Open thread: Semi-retired future president to hold “brief” press conference on e-mails; Update: 2:20 ET
Actually, given her age and how well she’s hidden herself from the press over the past six months, I probably should have said “mostly retired.”
CNN says she’ll speak after delivering a speech at the UN at 1:30 ET but that’s as specific as the timeline gets right now. The speech is on women’s rights, by the way, a little nudge to the press not to be too hard on the First Woman President, and the UN backdrop is obviously designed to signal her stature. Here’s your thread to comment, nice and early. Your expectations, needless to say, should be low:
A Clinton spokesman confirmed late Tuesday morning that Clinton will indeed hold a “brief press conference” after the U.N. speech. The “brief” nature of it is telling: Clinton is likely looking to get in, assure the public, and get out.
The press conference was announced yesterday. Coincidentally, it takes 24 hours to get press accreditation at the UN, which means any reporters who aren’t already approved there are SOL today. And that’s not all:
So yeah, this will almost certainly be a farce. To the extent that it’s not, though, as I said yesterday, there are three scandals worth asking about. One: Why use a private e-mail server exclusively while she was in charge of State? Contrary to what Team Hillary would have you believe, at least one of her predecessors was more conscientious than that. Is there any conceivable reason to take one’s e-mail off the grid and away from State’s archives except to avoid accountability? Two: Has she really turned over all work-related e-mails from her tenure to State by now? If so, how come Trey Gowdy’s committee has nothing from her Libya trip in 2011? And why did she go to the trouble of printing them out and handing them over as hard copies rather than as computer files? Is there any conceivable explanation for that apart from wanting to make them more difficult to search?
Three: How can we trust someone with the presidency who may well be guilty of enabling what may end up being the most serious top-level national security data breach that some cybersecurity experts have ever seen?
The third point is critical: if the best of the best are after your information, you need the best of your best protecting it. And there is simply no way that a “homebrew” server is EVER going to have the security and resources appropriate to defend it adequately.
Looking at it this way, a “homebrew” server was the worst possible choice. Even using a webmail system like Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo would have been better because those companies have the expertise and capability to meet at least some of the threat this class of information would face.
This is the most important point. You can liken this to the CFO of Chase taking billions of dollars in cash home and storing it in the mattress. It’s so inadequate to meeting the risks that it would be laughable if it weren’t so serious…
This potentially could be the most serious national security data breach that we’ve heard of.
The third scandal’s the only one that could hurt her potentially. Voters expect the Clintons to be crooked, secretive, and unaccountable. That’s been priced into their stock for 20 years. What voters don’t expect, especially from someone who ran in 2008 on her readiness to take the 3 a.m. phone call, is egregious recklessness with national security. What does she say when asked what assurances she can give that her private server wasn’t compromised by hackers? The only good answer would be if she had federal tech experts install the same security measures on her home server as State has in its internal e-mail system. But (a) if that were true we would have heard about it by now, if not from Hillary than from State itself, and (b) if, hypothetically, she was willing to ask the feds’ IT guys to lock her server down, why wasn’t she also willing to have them automatically copy her correspondence to State’s archives?
Exit question while we wait: Are we sure State is on Hillary’s side in all this? One of the reasons Clinton went for a private e-mail account, argues BuzzFeed, is that she didn’t trust her underlings there.
“They never trusted anybody” at State, one former State Department official said of Clinton and her coterie. The former official said that everyone in the State Department press office at the time was familiar with the practice and found it “strange.”
“There definitely was a small circle of insiders whose names you know, who played a ferocious sort of gatekeeper role, much more so than with the current guy and with the predecessor,” said a current State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity. “Even the most powerful FSOs in high positions had to go through less than a handful of gatekeepers.”
Silver lining, I guess: We’ll never run out of blog content after January 2017.
Update: Finally, an ETA.