Hillary Clinton’s email excuses fell apart under public scrutiny many months ago, but that hasn’t stopped her from repeating the same failed excuses over and over again on the campaign trail. When asked to explain her ever-changing email story during an editorial board interview with the Quad-City Times in Iowa yesterday, she floundered badly.
One of the board members reminded her that last summer, she described her decision to use a private, insecure email system while secretary of state as “an error in judgment,” but on Monday during CNN’s town hall, she refused to call her home-brew server an “error in judgment” because [as she claims] she did nothing wrong.
Hillary’s answer was pretty stunning: “Well — you know — look, I just think it was a mistake because it’s caused all this uproar and commotion.”
In other words, the reason her unique email arrangement was a mistake is not that she mishandled classified information (making it easier to hack into, possibly even exposing intelligence assets on the ground) but because it got her in trouble.
The reporter from the Quad-City Times seemed a bit taken aback by this.
QUAD-CITY TIMES ED BOARD: “So it was a mistake because of the reaction”
SECRETARY CLINTON: “Yes.”
ED BOARD: “Not because it would have made sense to use a work email for work purposes?”
CLINTON: “It made sense – look, look – I know that this remains a subject of some interest, obviously. You’re asking me, they asked me last night. The facts have not changed. …”
Clinton went on to say that “it was a mistake” because she had to “go through all of this.” She added, “I don’t want to go through it. I don’t want to put a lot of my friends through it.”
Via America Rising:
Clinton had nothing to say about what intelligence operatives might have “gone through” when their covers were blown. A number of Clinton’s emails contained beyond top-secret-SAP (Special Access Program) material, a classification former CIA official Charles Faddis called “the crown jewels of the American intelligence community of the United States government.” As Faddis told Fox News, “If this information’s compromised, we’re going to suffer very serious national security damage. People are going to die, quite frankly.”
Dan Maguire, former Special Operations strategic planner for Africom, said, “There are people’s lives at stake. Certainly in an intel SAP, if you’re talking about sources and methods, there may be one person in the world that would have access to the type of information contained in that SAP.”
But poor Hillary. She’s getting bad press. Reporters are actually doing their jobs and asking her some tough questions. Sadly, her answers continue to unravel as former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen pointed out in the Washington Post:
First, Clinton claimed there was “no classified material” on her private server — which turned out to be untrue. Then she claimed none of the intelligence on her server was “classified at the time” — which also turned out to be untrue. Now, in a National Public Radio interview last week, Clinton said there was no information that was “marked classified.”
But this is not a defense.
It is against the law to remove classification markings from classified information and enter it into an unclassified system — which is the only way this information could have found its way into more than 1,300 emails on Clinton’s personal server. There is no way to “accidentally” send classified information by unclassified email. Senior officials have separate computers in their offices for classified and unclassified information. The two systems are not connected. The only way information from the classified system can make it onto an unclassified system is for someone to intentionally put it there — either by taking a document that is marked classified and typing the information without markings into an unclassified email, or by putting a thumb drive into their classified computer, downloading information and then putting that thumb drive into an unclassified computer, as Edward Snowden did. In either case, it is a crime.
Her claim that she “sent all of her work-based emails to state.gov addresses” is beside the point.
Her claim that all other secretaries of states “used the same approach” is simply not true. No one else has used a private, insecure system for all of their work-related emails. Which is why her home-brew email arrangement is often described as “unique.”