Karen Finney, host of the new show “Disrupt” on msnbc, defended White House spokesman Jay Carney after Republican Congressman Darrell Issa of California called him “a paid liar” last week.
“There’s no place for that, Jay is out there to do a job the best he can,” said Finney in an interview with Alex Witt in an “Office Politics” segment.
Issa had attacked Carney regarding the Internal Revenue Service controversy.
During the Clinton administration, Finney served as Deputy Press Secretary to then First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. She said that it can be hard to give specifics on an investigation that is ongoing.
“This is the thing that people don’t always understand when you’re the press secretary and you’re the public voice. You can’t always say everything you want to say,” Finney said. “Maybe there are things that are confidential or classified information or something is still unfolding so you don’t want to get too far ahead of it. It’s a really challenging job in terms of figuring out what you can say and what you need to say so that people understand and you make your case. But then also recognizing there’s so much going on behind the scenes that maybe you’re just
not able to talk about it at that point. “
Her former boss may be mulling a run at the presidency, Finney said.
Finney got her start in politics by volunteering at the 1992 DNC convention, she then volunteered to do advance prep work for Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail and worked her way up from there.
“I tell kids who want to get involved in politics, it’s like a battleground promotion. If you get in there and you do a good job anything can happen,” she said.
Born to a white mother and black father, Finney said her family background has taught her how to meet with people who different perspectives. When asked how she is able to see issues from different points of view, Finney said her family background helped prepare her.
“My grandfather, my mom’s father, I wasn’t allowed in his home until I was 16 because he was so ashamed to have a mixed-race granddaughter,” Finney said. “And that experience taught me a lot. I understand where he was coming from. I didn’t like it, I didn’t agree with it. But I hope that it has given me a broader perspective.”
“Disrupt with Karen Finney” airs weekends at 4pm ET on msnbc.