Newly revealed State Department emails from last spring show that senior White House officials were coordinating with senior State Department officials about how to manage damaging stories about Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
The emails feature Jen Psaki, a former State Department spokesperson who is now the White House communications director; senior State Department official Patrick Kennedy; Jennifer Palmieri, the former White House communications director who is now Clinton’s campaign communications director; and Heather Samuelson, the Clinton staffer who received immunity during the FBI investigation into her emails. The new information makes clear that the Obama administration worked with State to downplay the controversy right from the beginning, even though publicly the president was feigning a hands-off approach to the scandal.
The Republican National Committee obtained the 17 pages of records through one of several Freedom of Information Act lawsuits.
In one exchange from March 2015, White House and State Department staff discussed an effort to prevent John Kerry from facing questions about Clinton’s emails in an upcoming interview on an CBS’ Face the Nation.
“Think we can get this done so he is not asked about email,” said Jennifer Palmieri, the former White House communications director who went on to serve in the same position on Clinton’s campaign.
Transcripts from the March 15, 2015 appearance show Kerry was not asked about the emails during his appearance.
In another, Patrick Kennedy and Heather Samuelson, a Clinton aide who received immunity during the FBI investigation into her emails, complained about a “wildly inaccurate” Politico story that suggested, in May 2015, that Clinton had done the “wrong thing” by operating a private server.
The Politico story in question simply quoted what a State Department representative had said during a Senate hearing. The agency’s inspector general later confirmed that Clinton’s email practices violated State Department record-keeping practices.
Psaki wrote to Palmieri and bragged in March 2015 that she was “good to go on killing CBS idea.”
Read the emails here: 326702703-clinton-coordination-emails-chronological-order-1
The emails were first provided to the Wall Street Journal.