Clinton won't apologize for email scandal
First rule in Democratic politics: Never apologize for anything, no matter how bad it is.
Hillary Clinton is folloiwing that rule to the letter. In an interview with the Associated Press, she refused to say she was sorry for having a private email server for her personal and business emails.
In an interview with The Associated Press during a Labor Day campaign swing through Iowa, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination also said the lingering questions about her email practices while serving as President Barack Obama's first secretary of state have not damaged her campaign.
"Not at all. It's a distraction, certainly," Clinton said. "But it hasn't in any way affected the plan for our campaign, the efforts we're making to organize here in Iowa and elsewhere in the country. And I still feel very confident about the organization and the message that my campaign is putting out."
Yet even in calling the inquiry into how she used email as the nation's top diplomat a distraction, Clinton played down how it has affected her personally as a candidate.
"As the person who has been at the center of it, not very much," Clinton said. "I have worked really hard this summer, sticking to my game plan about how I wanted to sort of reintroduce myself to the American people."
As she has often said in recent weeks, Clinton told AP it would have been a "better choice" for her to use separate email accounts for her personal and public business. "I've also tried to not only take responsibility, because it was my decision, but to be as transparent as possible," Clinton said.
Part of that effort, Clinton said, is answering any questions about her email "in as many different settings as I can." She noted she has sought for nearly a year to testify before Congress about the issue, and that she is now slated to do so in October.
The one-on-one interview with AP was the second for Clinton in the past four days. On Friday, she did not apologize for using a private email system when asked directly by NBC, "Are you sorry?" Asked Monday by the AP why she won't directly apologize, Clinton said: "What I did was allowed. It was allowed by the State Department. The State Department has confirmed that.
"I did not send or receive any information marked classified," Clinton said. "I take the responsibilities of handling classified materials very seriously and did so."
Clinton keeps parsing the fact that at least 150 of her emails contained classified information by claiming none were "marked" classified. The State Department inspector general has suggested that some of the classified markings may have been removed and in other emails, Hillary passed on information she received from top secret emails.
Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign and the State Department disputed the inspector general’s finding last month and questioned whether the emails had been overclassified by an arbitrary process. But the special review — by the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency — concluded that the emails were “Top Secret,” the highest classification of government intelligence, when they were sent to Mrs. Clinton in 2009 and 2011.
On Monday, the Clinton campaign disagreed with the conclusion of the intelligence review and noted that agencies within the government often have different views of what should be considered classified.
“Our hope remains that these releases continue without being hampered by bureaucratic infighting among the intelligence community, and that the releases continue to be as inclusive and transparent as possible,” said Nick Merrill, a campaign spokesman.
In other words, the designation "classified" from the CIA can be ignored because Hillary Clinton can decide what's classified and what isn't.
None of this is going to help her when the investigations inevitably concludes that she mishandled classified information. At that point, DoJ career prosecutors will have to determine if they have a criminal case and make their recommendation to the attorney general. I don't see Loretta Lynch signing off on an indictment for the Democratic party standard bearer, so Clinton may yet escape prosecution.