Libertarian vice presidential nominee Bill Weld broke with his running mate to defend Hillary Clinton Tuesday night. Weld appeared on MSNBC with Rachel Maddow to say that he’s known Clinton for forty years and has worked with her. Weld knows that FBI director James Comey was out of line by sending a vague and bizarre letter to Congress in order to undermine the election process in the U.S.
“I have a lot to say about Mrs. Clinton that has not been said by others recently and that I think needs to be said. I mean, I’ve known her for forty years,” Weld said. “I’ve worked with her. I know her well professionally. I know her well personally. I know her to be a person of high moral character, a reliable person, and an honest person, however so much Mr. Trump may rant and rave to the contrary.”
In a jaw-dropping move, Comey sent out the letter just eleven days before the election. Then on Tuesday, just days before the election, the FBI Records Vault Twitter account, which was mostly dormant since late 2015, released 15-year-old files on Clinton which have nothing to do with the election.
“I’m here vouching for Mrs. Clinton, and I think it’s high time somebody did,” Weld said.
And here is where Weld publicly broke with Gary Johnson on this issue:
Asked about a campaign press release sent in the wake of the FBI announcement that was critical of Clinton, Weld said: “Gary and I have not agreed on a number of substantive issues in this campaign … I do not agree with that release.”
The former Massachusetts governor and Justice Department official has split deeply with Johnson in reaction to the news, and Tuesday’s interview was perhaps the most overt acknowledgment of that split.
The interview also contained a concession from Weld that their third party bid was likely to not end in victory “in the real world.”
He said he believed the Libertarian Party had a chance of victory at the outset of the race, but “not getting in the debates really foreclosed that option.”
At the end of the interview, Weld said, “And I’m doing it based on my personal experience with her, and I think she deserves to have people vouch for her other than the Democratic National Committee.”
Last Wednesday, Weld warned against voting for ‘unhinged’ Donald Trump. “I would not have stepped out of the swirl of the campaign to make this statement,” Weld said, “if I did not fear for our country, as I do.”
Weld also said that Comey was “off the reservation” for trying to create a new email controversy. While Weld did not publicly endorse Clinton’s bid for the White House, he praised her moral character while noting that the Libertarian ticket doesn’t stand a chance right now — while strongly condemning Donald Trump.
Weld put his country before his party. It’s an unusual move in 2016.
Image via screen capture.