Execitiove Editor of Accuracy In Media
Hillary Clinton’s Email Problems: Growing Crisis or Nothing to See?
Roger Aronoff — February 5, 2016
The media’s double standard has been on full display with a number of softball interviews and a staged CNN town hall held for the Democratic presidential candidates. The left-wing mainstream media are waiting to crown Hillary Clinton, even before the votes are in. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, in particular, recently interviewed Hillary Clinton about her close victory in the recent Iowa caucuses.
At the very least you would have to say that the thrill up his leg that Matthews used to get for President Obama is now firmly in place for Mrs. Clinton. Matthews’ performance was no journalistic interview. Instead, it was a mutual love-in with Hillary, and the Democratic Party in general. It was as if Matthews was unaware of any of the developments in EmailGate or the Benghazi scandal, both of which have been very public. Yet Matthews uttered nary a word on his sycophantic network, MSNBC, about the substance of any of Hillary’s scandals.
Instead, he showered Mrs. Clinton with praise. “You know I think everybody should’ve been impressed, maybe I wasn’t impressed as I should have been—but everybody should have been about the way you handled New Hampshire last time around,” said Matthews to Mrs. Clinton.
Despite the fact that Matthews, and the rest of the mainstream media, would prefer to ignore the latest revelations in EmailGate, the drip, drip, drip of scandal continues. The day after Matthews’ interview with Mrs. Clinton, Fox News’ Martha MacCallum interviewed Republican Congressman Chris Stewart (R-UT) about Mrs. Clinton’s email controversy.
Stewart, a former Air Force B1 bomber pilot, is now a member of the House Intelligence Committee. He has seen the latest batch of Hillary’s emails marked Top Secret, and pointed out that there were more than just the 22 emails reported earlier. The total now comes to 29 emails that the State Department will not release.
Stewart was shocked at what he saw when he reviewed these emails.
“[These emails] do reveal classified methods, they do reveal classified sources, and they do reveal human assets,” said Congressman Stewart on Fox News. “I can’t imagine how anyone could be familiar with these emails, whether they’re sending them or receiving them, and not realize that these are highly classified.”
“Did Hillary Clinton demonstrate the judgment and the respect for protocol that would allow her to protect national security?” asked Rep. Stewart. “And when I read these emails and when I see how she has exposed some of the most sensitive information or potentially exposed that, I don’t know how we can say that she has demonstrated that judgment.”
Stuart condemned claims that the controversy over Mrs. Clinton’s private email server is a “right-wing conspiracy.”
“For heaven’s sakes, this is where Obama administration officials who have told us that these emails were so classified they can’t be released,” he said. “This wasn’t something that’s coming from the right; it’s coming from this current administration,” Congressman Stewart added. “So her argument isn’t with me, it’s with the President and with his administration regarding that.”
It was the Obama-appointed Inspector General who stated that some of Mrs. Clinton’s emails were Top Secret, and an Obama administration State Department that has concurred. As we reported, some of these emails contained material so highly classified that even the Inspector General’s team wasn’t originally cleared to see them.
But apparently few reporters in the mainstream media saw Rep. Stewart’s interview, or had any interest in hearing his perspective. You see, it’s only Fox News that cares about such trivial nonsense.
The Washington Post’s Fact Checker Glenn Kessler did note Stewart’s interview, but did so only in order to contradict his assertions. “Other sources who have viewed the emails do not describe the emails as strongly [as Congressman Stewart], though one official said Clinton’s aides might have put their security clearances at risk,” writes Kessler.
Kessler’s piece gave only two Pinocchios out of a possible four to Mrs. Clinton for her claims about how she handled classified materials on her private server. In the same Fact Checker column, Kessler cited a George Stephanopoulos interview with Mrs. Clinton. And while we’ve criticized Stephanopoulos in the past for his failure to note his conflicts of interest when it comes to the Clintons—including his obvious partisanship on her behalf by failing to ask her the tough questions—he does deserve some credit for a question he raised on his ABC show last Sunday. He talked about a non-disclosure agreement that Mrs. Clinton signed as secretary of state. This made it clear that whether or not the material is “marked classified” is “not that relevant,” since she has been “trained to treat all of that sensitively and should know the difference.”
Mrs. Clinton gave a nonsensical answer, stating at first that “Well of course and that’s exactly what I did. I take classified information very seriously.” And then in the same answer she reverted to her tired defense: “And when you receive information, of course, there has to be some markings, some indication that someone down the chain thought that this was classified, and that was not the case.” She’s trying to have it both ways.
I have reported extensively on the Hillary Clinton email scandal. And, yes, Mrs. Clinton did apologize—sort of. She apologized for using one device for her emails instead of two while she served for four years as secretary of state.
“As I look back at it now, even though it was allowed, I should have used two accounts. That was a mistake. I’m sorry about that. I take responsibility,” said Clinton in an ABC News interview last September. At a recent January town hall staged by CNN, Mrs. Clinton insisted that she wasn’t “willing to say it was an error in judgment because what—nothing that I did was wrong. It was not—it was not in any way prohibited.”
In Thursday night’s debate on MSNBC, Chuck Todd asked about the emails, but not in any substantive way. He asked her, “So can you reassure these Democrats that somehow the email issue isn’t going to blow up your candidacy if you’re the nominee?” She said, “Absolutely I can. You know, before it was emails, it was Benghazi, and the Republicans were stirring up so much controversy about that.”
He then asked, “Are you 100 percent confident that nothing is going to come of this FBI investigation?” She replied, “I am 100 percent confident.” What does Mrs. Clinton know that the rest of us don’t? Has she been assured by the Obama administration that no indictment will be forthcoming? After all, President Obama emailed directly to her private email address on a number of occasions, and could get caught up in the scandal as well. Plus, indicting Hillary would create a civil war in the Democratic Party, perhaps opening the door to a Biden run, or a massive defeat in November.
Where is the apology for failing to turn over her emails in a timely fashion when she left office, or for doing business on an unsecured “home brew” server unprotected from Chinese, Iranian and Russian hackers? Robert Gates, the former secretary of defense under both President George W. Bush and Barack Obama, said that “the odds are pretty high” that Mrs. Clinton’s home brew server was compromised by China, Russia and Iran.
Instead, Mrs. Clinton has absurdly claimed that her server was secure becauseSecret Service agents were guarding the property.
Mrs. Clinton was also caught lying about whether she had turned over all her work-related emails when Sidney Blumenthal’s testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi revealed additional business-related emails that she had not sent to the State Department.
The drip, drip, drip of scandal has only gotten worse over time. We have now learned that there were more than 1,300 emails containing classified information that were either sent to or from her email server, classified as Top Secret, and some were classified as the even more secret Special Access Programs.
“You were out there on that arena, I remember you standing in I think it was a fieldhouse,” said Matthews during his softball interview with Clinton. “And you went on and on and on, it went on for five hours. It was incredible, it was a marathon, answering every single question of everyone in that room… Are you going to try to match that performance this time?”
No doubt Mrs. Clinton will be more than happy to answer further questions from the mainstream media. If Matthews’ interview and Chuck Todd’s debate questions are any indication, she knows that pertinent questions about her worst scandals won’t even be mentioned