Last week was a bad one for Hillary Clinton’s consigliere, Sidney Blumenthal, who was touring the country to sell his new biography about Abraham Lincoln.
Instead of talking about “Honest Abe,” the mysterious former journalist was forced to focus much of his attention on his relationship with the former secretary of state.
Such was the case at a book tour event held at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, Mass. on Friday. A tracker with America Rising, a group opposing the Democratic candidate, asked Blumenthal if he would continue advising Clinton is she is elected to the White House. He was also quizzed about whether he agreed with the Obama administration that he would have been a political liability if hired at the State Department.
The former Bill Clinton White House aide refused to answer either inquiry, instead asking the tracker who he worked for.
Blumenthal was a close adviser to Hillary Clinton during her 2008 presidential campaign as well as her tenure at the State Department. He sent her hundreds of emails containing political gossip, advice and sensitive foreign intelligence he gleaned from his vast network of sources.
If Clinton would have had her way, Blumenthal would have been hired at the State Department in 2009. But the Obama White House vetoed the idea because Blumenthal had spread anti-Obama rumors and rhetoric during the 2008 primary.
He was advising Clinton as recently as February, according to a Politico article. (RELATED: Hillary Is Still Taking Advice From Sidney Blumenthal)
Later, during the book signing portion of Friday’s event, the tracker asked Blumenthal who is closer to Clinton, him or her “body woman,” Huma Abedin.
Blumenthal declined to answer that question, too, and asked the tracker again who he worked for.
“You have to tell me who’s paying you,” he says in the video, which was shared exclusively with The Daily Caller.
The response was ironic given the lack of transparency that has defined the Blumenthal-Clinton relationship. Blumenthal was working for the Clinton Foundation while he was providing Clinton with off-the-books intelligence. He also served as an editor for The Daily Beast, where he planted pro-Clinton stories with journalists. (RELATED: Did Sid ‘Vicious’ Blumenthal Commission Anti-Rahm Emanuel Hit Pieces In The Daily Beast?)
In addition, Blumenthal emailed Clinton analysis and suggestions that would have helped an American defense contractor called Osprey Global Solutions, which was seeking contracts in post-Gaddafi Libya. Blumenthal had some sort of interest in the company, though he claims he was not paid by the firm or by Libyan interests. Clinton has said that she was not aware of Blumenthal’s close relationship to the company when he was emailing her.
Clinton herself sought to keep Blumenthal’s advice a secret. Her emails show that she frequently asked her aides to share Blumenthal’s reports with others in the Obama administration but to strip them of their identifying information beforehand.
Last week was a rough one for Blumenthal. The Clinton crony gave several interviews to promote his book, but interviewers were most interested in his relationship with Clinton.
In an interview with CNN he evaded a question about whether he has been interviewed by the FBI, which is investigating whether classified information was mishandled on Clinton’s server. He also denied that the FBI’s probe is an investigation, calling it a “security review” instead.
He also suggested that he has inside knowledge about the FBI’s investigation, telling CNN that it was his “understanding” that the Justice Department will issue a statement asserting that Clinton did not intentionally mishandle classified information. (RELATED: Sidney Blumenthal Claims Inside Knowledge About FBI’s Clinton Investigation)
The next day in an interview with CNBC Blumenthal finally acknowledged that the investigation is an investigation and not a security review.
He was also asked about his work for the Clinton Foundation and in Libya. He claimed that those relationships were not unethical.