RNC: Hillary Clinton’s Deceptive Press Conference a Huge Disappointment
The RNC released this review of Hillary Clinton’s much-awaited press conference on her growing email scandal.
In classic Clintonian fashion, she refused to apologize for any wrongdoing, failed to be honest or candid, and above all, refuses further disclosure.
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First, she claimed that she used private email and a private server for “convenience.” She just didn’t want to use two devices, which is an odd thing to say for someone who just weeks ago said she used two devices—both an iPhone and a Blackberry, in addition to an iPad and a mini iPad.
She said that the server was needed for her husband’s email. But President Clinton’s aides told the Wall Street Journal he hasn’t emailed since leaving office. The server was also set up just as she was starting her job as Secretary of State. Curious timing.
Also, as many people are asking: how exactly is going to all the trouble of setting up a personal server in your home “convenient”?
COMPLYING WITH THE RULES
Next, Clinton said she complied with all the rules. That is demonstrably false.
She violated a 2005 rule. In 2005, according to the Washington Post, the State Department updated “the Foreign Affairs manual to state that ‘sensitive but unclassified’ information should not be transmitted through personal e-mail accounts.”
She violated a 2009 rule. In 2009, federal regulations were updated requiring employees using non-government email to “ensure that Federal records sent or received on such systems are preserved in the appropriate agency recordkeeping system.”
She violated a 2011 rule. In 2011, a State Department cable bearing her signature warned employees to “avoid conducting official Department business from your personal e-mail accounts.”
And she violated the employee regulations that she made all other State Department personnel comply with.
Even MSNBC fact checked this assertion, with liberal host Lawrence O’Donnell saying Clinton’s secret email server “was not in compliance with” State Department regulations.
Clinton pointed to precedent to excuse her behavior. But there is no precedent. Secretary Colin Powell preceded the rules in question. Secretary Condoleezza Rice used a .gov email. Secretary John Kerry uses a .gov email.
Hillary Clinton’s questionable and risky behavior was, to use a word from her press conference, “unprecedented.”
MOVING THE GOAL POSTS
Team Clinton is moving the goal posts. Last week, they claimed that 90% of her emails were handed over to the State Department. But yesterday, Hillary said that only 50 percent of her emails were related to business, and the other 50 percent she kept secret. Nevertheless, Team Clinton allowed the “90% ” figure to be reported over and over, uncorrected.
Clinton claimed that her server, which could have housed sensitive government information, was never hacked. But she does not know that. She cannot prove it.
THE BIGGER ISSUE
But the biggest issue remains: her email will remain private. She will not allow a neutral arbiter to review the emails or access the server. The only emails the State Department will have are the emails that Hillary Clinton wants it to have.
She offered the public no assurances beyond a Trust Me argument. We have no idea if she’s telling the truth, and Hillary Clinton has done little to earn the public’s trust. After all, she only gave this press conference out of pressure from the media, not out of any personal desire to be honest and transparent.
NBC’s Chuck Todd said the public deserves “more than an explanation.” He’s right. The public deserves an apology and true transparency.
We also deserve more answers.
Because the press conference was so short, there are many unanswered questions:
Did the State Department approve of her email scheme?
Did anyone at the White House approve of her email scheme?
Did she send sensitive but unclassified information over her personal email?
Did she email about official matters with top advisor and State Department official Huma Abedin who also had an address on Clinton’s private server?
Did she actually email with her husband whose aides tell the press he doesn’t email?
Does she find the two devices she uses today inconvenient?
And what about the Clinton Foundation’s acceptance of foreign donations while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, a question she substantively ignored?
Did she ever use her personal email to solicit donations to the foundation? Did she do so as Secretary of State?
When is the next press conference to answer all the remaining questions?