Huh? Scrubbed Calendar Demonstrates Hillary’s Transparency, Campaign Insists [VIDEO]
Hillary Clinton’s campaign is spinning a new report out from the Associated Press that raises red flags about the former secretary of state’s meetings with scores of political allies and Clinton Foundation donors during her time in office.
Clinton’s press secretary, Brian Fallon, said in an interview on Friday that the release of Clinton’s 1,500-page calendar shows that the Democratic presidential nominee is committed to transparency.
“People can see in the totality all the meetings that she had during her years as secretary of state,” Fallon told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell.
“And this is just another example in terms of the level of detail in terms of her schedule that’s now out there of her being the most transparent secretary, and not just of the State Department, but in any cabinet in any administration,” he added.
It is unclear how Clinton would have provided transparency. The AP obtained the records only after being forced to sue the State Department last March. In 2013, when the AP initially filed its Freedom of Information Act request for Clinton’s planning materials, State declined to say whether it even had the records.
The AP review of Clinton’s calendar — her after-the-fact, official chronology of the events of her four-year term — identified at least 75 meetings with longtime political donors and loyalists, Clinton Foundation contributors and corporate and other outside interests that were either not recorded or listed with identifying details scrubbed.
Clinton’s aides had access to her calendar and appear to have edited the document after meetings, according to the AP. The calendar omits names of attendees to some meetings whereas other State Department schedules list them. The AP compared the different documents and found scores of discrepancies.
Clinton met with 114 people during those meetings. Many are Clinton Foundation donors. Others have lobbied the State Department or donated to Clinton’s political campaigns. Some whose names are absent from Clinton’s calendar are longtime friends and political allies of Clinton’s who sought help for their companies.
“The missing entries raise new questions about how Clinton and her inner circle handled government records documenting her State Department tenure — in this case, why the official chronology of her four-year term does not closely mirror other more detailed records of her daily meetings,” according to the wire service.
The report reads:
Clinton’s calendar also repeatedly omitted private dinners and meetings with political donors, policy sessions with groups of corporate leaders and “drop-bys” with old Clinton campaign hands and advisers. Among those whose names were omitted from her calendar were longtime adviser Sidney Blumenthal, consultant and former Clinton White House chief of staff Thomas “Mack” McLarty, former energy lobbyist Joseph Wilson and entertainment magnate and Clinton campaign bundler Haim Saban.
One such meeting was a Sept. 2009 breakfast roundtable at the New York Stock Exchange with CEOs of companies that had lobbied Clinton’s State Department and sought favors from her.
Some of those favors were seen in the emails that Clinton provided to the State Department in Dec. 2014.
In one email sent on Sept. 22, 2009, Clinton told an aide that one of the CEOs who attended the meeting, Blackstone’s Stephen Schwartzman, “wanted help on a visa” for an unnamed individual. (RELATED: Here Are The Most Glaring Examples Of Favoritism In Hillary’s Emails So Far)
Clinton also noted that Honeywell’s CEO David Cote complained to her about export regulations. She seemed to indicate her willingness to help the company, telling her aide that another aide “may know about this.”
Both Blackstone and Honeywell are Clinton Foundation donors. The companies also donated to the 2010 Shanghai Expo, which was a pet project of Clinton’s.
In attempting to explain why some meeting schedules were scrubbed of attendees’ details, Fallon said that numerous iterations of her schedules were in existence and that any discrepancies are innocent.
“There was a public schedule that was made available to the media every day. There was an internal schedule that was made available to employees within the State Department. And then there was a schedule, a sort of quick and dirty schedule, that was provided for her to carry around on her person every day,” he said.
“Of course, there are going to be discrepancies across the different versions of it. But all of those versions are now public.”
“She’s put more emails out there than any cabinet secretary ever. The extreme level of transparency on her schedule now with all of these different versions being out there for the AP to analyze and be able to produce this report.”
That claim appeared to surprise Mitchell, who pointed out that the AP obtained the records despite the State Department’s efforts to thwart or slow their release.
“Brian, it’s been since 2013 since the Associated Press had been going after this legally and every other way. So transparency is the result of all of those years of effort by the Associated Press,” Mitchell said.
The report comes after the State Department’s inspector general released a report containing a mysterious email in which Clinton wrote that she did not want her personal emails made “accessible.” (RELATED: Clinton Campaign Admits Hillary Didn’t Turn Over Mysterious Email With Top Aide)
Though the email is clearly work-related, it was not among those that Clinton gave the State Department in Dec. 2014. That suggests that Clinton may have deleted the record or has withheld some of her work-related emails from the State Department.