Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign is acknowledging that the former secretary of state failed to turn over a cryptic work-related email that she sent to her aide Huma Abedin while she was in office.
“Secretary Clinton had some emails with Huma that Huma did not have, and Huma had some emails with Secretary Clinton that Secretary Clinton did not have,” Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon told the Associated Press.
One such email is from a Nov. 13, 2010 exchange in which Abedin asked Clinton if she wanted to begin using a State.gov email account. Clinton, who used only a personal account, indicated she was open to the idea, but said “I don’t want any risk of the personal being accessible.”
The email was cited by the State Department’s office of the inspector general in a scathing report on Clinton’s email practices.
It is still unclear what Clinton meant by the statement in the email. But the document’s absence from the 55,000-plus pages of work-related records that Clinton gave the State Department in December 2014 suggests that she may have sought to hide the exchange.
Fallon told the AP that Clinton gave the State Department “all potentially work-related emails” that she had in her possession when she received the State Department’s request for her work records in October 2014.
The flack did not clarify why Clinton failed to turn over the email. He declined to tell the AP whether Clinton deleted any work-related emails prior to handing her records over to the State Department.
Clinton and her team have rarely — if ever — been pressed on whether she deleted any work-related emails. The former first lady employed a team of lawyers to determine which of her emails were personal and which were work-related.
She has also insisted that she handed over all work-related emails. But she often qualifies the statement by saying that she provided those that were in her possession. That leaves open the possibility that she was unable to turn over some work-related emails that she sent and received because they had been deleted. (RELATED: State Dept. Admits That Hillary Clinton Failed To Turn Over Secretive Email)
During testimony in front of the House Select Committee on Benghazi in October, Clinton was asked about 15 emails she exchanged with her longtime friend Sidney Blumenthal that she also failed to give the State Department.
“They were from a personal friend, not any official government official, and they were, I determined on the basis of looking at them, what I thought was work-related and what wasn’t and some I did not have time to the read,” Clinton testified. (RELATED: A Defiant Hillary Claims She Was Not Obligated To Turn Over All Of Sid Blumenthal’s Emails)
Clinton’s failure to turn over the email with Abedin was acknowledged by the State Department acknowledged last month after the publication of the IG report on her email practices.
“There are instances, and they’re identified in the OIG report, where people are aware of emails that involved her that she did not turn over,” a State Department official said during a background briefing at the time.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a public briefing that same day that the agency does not have an estimate of how many work-related emails Clinton failed to turn over.
“I don’t think it’s a large number. I just think that there are stray examples such as this,” Toner said.
“While this exchange was not part of the approximately 55,000 pages provided to the State Department by former Secretary Clinton, the exchange was included within the set of documents Ms. Abedin provided the department in response to our March 2015 request,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told the AP.