. Jeb bush has been one of the most transparent, if not the most transparent governors. He turned only a fraction of his e-mails over. That's just a fact. 300,000 e-mails out there. How many of Hillary's are out there? He has self-reported. Let's remember that these e-mails that Hillary, is at some point going to turn over to the public, have been coming out under duress because of investigations. Jeb bush. Let's talk about the fact of how they've handled it politically. Forget the merit. For a minute, let's entertain that it's apples and apples. Jeb bush got ahead of the story. James, it took body to six days to create the Earth. It took Hillary Clinton eight days to address the reports. The simple truth of matter is Jeb bush released 10% of his e-mails. He had a private e-mail server. Colin Powell had a private e-mail server. He destroyed his e-mails. When I say the Clinton standard, I mean this. The press applies, they -- this story came from -- from the -- benghazi republicans on the scene. If you remember, "The New York times" print ed a weapons of mass destruction story. The reason to go the war. The white water story comes from a bunch of old washed up -- in Arkansas. I take every point you make. We have to take a quick break. The fact is the Clintons are still dealing with it in the same way. That's what's dispiriting potential supporters. And I think this kind of back and forth, with due respect, if that is going to be the nature of our campaign in the next 30 months, with issues like violence against women all around the world. Disparities in income and the insecurity and instability of the middle east and Europe at stake, people's livelihoods at stake. If this is what's at issue in the next 20 months, we're in very sad shape. We have to get to one of those other issues. You guys are going to come back.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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