State Department Releases More Hillary Clinton Emails
The latest batch comes amid continued scrutiny of the Democratic candidate’s use of private email when she was secretary of State.
It’s that time again: The State Department has released another batch of thousands of pages of emails from Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of State.
This is the third trove of emails that State has released since Clinton handed over roughly 55,000 pages of emails in December. In May, the department posted about 850 pages of emails on its website, all relating to Libya and the attacks in Benghazi; in June, it released approximately 3,000 pages on a wide range of topics.
Neither previous release contained any particularly revelatory information about Clinton’s tenure as America’s top diplomat, but did shed light on the way she and her team operatedand with whom she was corresponding.
The State Department will continue to release the emails on a monthly basis through January.
Clinton’s email practices have come under attack since it was revealed in March that during her four years at State, she worked exclusively from a private email address tied to a server located at her Chappaqua, New York, home. And last week, the Justice Department and inspectors general for State and the Intelligence Community said Justice had been notified of a potential breach of classified information in connection with Clinton’s email account, raising questions about whether she sent or received classified information.
The new batch—like previous ones—show the day-to-day operation of Clinton and her team, and their interactions on issues big and small.
Much of the correspondence released Friday relates to hiring at the State Department, which was staffing up in the summer of 2009.
Though most of the names are redacted, Clinton’s emails from this time include numerous resumes, recommendations from friends or staffers about specific people, or anti-recommendations from others. “I know [redacted] and would not do her,” senior aide Cheryl Mills wrote to Clinton about one candidate.
In one email, senior aide Lissa Muscatine updated Clinton on the status of the speechwriting team, including her efforts to recruit journalists for open positions.
“I’m also re-mining journalistic contacts to see if I can possibly find a more seasoned writer from a newspaper or magazine who wants to make the switch to government,” Muscatine wrote. “So far that has proven futile; the few journalists who I’ve reached out to were not interested in coming.”
Clinton responded on all of the candidates, including a line that seemed to be aimed at the possibility of a former journalist joining the staff.
“It goes w/out saying that someone who lacks discretion is not possible,” Clinton wrote.
After a July 2009 appearance on Meet the Press, Clinton received high praise from David Axelrod, Thomas Donilon, who was serving as deputy national security advisor at the time and Wendy Sherman–the now undersecretary of state for political affairs.
“Madam Secretary–Really terrific work this morning. Great appearance,” Donilon wrote.
Prior to the Meet the Press interview, Clinton also got a “heads up” from Lissa Muscatine—the owner of Washington’s Politics and Prose bookstore and a former speechwriter at the State Department—that David Gregory would ask about an American journalist detained in Iran.
“You probably already know this, but I just heard from a friend who is wired at Meet the Press that David Gregory will ask you about David Maziar, the Newsweek journalist arrested in Iran,” Muscatine wrote in an email to Clinton.
After Vice President Joe Biden quipped to a Wall Street Journal reporter in July 2009 that he believed Russia was a “withering” nation, the White House and Secretary of State Clinton were on the defense.
In an email to Clinton, then-spokesman and senior aide Philippe Reines wrote that “The WH just issued the below [statement] because the Biden story (based on interview with Peter Spiegel, WSJ, on way home from Tblisi) gained momentum throughout the day.”
After Biden’s gaffe, Clinton appeared on Meet the Press to reaffirm the dangers Russia still posed.
Reines emailed her once again to praise her for her performance after what he described had been a “lousy couple of weeks for the Admin.”
“Whenever you do something big on TV we all hear from lots of folks saying you did great. But this time is noticeably different,” Reines wrote. “You were definitely on your game. You either threw a perfect game – or at least a no hitter. So this couldn’t have gone better, achieved everything we needed to times 10, and comes on the heels of a great 10 days. Will be interesting to see the storyline that emanates from this. Because there was no substantive news, it’ll be a focus on style especially saving Biden.”
Some of the most colorful emails come from Reines, who is known for his aggressive personality, especially with reporters.
On an email thread about a positive Associated Press story after Clinton’s 2009 visit to Africa, Reines noted that a new headline reported a “Missing Ship Reported Seen Off Cape Verde Islands.”
“We could have done a pirate event!” he quipped to Clinton, Mills, and aides Huma Abedin and Jake Sullivan.
Though there were fewer references to longtime Clinton family aide and friend Sidney Blumenthal in this batch of emails than in previous ones, his name does come up—most notably in an email exchange about preparations for a speech Clinton gave in Berlin in November 2009.
When Clinton asked Sullivan who was writing her remarks, Sullivan replied that Blumenthal is “continuing to collaborate.” The email exchange also contained a memo from Blumenthal to Clinton on “Berlin speeches,” including the “themes I stress” and “some ideas and language.”