News & Politics

Robert Gates: 'Odds Are Pretty High' That Russia, China and Iran Compromised Hillary's Server

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates speaks during a media availability at the Pentagon Thursday, June 16, 2011 in Washington.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates believes that “the odds are pretty high” that countries like Iran, China, and Russia hacked Hillary Clinton’s email server when she was secretary of State.

Gates made the statement on Hugh Hewitt’s radio talk show on Thursday, where he discussed his new book “A Passion for Leadership,” as well as a host of other issues in the news.

Hewitt naturally wanted to draw out of Gates his impression of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.

“Are you surprised by the news that continues to come out about the former secretary of State’s server and the fact that the intelligence community’s inspector general has said there was a lot of very highly classified information on her server?” he asked.

“Yeah, that’s a concern for me,” Gates said. “I never used email when I was head of CIA or head of the Department of Defense. As I used to joke, I didn’t want to have some chief of station overseas email me and say he was going to do something if I didn’t get back to him in three hours, and I would get back from a five hour hearing to discover I was two hours too late. I preferred dealing with people face to face and putting a signature on a piece of paper on matters of real national security and importance.”

“One of your colleagues, Mike Morell, said on this program, or actually agreed with my assertion that almost certainly, Russians, Chinese and Iranians compromised the homebrew server of the former secretary of state,” Hewitt continued. “He agreed with that. Do you agree with his assessment of my assessment?”

“Well, given the fact that the Pentagon acknowledges that they get attacked about 100,000 times a day, I think the odds are pretty high,” Gates agreed.

Gates punted on the question of whether he thought national security was compromised.

“That would depend entirely on what was in there,” Gates answered. “I haven’t read any of the emails, so I don’t know what was on the servers.”