The Hillary Clinton presidential campaign is developing a three-pronged strategy to help the Democrat recover from the growing controversy surrounding her emails and her private server. But none of the pieces of that multi-part pushback plan, details of which were reported Friday by The Huffington Post, appear to involve the Democrat actually explaining why she used a private server, when she wiped it clean, and why she did so.
Clinton is making even her most loyal supporters nervous over her response to the scandal. Not only has she had to back-pedal on several of her claims — about having turned over all of her work-related emails and about handling classified information — she’s also made two jokes dismissing the the ongoing investigation.
Jennifer Palmieri, the Clinton campaign communications director, told the Huffington Post that at the end of the summer, Clinton will attempt to provide the public with more information about how federal records are classified. She will also turn her focus back to policy issues ranging from the Iran nuclear deal, the economy and women’s issues. Lastly, she will “go on offense” on her record as secretary of state.
Notably absent from the three-part plan is any attempt to actually address her private server, which has become the focal point of the inquiry into her handling of sensitive material.
Clinton initially said that she did not send or receive classified material. That was undermined to a degree when the State Department retroactively classified some of her emails. Both Clinton and the agency have claimed that the information was not classified at the time it was sent.
But a heavier blow came when the Intelligence Community inspector general claimed to have found two emails with “top secret” information that were included with Clinton’s email trove.
That prompted the FBI to seize Clinton’s server and the candidate to shift her statement on her handling of classified materials. Her new and most recent position was that she did not send or receive information that was marked classified.
Her email handling practices were tarnished even more on Friday when Reuters reported that Clinton sent at least 17 emails which included “foreign government information.” That type of information, which was redacted and classified as “confidential” in Clinton’s emails, is considered to be “born classified,” meaning that it is classified whenever it is uttered or written. (RELATED: Now Hillary Is Blaming The Government’s ‘Ridiculous Classification Rules)
As an apparent preview of her plan to educate the public about how classified information is handled by the federal government, Clinton sent a tweet Friday morning lamenting the federal government’s “ridiculous classification rules,” which she said are “the real problem.”
Later in the day, Clinton’s campaign press secretary Brian Fallon posted a video in which he responded to some of the claims circulating about Clinton’s handling of classified information.
But still absent from that video was any reference to Clinton’s server, which she kept in the basement of her Chappaqua, N.Y. home while she was secretary of state. After she left office in 2013, Clinton hired a Denver-based IT company to move the server to a New Jersey data center.