Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defending saying that she “did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material” and called for the release of her emails that have determined to be classified during a Democratic presidential town hall on the Fox News Channel on Monday.
Hillary, after saying that she and her lawyers have not been apprised that she or her staff are targets of the FBI’s investigation and that she wasn’t aware that her server would be sought as evidence when she wiped it, added, “I have said, it wasn’t the best choice to use a personal email. It was a mistake, however, I am not alone in that. Many people in the government, past and current, have, on occasion, or as a practice, done the same. Nothing I sent was marked classified, or that I received was marked classified. And specifically, with respect to your question, every government official, and this is a legal theory — not just a theory, it’s a legal rule, gets to choose what is personal and what is it official. What we turned over were more than 30,000 emails that I assumed were already in the government system, Bret. Because they were sent to state.gov addresses.”
After moderator Bret Baier stated, “Sure, but there were some that were just recently discovered, and turned over –.” Hillary responded, “No, that was in the State Department, not in me. I’ve turned over everything”
Baier then said, “The State Department has redacted and declared 2,101 of your work emails classified, at least at the confidential level, 44 classified as secret, 22 classified as top secret.” He then read a statement from Hillary from March of 2015 that, “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.” Before asking, “So can we say definitively that that statement’s not accurate?”
Hillary answered, “No, you can’t. Here’s what happens, the State Department has a process for determining what is or isn’t classified, if they determine it is, they mark it as classified.”
Baier then asked, “What about you, when you’re typing an e-mail?” Hillary responded, “No, the State Department decides what is, and let me go a step further here, I will reiterate, because it’s a fact, nothing I sent or received was marked classified. Now, what happens when you ask, or when you are asked to make information public, is that it’s reviewed, and different agencies come in with their opinions. As you know, just recently, Colin Powell’s emails were retroactively classified for more than 10 years ago. As he said, that was an absurdity. I could not agree more.”
After Baier said, “So, your contention now is the 2,101 emails contain information that shouldn’t be classified at any time. They shouldn’t be, now or then. You’re just saying, it’s not — it wasn’t — it shouldn’t have been classified?” Hillary stated in response, “Well, what I’m saying is, it wasn’t at the time. Now, if you — let’s take Mary Smith, who has some information in the government, and she is FOIAd, Freedom of Information Act, give us your information, your memos, your emails, whatever it might have been. That then goes through a process. So, even though the agency she works in has said none of this is classified, others start to have a chance to weigh in. So others might say, ‘You know, that wasn’t at the time, but now, with circumstances, we don’t want to release it, so, therefore, we have to classify it.’ I’ve asked, and I echo Colin Powell in this, release it, and once the American people see it, they will know how absurd this is. So, Colin Powell and I are exactly on the same page.”
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