Tracking 'Emailgate' and 'Apologygate'; Clinton's Half-Baked Apology; Lightning Strikes Twice
In the wake of major flip-flop by Hillary Clinton as to whether she would or would not issue an apology over "Emailgate", I thought it might be interesting to review the details and denials from the beginning.
From 2009 to 2013, when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, she sent and received using a home-brew email server setup in her house. This was a violation of protocol as she was supposed to use secure government channels.
Her use of a private server and email account prompted congressional and FBI investigations. She denied any classified documents were on her server, but a quick check proved otherwise.
Despite all of her efforts, the server story will not go away, it has been in the news for months, and Hillary's popularity has plunged.
Clinton's Favorable Rating
Gallup reports ...
Dogged by continued scrutiny of her email practices as secretary of state, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's favorability with the American public has sunk to one of its lowest levels in Gallup's 23-year trend. Currently, 41% of U.S. adults say they have a favorable opinion of the Democratic front-runner, while 51% hold an unfavorable view.
Clinton's sub-40% favorable ratings in 1992 were mostly a product of the public's lack of familiarity with her, rather than any kind of broad unpopularity. By contrast, her current 41% favorable rating is arguably her worst, given her nearly universal name recognition. Her present rating is about as low as it was in March 2001, during her first few months in office as a U.S. senator from New York.
Perhaps more importantly, it was also after controversial pardons that her husband, President Bill Clinton, granted at the end of his presidency, and after the Clintons took furnishings and other gifts that were White House property when they left.
"I did not send or receive any information marked classified. I take the responsibilities of handling classified materials very seriously and did so," said Hillary.
Flashback March 10: Hillary Clinton Tries to Quell Controversy Over Private Email.
Hillary Rodham Clinton revealed on Tuesday that she had deleted about half her emails from her years as secretary of state, saying she had turned over to the Obama administration all correspondence about government business but had erased records of communications about private matters, like yoga routines, her daughter's wedding and her mother's funeral.
"I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two," she explained.
Mrs. Clinton's explanation that it was more convenient to carry only one device seemed at odds with her remark last month, at a technology conference in Silicon Valley, that she uses multiple devices, including two kinds of iPads, an iPhone and a BlackBerry. She said then: "I don't throw anything away. I'm like two steps short of a hoarder."
At one point on Tuesday, Mrs. Clinton said the emails she had deleted contained "personal communications from my husband and me." But on Sunday, a spokesman for Mr. Clinton told reporters that the former president had "sent two emails in his life."
Refusal to Apologize
Flash Forward September 4, 2015: The Hill reports Hillary Clinton refuses to apologize for email choices.
Hillary Clinton on Friday declined on two occasions to apologize for using a personal email account and server while serving as secretary of State.
In a rare national interview, MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell asked Clinton if she was sorry that she had bucked traditional protocol and routed her work email through a private email account and server.
Clinton responded by acknowledging that "it wasn't the best choice," and said that she "should have had two accounts." But she also continued to defend the decision as "above board" and something that was "allowed by the State Department."
Half Baked Apology
In an interview last Friday, Clinton offered a quasi-apology.
It was an apology that made many of Hillary Clinton's closest supporters bristle.
"At the end of the day, I am sorry that this has been confusing to people and has raised a lot of questions, but there are answers to all these questions," Hillary Clinton told NBC's Andrea Mitchell in an interview last Friday, when asked whether she should apologize for the email controversy dogging her campaign.
The classic "I'm sorry your feelings are hurt" response left many Clinton insiders troubled that the statement felt more like an insult than an apology -- and over the weekend, a growing chorus of advisors and donors ratcheted up the pressure on Clinton and her campaign to take the apology a step further in order to put it to bed, multiple sources close to the campaign said.
On September 8, Bloomberg reported Hillary Clinton Offers Apology for E-Mail Practices.
"That was a mistake. I'm sorry about that. I take responsibility," she said in an interview with ABC's David Muir [on Tuesday].
