‘I remember landing under sniper fire.”
“I actually started criticizing the war in Iraq before [Obama] did.”
“We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt.”
Hillary Clinton’s relationship with the truth has always been one of disdain, as shown by her accounts of landing in Bosnia (she was actually greeted by a child on the tarmac), her policies (she voted for the war in Iraq and only criticized it later, after the winds shifted, and after Obama) and her finances (if owning two multi-million-dollar homes is “dead broke,” then sure).
But the Democratic front-runner has really outdone herself with her varying explanations for her home e-mail server. Here are her five fabrications in the shifting story of why she hid her correspondence from public records and compromised national security.
1. “I thought it would be easier to carry one device for my work.”
Truth: This was Clinton’s excuse on March 10 for why she used a personal e-mail address for official business as secretary of state — so that all her e-mails came to one device. “Looking back, it would have been probably, you know, smarter to have used two devices,” she said.
A couple weeks later, a freedom of information request by the AP discovered that Clinton used multiple electronic devices, including an iPad and a BlackBerry, to send e-mail.
2. “The server contains personal communications from my husband and me.”
Truth: If that’s true, it will come as a surprise to Bill Clinton. “The former president, who does regularly use Twitter, has sent a grand total of two e-mails during his life, both as president,” said his spokesman, Matt McKenna, in an interview published around the same time.
3. “I’ve never had a subpoena…Let’s take a deep breath here.”
Truth: Confronted by CNN’s Brianna Keilar on July 8 about why she had deleted 33,000 e-mails while under investigation, Clinton said it was common practice. Keilar pressed: Even if you’re under subpeona?
Clinton was under subpoena when the question was asked. After requesting Clinton’s e-mails in December 2014, Trey Gowdy (R-SC) got nowhere, so he sent her a subpoena in March. A Clinton lawyer, David Kendall, responded to the subpoena later that month, saying that Hillary Clinton was waiting for approval from the State Department before releasing the e-mails.
Clinton’s people argued she deleted the e-mails before she was under subpoena, so her answer was correct. Except they were deleted in December, when she already knew Congress was interested in them. Before the hard drive was erased, e-mails were handed over to the State Department — but only the ones Clinton’s staff deemed relevant. Since all the rest were deleted, no one else could check their work.
Like so many Clinton statements, while the line may be technically correct, it ignores the spirit of the complaint.
4. “I did not e-mail any classified material to anyone on my e-mail. I’m certainly well aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.”
Truth: Another claim made during that March 10 press conference that has fallen apart. After taking a random sample of 40 of Clinton’s e-mails, the inspector general for 17 spy agencies told Congress that two contained information deemed “Top Secret.”
Clinton’s camp put out a long technical defense saying that the information wasn’t classified when she received it and that different agencies disagreed over what should be classified. But it begged the question: Why take the risk at all?
After months of resisting, Clinton agreed to hand over her home server to the FBI, though it’s been wiped clean. Experts will try to recover what they can — and if even more surprises await.
5. “Everything I did was permitted. There was no law. There was no regulation. There was nothing that did not give me the full authority to decide how I was going to communicate.”
Truth: As The Washington Post points out, “In 2009, just eight months after Clinton became secretary of state, the US Code of federal regulations on handling electronic records was updated:
‘Agencies that allow employees to send and receive official electronic-mail messages using a system not operated by the agency must ensure that federal records sent or received on such systems are preserved in the appropriate agency record-keeping system.’ The responsibility for making and preserving the records is assigned to ‘the head of each federal agency.’”
“On top of that, when Clinton was secretary, a cable went out under her signature warning employees to ‘avoid conducting official department business from your personal e-mail accounts.’ ”
The State Department requires employees to preserve records, even saying explicitly that on the rare occasion a personal e-mail address is used, those e-mails should be forwarded to the work address for archiving. Clinton never did this.
The Washington Post concludes: “She appears to be arguing her case on narrow, technical grounds, but that’s not the same as actually complying with existing rules as virtually everyone else understood them.”
Can we expect any less of the spouse of the man who argued what “is” is? Columnist Charles Krauthammer said it best when he noted last week, “Nothing she says ever is true three weeks later.”
What will be revealed as a lie next?
Bear in mind Abedin, a Muslim, is to Clinton, what Jarrett is to Barry.