A bold-faced political hatchet job, a mysterious memo, a bad pun and a predictable dig at Fox News. Those are just some of the enlightening tidbits contained in the 3,000 pages of Hillary Clinton emails released late Tuesday.
The exchanges, which span the period between March 2009 and December 2009, show that Clinton maintained a relatively tight-knit circle of State Department aides who worked to plan schedules, arrange secure phone calls and draft speeches. They also show that Clinton corresponded more frequently than previously known with her longtime friend Sidney Blumenthal.
Here are 11 of the most interesting snippets from the email trove.
Clinton inquired about a job for Sidney Blumenthal at the State Department
In a June 22, 2009, email, Clinton asked one of her top aides, Cheryl Mills, about the hiring status of Blumenthal. The emails indicate that Blumenthal made it all the way to the paperwork process before the Obama White House nixed the hire. Blumenthal was persona non grata with the White House because of his anti-Obama shenanigans during the 2008 Democratic presidential primary.
Curiously, Clinton’s inquiry came in response to an email Mills had sent about a conference call that was scheduled to be held with the Holocaust Survivors’ Foundation.
Clinton approved a memo concerning “Arab donor support”
In one Aug. 25, 2009, exchange, Abedin asked Clinton if she received and approved of a “memo on arab donor support.”
Clinton said that she received the document and to proceed.
The exchange could certainly concern official State Department business. But it could also refer to donor support for the Clinton Foundation. The former first family’s charity has been the recipient of millions of dollars in donations from Arab nations and other countries.
Hillary wanted to hold off on making a decision on whether to help Michael Savage
In May 2009, the British government barred the conservative radio host because of his allegedly violent rhetoric. Savage and his attorneys requested help from Clinton, and emails from the next month showed State Department officials discussing Savage’s case. Clinton said that she wanted to discuss the matter further, but no action was taken. Savage’s ban is still in place.
Blumenthal and Mills worked together to place a hit piece on Obama’s national security advisor
On June 12, 2009, Blumenthal sent an ominous email to Mills in which he wrote: “Your request is being processed.” The email included a link to a Huffington Post article written by Steve Clemons, a fellow at the New America Foundation. The article painted James Jones, the national security advisor at the time, as a “plodding, slow-moving, out of touch retired general.”
Blumenthal’s dirty work came just a month after Clinton’s State Department staff scrambled in response to a New York Times article, which cited sources close to Clinton criticizing Jones. Clinton’s close aide, Philippe Reines, contacted the Times reporter to say that Clinton held Jones in the highest regard. Meanwhile, Mills and Blumenthal were helping set the stage for Jones’ eventual departure as the nation’s top national security expert. He left the post in October 2010.
Hillary asked her aide for details about Jordan’s new Crown Prince
“What’s Hussein like?” Clinton asked another one of her top aides, Huma Abedin, in a July 2, 2009, email. Jordan’s King Abdullah II had just anointed his 15-year-old son, Hussein bin Abdullah, crown prince.
Upon receiving the news, Clinton asked Abedin, who is familiar with Middle Eastern issues and was raised in Saudi Arabia: “What does this mean?”
Blumenthal successfully pitched a Clinton Global Initiative event
On Aug. 9, 2009, Blumenthal emailed Clinton to propose a panel at the Clinton Global Initiative — the Clinton Foundation’s annual meeting — to discuss peace in Northern Ireland.
On Sept. 15, 2009, Declan Kelly, who had just been hired on at the State Department, discussed the event with former President Clinton. Kelly since went on to co-found Teneo Holdings, a consulting firm with close ties to the Clintons. Hillary Clinton approved the event, which was held on Sept. 23.