Clinton email interviews held day after Dallas guarantees little coverage

In a series of hastily arranged interviews on Friday, Hillary Clinton made her first comments about FBI director James Comey's congressional testimony that alleged she was "careless" in handling classified information.

The interviews came as the airwaves were dominated with news of the killing of five Dallas police officers during a protest against police violence.

Clinton apparently took to heart the suggestion from President Obama's former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, who once said, "Never let a crisis go to waste."

The Hill:

“I think the professionals with whom I communicated were very careful about how they handled classified material — as I was over the course of those four years,” the former secretary of State said on CNN’s “The Lead.”

“I do not believe that all of the professionals that I dealt with in the State Department were careless in handling classified material,” she added moments later, in a separate interview with Lester Holt on MSNBC.

The position is a striking rebuttal of Comey's statements. He twice this week called her behavior “extremely careless,” even while asserting it did not violate the law.

“Certainly, she should have known not to send classified information,” Comey testified before the House Oversight Committee on Thursday.

“I think she was extremely careless. I think she was negligent. That, I could establish,” he added. “What we can't establish is that she acted with the necessary criminal intent.”

In her interviews, Clinton referred to “over 300 people” she communicated with via email, including longtime diplomats and government officials.

“I do not believe that they did anything that they believed was in any way inappropriate,” she said on MSNBC. 

“Other agencies have said maybe they should have known at the time, but these are professionals ... they were doing the best job they could. They were not careless. The material they sent to me they did not believe was classified.”

What a beautiful bit of misdirection by Clinton.  Comey was not criticizing any other State Department officials who received her emails.  He was criticizing her and her top aides.

“Even now, Hillary Clinton is unwilling to tell the American people the truth about her illicit email server that broke the rules and put national security at risk,” RNC spokesman Michael Short said in a statement. 

“The only thing Hillary Clinton seems to be clarifying is that she is determined to continue misleading voters and obfuscating the facts about her reckless conduct as secretary of state.”

Her repeated insistence on Friday that other officials believed the material was not classified suggests a defense strategy for Clinton following her escape from the legal gauntlet this week. If officials throughout the State Department believed that the information was not classified, Clinton can reasonably say she didn’t know, either.

None of the emails in Clinton's inbox was properly marked as classified; however, the FBI has found at least three messages with partial markings suggesting that some of the material was sensitive. But those markings were incomplete, and Clinton may not have been technically “sophisticated” enough to properly interpret them, Comey said Thursday. 

This is a pretty cynical move by Clinton, using the ambush of police in Dallas as cover to make sure her comments on the email controversey will be seen by few people.  But it's standard operating procedure for the Clintons, who have been able to manipulate the press for decades to bury what they want buried.

In a series of hastily arranged interviews on Friday, Hillary Clinton made her first comments about FBI director James Comey's congressional testimony that alleged she was "careless" in handling classified information.

The interviews came as the airwaves were dominated with news of the killing of five Dallas police officers during a protest against police violence.

Clinton apparently took to heart the suggestion from President Obama's former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, who once said, "Never let a crisis go to waste."

The Hill:

“I think the professionals with whom I communicated were very careful about how they handled classified material — as I was over the course of those four years,” the former secretary of State said on CNN’s “The Lead.”

“I do not believe that all of the professionals that I dealt with in the State Department were careless in handling classified material,” she added moments later, in a separate interview with Lester Holt on MSNBC.

The position is a striking rebuttal of Comey's statements. He twice this week called her behavior “extremely careless,” even while asserting it did not violate the law.

“Certainly, she should have known not to send classified information,” Comey testified before the House Oversight Committee on Thursday.

“I think she was extremely careless. I think she was negligent. That, I could establish,” he added. “What we can't establish is that she acted with the necessary criminal intent.”

In her interviews, Clinton referred to “over 300 people” she communicated with via email, including longtime diplomats and government officials.

“I do not believe that they did anything that they believed was in any way inappropriate,” she said on MSNBC. 

“Other agencies have said maybe they should have known at the time, but these are professionals ... they were doing the best job they could. They were not careless. The material they sent to me they did not believe was classified.”

What a beautiful bit of misdirection by Clinton.  Comey was not criticizing any other State Department officials who received her emails.  He was criticizing her and her top aides.

“Even now, Hillary Clinton is unwilling to tell the American people the truth about her illicit email server that broke the rules and put national security at risk,” RNC spokesman Michael Short said in a statement. 

“The only thing Hillary Clinton seems to be clarifying is that she is determined to continue misleading voters and obfuscating the facts about her reckless conduct as secretary of state.”

Her repeated insistence on Friday that other officials believed the material was not classified suggests a defense strategy for Clinton following her escape from the legal gauntlet this week. If officials throughout the State Department believed that the information was not classified, Clinton can reasonably say she didn’t know, either.

None of the emails in Clinton's inbox was properly marked as classified; however, the FBI has found at least three messages with partial markings suggesting that some of the material was sensitive. But those markings were incomplete, and Clinton may not have been technically “sophisticated” enough to properly interpret them, Comey said Thursday. 

This is a pretty cynical move by Clinton, using the ambush of police in Dallas as cover to make sure her comments on the email controversey will be seen by few people.  But it's standard operating procedure for the Clintons, who have been able to manipulate the press for decades to bury what they want buried.