Here’s a little something to cheer you up on the weekend. During this week’s round of press gaggles it seems as if the media might finally have begun to get a little bored with every nuanced syllable escaping Donald Trump’s lips and decided to talk to Hillary Clinton again. Having no fresh meat to dangle in front of her, FactCheck.org took a fresh look at her interview with John Dickerson where she attempted to blow off her use of a private email server as no big deal. This time they enlisted the aid of Jake Tapper to break down her answers and match them up against reality.
The main bone of contention here is her repeated insistence that everything she did was “absolutely permitted.” Of course, she never seems to include the identity of who or what might have been that “permitted” it. Tapper takes her to task in this brief video.
Is that true? Was Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for official business while she was Secretary of State “absolutely permitted?”
No. That’s not true. She says that because she permitted herself and there was no one absolutely prohibiting her.
Jake cuts back to an interview he did with her last year in which she answers the question as to whether or not anyone “signed off” on her doing it and she can only say, “it was allowed.”
The rules allowed for some communications in other channels, but as Jake points out, they also required that all such communications be stored inside government control. That never happened until 21 months after Clinton left office when the server became public knowledge. And even if such a thing wasn’t flatly prohibited it was still unusual in the extreme and “frowned upon.” Of course, that only applies to the original decision to use a private server as her sole channel of communications. Failing to store all the communications inside the government system takes it to another level.
Jake closes with an admonition:
A reminder to all the politicians out there. You’re perfectly entitled to your own opinions. Not to your own facts.
The one thing which isn’t fact checked here (and to be fair, it wasn’t brought up in the comment being analyzed) is the question of control of classified information. Jake is dealing with the State Department rules and internal regulations regarding whether or not employees could use a private email system outside the standard government one in the first place, not the information being placed on it. He does touch on the storage question, but that’s simply from the angle of accountability and public record keeping. None of these questions veer off into the federal regulations we’ve discussed here before regarding the storage and exposure of sensitive information. That’s the dark alley that James Comey is walking down and it’s only tangentially related to what Tapper is discussing here.