New emails released Monday show former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton actively requested foreign intelligence reports from Sidney Blumenthal, undermining her claim that information she received from her longtime ally was “unsolicited.”
The 60 emails, released by the House Select Committee on Benghazi, were turned over by Blumenthal last week but had not been included in the first batch of Libya-related records released by the State Department last month.
When asked last month about her correspondence with Blumenthal, downplayed the relationship saying that he “sent me unsolicited emails, which I passed on in some instances.”
“[W]hen you’re in an official position, I think you do have to work to make sure you’re not caught in the bubble and you only hear from a certain small group of people,” Clinton added.
But three emails Blumenthal gave to the Benghazi Committee cast doubt on that claim. They show Clinton encouraged the political operative to provide her with more information about what was happening in Libya during and after its 2011 civil war.
In one Aug. 30, 2011, email, Clinton told Blumenthal that “additional info” about the inner workings of the Libyan National Transition Council would be “useful,” ahead of her planned visit with the group. In his report, Blumenthal cited sources claiming that the group was having difficulty in transitioning from its recent ouster of dictator Muammar Qaddafi to establishing a new government.
In March 2012, Blumenthal sent Clinton an intelligence report which theorized about France’s and the United Kingdom’s support for rebel forces in Libya. In response to Blumenthal’s report, Clinton said the report “strains credulity.” Nevertheless, she sought more information. “Any other info about it?” Clinton asked.
Clinton offered Blumenthal heartfelt thanks and words of encouragement in a July 7, 2012 email.
“Thanks for keeping this stuff coming!” Clinton wrote to Blumenthal after he sent a report regarding the Transition National Council’s plans following the general election, which was being held that day.
It was recently revealed that while Blumenthal was supplying Clinton with foreign intelligence, he was also being paid a $120,000 annual salary by the Clinton Foundation. He was also earning an estimated $200,000 per year working for Media Matters, a non-profit lobbying group that is a staunch defender of Clinton and other Democrats.