On Monday, Clinton again refused an all-encompassing apology, telling the Associated Press that she didn't need to apologize for relying on her personal account because it was allowed by the State Department. "It was fully above board. Everybody in the government with whom I e-mailed knew that I was using a personal e-mail, and I have said it would have been a better choice to have had two separate e-mail accounts," she said. "And I've also tried to not only take responsibility, because it was my decision, but to be as transparent as possible."
Clinton said she regrets how she's handled the e-mail issue since her use of a private account first came to light six months ago. "I do think I could have and should have done a better job answering questions earlier. I really didn't perhaps appreciate the need to do that," she said.
Lets' go over that last paragraph above one more time.
Hillary did not "appreciate the need to do a better job answering questions" about why she used a private email server when she should not have, about denials of classified documents on the server, and about all kinds of inconsistencies in her make-up-answers-as-you-go-along story.
- March 10: New York Times: Hillary Clinton Tries to Quell Controversy Over Private Email.
- July 24: New York Times: Hillary Clinton Emails Said to Contain Classified Data
- August 8: Daily Beast: Spy Satellite Secrets in Hillary’s Emails
- August 11: McClatchy: Clinton probe expands to key aides.
- August 17: Washington Times: 305 Documents With Potentially Classified Information. Key Idea - 5.1 percent of emails processed so far — have been flagged for potential secret information, the State Department reported to a federal court Monday.
- August 21: Town Hall: Confirmed: Despite Clinton's Claims, Documents on Her Server Were Always Classified
- August 23: Fox News: Questions arise about existence of second, private Clinton email server
- September 3: Bloomberg: FBI Scours Clinton Server for Evidence of Spying
- September 4: The Week: Hillary Clinton again refuses to apologize for email server
- September 7: Yahoo!News: Clinton says no need for apology for email server
- September 7: Washington Examiner: Clinton: I don't need to apologize for private email server
- September 8: Politico: Clinton seeks to assuage supporters on emails
- September 8: Bloomberg: Hillary Clinton Offers Apology for E-Mail Practices.
- September 8: Christian Science Monitor: CIA says Hillary Clinton's emails contained 'Top Secret' info. Subtitle - A CIA official claims Hillary Clinton's personal emails included information about North Korean nukes, but Clinton insists she 'did not send or receive any information marked classified.'
Lesson on Mistakes and Lies
Hillary Clinton's approval rating was over 60% in 2013. It's near a record low 41% now. Lies are the reason.
Please consider Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton and authorizing the war in Iraq May 12th, 2015
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's comments on Fox News about the Iraq War brought up more questions than answers.
Kelly: "On the subject of Iraq, very controversial, knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion?"
Bush: "I would have, and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody, and so would almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got."
In her 2014 book Hard Choices, Clinton said this about her vote:
"While many were never going to look past my 2002 vote no matter what I did or said, I should have stated my regret sooner and in the plainest, most direct language possible. I'd gone most of the way there by saying I regretted the way President Bush used his authority and by saying that if we knew then what we later learned, there wouldn't have been a vote. But I held out against using the word mistake."
Lightning Strikes Twice
Hillary "regrets the way Bush used his authority". What kind of apology is that? Heck it's not even an admission of a mistake.
I have always maintained that Hillary would have won the Democratic nomination in 2008 over Obama had she only had the common sense to admit she made a mistake in siding with President Bush on the War in Iraq.
I made that claim in 2008, well before Hillary realized it.
Moreover, I highly doubt she believed the ridiculous evidence Bush presented in the first place. Rather, I strongly suspect she believed in war-mongering and nation-building.
There was never any evidence, just easy-to-see lies. Most of our allies laughed at us.
It did Hillary no good to issue a half-baked apology in her self-serving book on "Hard Choices".
By once again refusing to apologize or admit a mistake in a timely fashion, she may have done it to herself once again.