Latest Hillary emails show her private support for trade deals she publicly opposed

While everyone’s focus was on the voting in Nevada and South Carolina, the next batch of Hillary Clinton’s bathroom server emails hit the open market with some revelations that would likely be shocking and offensive if they weren’t so typical of all the missives that came before. There was the usual collection of classified ones, natch, but by this point it just seems to be assumed that such a significant portion of her communications never should have left the government firewall that it’s almost becoming a non-story. There were a couple of other subjects, however, which caught the attention of the International Business Times. The first didn’t really strike me as a huge deal, relating to her team’s dealings with the New York Times.

In response to an inquiry made by the Times, Clinton aides discussed to what degree to cooperate with the newspaper, concerned that a story about a U.S. plan to retrieve Americans could lead to its failure.

“We understand that a plane is on the way from malta to pick up the americans,” David Kirkpatrick, then the Cairo bureau chief of the New York Times, wrote in an email Feb. 29, 2012. “We are restraining ourselves from publishing on the web at this time because of some of the sensitivities, but we are also under some pressure from our editors to be the first to report this news. I understand you are under many constraints but any help is appreciated.”

That story is vaguely interesting in terms of getting a peek inside the workings of the State Department and how they handle the press when national security is on the line, but I’m not seeing anything which even approaches a foot fault here. The Gray Lady was sitting on a leak which involved the sensitive transport of Americans out of Malta. That clearly didn’t need to be made public until the travelers were safely away and the Times seemed to understand that. By the same token, they didn’t want to get scooped so Clinton’s team had to handle them with a gentle touch.

It’s the second batch which get really intriguing, though. They date back to the negotiations surrounding some of our free trade deals, particularly the Columbia Free Trade Pact and a similar deal with South Korea. Team Clinton is seen busily working over some of the wavering members of Congress to get them on board with the proposals.

An email Oct. 8, 2011, to Clinton from her aide Huma Abedin gave notes about the state of play in Congress on the proposed trade pacts. The notes provided Clinton “some background before you make the calls” to legislators.

Two days later in an email titled “FTA calls,” Clinton wrote to aides indicating she had spoken to Sens. Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Jim Webb of Virginia, both Democrats. She told the aides she had talked with “Webb who is strong in favor of all 3” trade agreements, and then asked, “So why did I call him?” — indicating she was otherwise phoning to try to convince wavering lawmakers to support the deals.

That’s somewhat strange considering that then-Senator Clinton had been barnstorming the labor unions during her run against Barack Obama, promising them that she would be opposing all such deals. In one entreaty, she promised that she would do everything in her power to oppose the Columbia deal and referred to the South Korean trade pact as inherently unfair. Then, once she was safely employed at State, she began busily working the refs behind the scenes to push through the same deals she swore to oppose when they were facing an uphill slog in Congress. The unions are still largely supporting her this year over Bernie Sanders and she’s back to talking about the unfair nature and troubling aspects of our trade deals… has anyone let them know how she knifed them in the back after the last time she came begging for their endorsements?

All of this is old hat to conservatives, as well as the vast majority of people in every opinion survey who find Hillary Clinton to be dishonest and untrustworthy. But if she can’t even keep the promises she makes to her biggest Super PAC (the unions) why would they keep supporting her? I suppose some habits are just too entrenched and difficult to kick.


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