MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski pressed State Spokesperson Rear Admiral John Kirby (Ret.) over Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails on Wednesday.
Brzezinski asked, “did anyone approve of Hillary Clinton using a private email account, or a server, just yes or no?” Kirby answered, “Well, look, I mean, these kinds of things are under review and investigation right now. So, I’m really not at liberty to go into too much detail about the past. That’s all getting looked at.”
Brzezinski then cut in to ask, “Is that question under review and investigation, whether or not it was approved?” Kirby responded, “All of the parameters surrounding the use of that server and the email traffic that existed, that — all that’s being reviewed, both by our inspector general, as well as members of Congress. And so I don’t want to get ahead of that. We’re going to let the facts take us where they take us, and then we’ll deal with it on the back end of that.”
Kirby was then asked whether or not “how the server was set up, maintained, taken offline, and stored before these revelations came out?” Was being investigated by the State Department.
Kirby said, “I’ll let investigators speak for what they’re doing. And the inspector general, as you know, is an independent organization here at the State Department. I don’t know every parameter of everything that they’re going to look at. But we want them to be able to do their job, and do it efficiently and effectively. And then when they’re done, and we take a look at what they’ve found out, then we’ll deal with it.”
Brzezinski then asked, “Pertaining to Hillary Clinton’s email server, is that what we’re talking about? We’re talking about them doing their job?” Kirby responded, “We’re talking about their review of the situation as it was back then and how it was constructed. And again, I don’t want to get into more detail than that right now as the investigators are doing their work.”
Brzezinski continued, “Are they going to respond to her concerns that these emails, the ones that are available, could be released faster to clear the air?”
Kirby stated, “I think we’d all like to get them out faster, but there’s a process we have to observe, because we’re using the Freedom of Information Act. There’s a law that says you have to — before you make public, this kind of internal communications, you’ve got to review it, you’ve got to scrub it, you’ve to make sure that it’s okay for public release. We have intelligence community reviewers sitting down with our reviewers, in real time, as they go through this traffic. And just to remind, it’s a lot of traffic. I mean, we’ve released more than 3,000 emails. There’s about 30,000 to come, another traunch will come at the end of this month, on Monday. We’ll release more. It’s going to take some time. I think everybody would like to see it happen as fast as possible. But we also want to be as right as we can and as safe as we can.”
Brzezinski then asked Kirby whether the State Department was “holding back” or working as fast as it can. Kirby stated, “we can only go as fast as the law will permit.” And that he understands everyone wants the emails out quickly, but the State Department has to ensure sensitive information is protected.
Brzezinski then asked, “Why is the State Department looking into this?” Kirby responded, “Well, the Inspector General was tasked by Secretary Kerry to go take a look at how we’re handing email traffic writ large, and the processes that had been in place, and so they’re doing that. And again, I won’t speak for everything they’re looking at. We also know that there are investigations going on by members of Congress. So, we have to — again we’re going to respect that process.
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