How Obama Learned about Hillary Rodham Clinton's Peculiar E-Mail

By Knickerbocker, Brad | The Christian Science Monitor, March 8, 2015 | Go to article overview

How Obama Learned about Hillary Rodham Clinton's Peculiar E-Mail


Knickerbocker, Brad, The Christian Science Monitor


If those messages from hdr22@clintonemail.com - his secretary of state using a personal e-mail address and private server rather than the more secure government system - were an odd way of communicating sensitive diplomatic information, they apparently didn't seem so to President Obama.

At least that might be concluded from the revelation that Obama learned about Hillary Rodham Clinton's controversial e-mail system like the rest of us: through news reports this past week, as he told CBS in a weekend interview broadcast Sunday.

Without indicating any particular concern, Obama told Bill Plante: "I'm glad that Hillary's instructed that those emails about official business need to be disclosed."

"I think that the fact that she is putting them forward will allow us to make sure that people have the information they need," he said. "The policy of my administration is to encourage transparency, which is why my emails, the Blackberry I carry around, all those records are available and archived."

True, Obama's message traffic no doubt is highly filtered, so he may never have had the opportunity to note her e-mail address. Remember when the Secret Service took control of his personal Blackberry about 10 seconds after he was sworn in as President?

Once the controversy became known, Clinton tweeted: "I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible."

The problem is, that review could take weeks or months. Those e- mails total 55,000 pages, and as Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post wrote the other day, "Those are the e-mails that Clintonworld decided should be turned over.... not exactly the classic definition of transparency."

Meanwhile, the special House committee probing the terrorist attack on a US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, has issued subpoenas for some of Clinton's personal e-mails, and the Associated Press says it's considering legal action for long delays on its Freedom of Information Act requests for records related to Clinton's tenure at the Department of State.

To political professionals and the reporters who follow them, the 2016 presidential election may be just around the corner. To the typical voter, it's many months off, and they aren't paying much attention. …

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