The State Department released roughly 7,000 pages of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s emails Monday, the biggest release of emails to date. The emails were, as they have been in past releases, heavily redacted.
The 7,000 emails included about 150 that have been censored because they contain information now deemed classified.
Department officials said the redacted information was classified in preparation for the public release of the emails and not identified as classified at the time Clinton sent or received the messages. All the censored material in the latest group of emails is classified at the “confidential” level, not at higher “top secret” or compartmentalized levels, they said.
“It’s somewhere around 150 that have been subsequently upgraded” in classification, State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters.
Still, the increasing amounts of blacked-out information from Clinton’s email history as secretary of state will surely prompt additional questions about her handling of government secrets while in office and that of her most trusted advisers.
The Democratic presidential front-runner now says her use of a home email server for government business was a mistake, and government inspectors have pointed to exchanges that never should have been sent via unsecured channels.
At one point recently, Clinton said, “It clearly wasn’t the best choice. I should have used two emails, one personal, one for work, and I’ve taken responsibility for that.”
Toner insisted that nothing encountered in the agency’s review of Clinton’s documents “was marked classified.”
Government employees are instructed not to paraphrase or repeat in any form classified material in unsecured email.
Monday evening’s release amounts to more pages of email than disclosed in the previous three months combined. Once public, it will mean roughly a quarter of all of the correspondence Clinton qualified as “work emails” has been published. Clinton provided the State Department some 30,000 pages of documents late last year, while deleting a similar amount from her server because she said they were personal in nature.
Some of the just-released missives deal with Iran, Israel and Russia, in one exchange in which Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan tells Clinton he can’t forward her a document she wants because it’s “on the classified system.”
Clinton writes back, “It’s a public statement! Just email it.”
Sullivan responds, “Trust me, I share your exasperation. But until ops converts it to the unclassified email system, there is no physical way for me to email it. I can’t even access it.”
Among other things that emerged in this round of emails:
More of Clinton’s technology challenges came to the fore – figuring out her new iPad, for instance. “I don’t know if I have wi-fi,” she wrote to adviser Philippe Reines on Jul. 24, 2010. “How do I find out?” And, “Do I need to charge it? If so, how? I have no cords.” Clinton’s correspondence with him was from the alias “Evergreen.”
Clinton is not a fan of snow days. She wrote to Cheryl Mills on Feb. 8, 2010, “I can’t believe the govt is closed again. I guess I will work from home again but think this is silly.”
For one set of emails sent to Mills and to the head of USAID, Rajiv Shah, there was a set of instructions her political enemies might seize on: she asked them not to forward and to delete as soon as they were read, on Jan. 2010. Clinton had sent the them information on a redacted topic and instructed them in an email, “Cheryl and Raj-I sent you emails [redacted] before removing their email info so pis do not forward to anyone and delete after reading. Thx.”
Sidney Blumenthal emailed Hillary Clinton very frequently while she was secretary of state, as noted in earlier email releases. He sent personnel advice, and even swiped at President Obama for implementing a rule against hiring any registered lobbyist.
After Obamacare passed, Clinton wrote to Maryland Sen. Barbara Milkulski, “Let’s wrap this up in the Senate and go drink something unhealthy!” She also asks her about their friend – and now her opponent in the Democratic primary campaign – Martin O’Malley, who was then the governor of Maryland.
A dispatch from Chelsea Clinton appears in this set of emails, too. She wrote to her mother, father and Clinton’s close confidants about a trip she took to Haiti. She lambasted the United Nations and non-governmental organizations, with her observations that, “The incompetence is mind numbing.”