- Hillary Clinton’s private server housed at least one email containing a highly sensitive type of information derived from clandestine spy operations, Fox News is reporting.
According to Fox’s Catherine Herridge, two sources familiar with the investigation of Clinton’s private server say that at least one email contained what’s known as “HCS-O” information. That is an intelligence agency code for “HUMINT Control System Operations,” which refers to on-the-ground spy operations.
“The HSC-O compartment (Operations) is used to protect exceptionally fragile and unique IC (intelligence community) clandestine HUMINT operations and methods that are not intended for dissemination outside of the originating agency,” reads a memo released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in December 2013.
Herridge said she was not informed about the human source’s identity, nationality or affiliation.
The sensitive email in question is separate from other emails on Clinton’s server, which the Intelligence Community’s inspector general has said contain intelligence from “special access programs,” a type of information that is classified at an even higher level than “top secret.”
Herridge also broke that story. It was based on a Jan. 14 letter from the inspector general, I. Charles McCullough III, to the chairmen of two Senate committees.
Clinton and her campaign pushed back heavily on that report. The Democratic presidential candidate asserted on Wednesday that the SAP intelligence in the email referred to a drone strike that was reported in a New York Times article that was forwarded to her.
“How a New York Times public article that goes around the world could be in any way viewed as classified, or the fact that it would be sent to other people off of the New York Times site, I think, is one of the difficulties that people have in understanding what this is about,” Clinton said during an interview with NPR.
Clinton’s campaign communications director, Brian Fallon, went even further than his boss. He accused IG McCullough of coordinating with Republicans to leak information in order to damage Clinton. Fallon provided no evidence to back up his allegations.
Despite those defenses, the intelligence community considers classified information to be classified regardless of if it is reported in the public domain or leaked publicly. A spokesman for the State Department said on Thursday that the agency “strongly discourages” — and perhaps even prohibits — the forwarding news articles with that type of information.