‘No One Cares!’: Major Garrett Unloads On WH ‘Deference’ To Hillary Over Emails

Al Weaver Reporter
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The Obama administration tried to dodge Hillary email questions from the White House press corps on Wednesday.

After taking multiple questions on the topic during briefings on Tuesday and Wednesday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest was taken to the woodshed by CBS’s Major Garrett, who wondered if the Obama administration paid too much “deference” to Clinton due to the pair’s contentious relationship.

“Let’s just step back for a second on this email thing,” Garrett started. “Hillary Clinton did not arrive in this administration like any other cabinet secretary. As you have often said from this podium over the past two days, she brought with her a team. She brought with her a formidable political backing and the strenuous campaign against this president who was elected.”

“Is it fair to say that a certain amount of latitude was given, deference, was provided to her and her team about how she conducted her email practices because of that history and because she arrived as a cabinet secretary, let’s say, with a higher status than her contemporaries because that’s the way it seems,” Garrett said.

“You talk about guidance and all these other procedures that she clearly did not abide by,” he continued, “and it appears here no one cares about that. So it just seems to me she was given deference and a space unlike anybody else.”

“Well, the fact that I’ve tried to engage in this line of questioning at some length over the past couple of days is an indication that this is something that we do care about,” Earnest continued, “and we take seriously the responsibility that Obama administration officials have to be in compliance with the federal records act and there’s…”

“But you also left it up to her and her team to do that!” Garrett shot back.

“Let me finish on this,” Earnest responded, continuing to say that each agency is responsibility for following the Federal Records Act.

“There’s no doubt that Secretary Clinton as a national figure, a former First Lady, and someone who ran a very competitive campaign for the presidency did enter the administration in a unique way,” Earnest said. “And in some ways that contributed to the remarkable success that she had as secretary of state.”

“But what was true of Secretary Clinton and the State Department was true of Secretary Vilsack at the Department of Agriculture,” Earnest told Garrett. “It was true of Secretary Gates at the Department of Defense, and it was true under Secretary Geithner at the Treasury Department and other places that all of the agencies are responsible for making sure that their practices for preserving government records are in compliance with the Federal Records Act. That was true at every agency including the agency that was ably led by Secretary Clinton.”

“So no special deference? No special latitude?” Garrett pressed.

“When it comes to ensuring that the employees at that agency were in compliance with the Federal Records Act, the Department of State was held to the same standard of every other agency,” Earnest said.

Garrett’s questioning followed questions on the topic by the likes of ABC’s Jon Karl, the AP’s Julie Pace and others.