MSNBC’s Snow To Clinton Spox: ‘Goes Against Reason’ To Attack Career Agency Members and Obama Appointees Over Emails

MSNBC host Kate Snow told Brian Fallon, the National Press Secretary for the Clinton campaign that it “goes against reason” to accuse career agency members and Obama appointees were “fighting” Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on her emails on Friday’s “MSNBC Live.”

Fallon said, “So, here’s what we know about them, and this has been litigated in the press, unfortunately because of the fact that this process went off the rails a long time ago, but all of these details about the emails have been leaked out at various points in the last few months. So, here are some of the things we know: Number one, these emails were not marked classified at the time they were sent or received, which is very salient in terms of deciding whether the content actually counts as classified. Number two, we believe that most likely these emails were originated on the unclassified State Department system by career civil servants and other foreign service officers well before they were ever shared with Secretary Clinton. Number three, they remained on the State Department’s unclassified system for a period of years in some instances. Number four, in at least in one instance, it’s been reported, the thread consists of an email chain that evolved after a public news article was shared, so we think that these materials are being counted as classified is a very strict over — example of overclassification by these agencies, among many, in this interagency process, that have been duking it out for the last several months.”

Snow responded, “But these agencies are staffed by people who are presumably either non-partisan, lifelong members of these agencies, or — I should say, career people, or they were appointed by President Obama, who’s a Democrat. So, it sort of goes against reason to say that they would be fighting you on this.”

Fallon countered, “Well, a couple points, because this has been playing out for several months, there’s been a large body of reporting on this. And there’s — it is quite possible for there to be a good faith disagreement between different agencies within the government. [An] agency like CIA may conclude that they, whenever they are treating certain material, they always consider it classified. The State Department may have a routine of treating the exact same information completely differently. And your own network, NBC, last week reported that the inspector general from the intelligence community has been unfairly targeting Hillary Clinton, and escalating what should be a bureaucratic routine matter of overclassification, trying to turn it into a scandal in the heat of election season.”

He further stated, “[T]here is an independent, Justice Department-led review that is going on, that has — started last August, and it’s been taking place quietly and professionally ever since. It’s unfortunate that some of the findings of the other agencies that have been feeding conclusions into that Justice Department-led review have been publicizing their own opinions on this matter, and that’s why we see details leaking out over the course of the last several months. We know, we’re clear-eyed about the fact, that Republicans are going to try to latch onto this, make this an issue to try to derail Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. They’ve been trying to that for months. I do not think it will be successful.”

Earlier Fallon said, “First of all, it’s important to know that the state department is in the position of making this announcement today only because they are in receipt of the FOIA request that was made for Hillary Clinton’s emails. We believe that this judgment to withhold 22 emails from public release despite Hillary Clinton’s call for all of her emails to be released is happening at the behest of other agencies in the government who have hijacked the process that’s been taking place for the last several months, as the various players within this interagency review have scrutinized her emails for public release.”

He added, “You have the intelligence community, including an intelligence community inspector general, as well as the inspector general at the State Department, that have been insisting on certain ways of deciding what is classified and what’s not. We know that there has been disagreement on these points, and it has spilled out into public view at various points over the last several months. It now appears that some of the loudest voices in this interagency review, that had some of the strongest straitjacket type opinions on what should count as classified have prevailed. That’s unfortunate. We strongly disagree with the finding that has been reached today, and we are going to be contesting it and seeking to have these emails released.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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