South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy suggested earlier this week that the public will be surprised when it hears how the FBI described Sidney Blumenthal and his working relationship with his longtime friend, Hillary Clinton.
Gowdy, the former chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, mentioned in passing during an interview with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly that the FBI had quizzed Blumenthal as part of its probe into Clinton’s private email server.
Blumenthal, a former journalist and Bill Clinton White House aide, had dodged when asked in several interviews back in May about whether he was interviewed. He said that he did not want to comment on an ongoing investigation.
Gowdy noted that when Blumenthal’s emails with Clinton were made public last year, Clinton bristled when Blumenthal was described as her adviser. But the FBI thought he was even more than a mere adviser, Gowdy suggested.
“You’ll never guess what term the FBI used when they described Sidney Blumenthal and his relationship to her,” the Republican told Kelly.
Clinton claimed last year that Blumenthal’s emails to her were “unsolicited.” But on some occasions she directly asked Blumenthal to continue sending her information.
Blumenthal has been at the epicenter of the Clinton email scandal. His exchanges with Clinton were first revealed in 2013 by the Romanian hacker Guccifer. It was not known at the time that Clinton used a personal email account to conduct all State Department business. (RELATED: Sidney Blumenthal Laughs At Question About FBI Interview)
The emails Clinton gave the State Department showed that Blumenthal frequently sent her political advice, gossip and intelligence reports gleaned from his contacts in the intelligence community.
Gowdy did not give more detail about what the FBI called Blumenthal. Reached for additional information about the term, Gowdy’s press secretary said Gowdy was unable to provide any more detail about the contents of the FBI’s notes.
Gowdy reviewed the documents — known as 302s — at a facility in Washington D.C. reserved for viewing highly classified documents. The FBI gave Congress the notes earlier this month with assurances that they would not be released to the public or media.
Gowdy said that the notes should be made open to the public.
He also pointed to other interviews which might be of interest to the public and press.
“I think you will find very interesting what Colin Powell had to say, and juxtapose that with what Clinton supporters have said over the last 48 hours,” he said.
Powell entered the national spotlight last week after it was reported that Clinton told FBI investigators during her July 2 interview that the former secretary of state advised her during a 2009 dinner party to use a personal email account. (RELATED: Pro-Clinton Journo Says Colin Powell Gave Conflicting Accounts Of Dinner Party)
Powell issued a statement just after the report saying that he had no recollection of such an exchange at the dinner party, which was held at the home of Bill Clinton’s secretary of state, Madeleine Albright.
A representative for Condoleezza Rice, who also attended the dinner party, told The Daily Caller that Rice also did not recall the email discussion. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Condi Rice Also Has No Recollection Of Hillary Clinton Email Discussion)
Joe Conason, a pro-Clinton reporter and close friend of Blumenthal’s, was the first to report the dinner party story. It appears in a book he is releasing next month. Conason wrote a Newsweek article earlier this week in which he claimed that Powell has given inconsistent stories about the dinner party. Conason wrote that Powell’s assistant, Peggy Cifrino, told him that Powell did recall discussing email with Clinton at the dinner party.
But Cifrino told TheDC that Conason misrepresented what she told him. She said that she told Conason that Powell discussed his use of personal email as secretary of state during an email exchange with Clinton. Powell has publicly acknowledged that he mentioned his email use to Clinton in that exchange.