Hillary Clinton herself told the FBI in an interview in July that she did not fully understand how the State Department’s classification system works or that a “C” marked on an email stood for “Confidential.”
But on Tuesday, she appeared to lecture the American public, saying in an interview with ABC News’ David Muir that the government’s system for marking classified information is “too arcane for most people.”
That portion of Clinton’s remarks did not air in the national version of the ABC News interview. But they were included in the raw version of the interview published on the news outlet’s website.
Clinton also said in the interview, in which she was joined by her running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, that she “respectfully disagree[s]” with FBI director James Comey’s assessment that her use of a private email system as secretary of state was “extremely careless.”
Clinton’s interview was her first after the FBI released a damning 47-page report on its investigation into whether the former secretary of state mishandled classified information. Though Clinton was not charged with a crime, the document shows that Clinton and her aides were careless when it came to handling classified information. (RELATED: Hillary Didn’t Know Giant Letter ‘C’ In Emails Meant ‘Confidential’)
Notes from Clinton’s July 2 FBI interview also showed that she knew little about how the government denotes classified information.
One embarrassing passage from the report shows that Clinton did not know that a “C” marked on an email she received stood for “Confidential.” She told FBI investigators she thought it was showing that the paragraph was in alphabetical order. There was no “A” or “B” on the email, however.
Despite not knowing how to interpret classification markings on her own emails, Clinton instructed Muir on how the system works.
“With respect to classification, on classified documents, there is what’s called a header,” she told the host.
“It says, this material is ‘Top secret,’ ‘Secret,’ or ‘Confidential.’ There were no headers on the thousands of emails that I sent or received. There just weren’t, and the FBI has not in any way contradicted that. There were a couple of emails with a tiny “C” in a parenthesis which did not have a header, saying that means confidential in this circumstance, and which the director of the FBI has said, and the State Department has said, those couple of emails were improperly marked, even with that.”
Muir interjected: “But authorities say that ‘C’ stood for ‘Confidential.'”
“The ‘C’ — this is very arcane for most people,” Clinton replied. “There was no header that the document that the little ‘C’ appeared in was marked ‘Confidential,’ which is the lowest form of classification.”
Muir then pointed out to Clinton that Comey publicly stated that she was “extremely careless” in using a private, makeshift email server.
“Do you agree with him?” Muir asked.
“Well, I respectfully disagree. What that really comes down to is whether material that was not marked classified in someone else’s opinion, in retrospect, should have been,” she said.
Clinton also attempted to take credit for the FBI’s decision to publicly release its report of the investigation and notes from her interview.
“I’m glad that the FBI has released this material,” she said. “Our campaign called for them to release it because we didn’t want selective cherry-picking and leaks coming from Republicans on the Hill. We wanted people to be able to see it.”
Kaine also floated the idea that Clinton forced the FBI to release the documents.
“The report only came out because Hillary said ‘well, if Congress wants it let the American public see it.'”
Despite that attempt to portray Clinton as benevolent, the FBI stated on Friday that it was “making these materials available to the public in the interest of transparency and in response to numerous Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.”
Numerous outlets, including The Daily Caller, had filed FOIA requests for the investigation notes.