Hillary Clinton was on ABC’s This Week with her former employee and long time henchman turned “journalist”, George Stephanopoulos. During her diatribe against Donald Trump, in which she described the burgeoning class action fraud lawsuit about “Trump University” as “very serious”, the subject of her own impending federal criminal investigation came up.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Madam Secretary, on the e-mail issue, as you know, the State Department inspector general report was quite tough on your practices and it concluded — and I want to show it right here — that Secretary Clinton had an obligation to discuss using her personal e-mail account to conduct official business with their offices and, according to these officials, diplomatic security and the information resource management offices did not and would not approve your exclusive reliance on a personal e-mail account to conduct department business because of the restrictions in the foreign affairs manual and the security risks in doing so.
Do you now accept their conclusion that your exclusive use of a personal account was not allowed, that you broke State Department rules?
CLINTON: You know, look, George, I thought that the report actually made it clear that the practice I used was used by other secretaries, other high-ranking State Department officials.
STEPHANOPOULOS: No one else had exclusive use —
CLINTON: — if I had to — if I had to do it over again, I certainly wouldn’t. But I think that the rules were not clarified until after I had left, because it had been the practice of others. There was certainly reason to believe — which I did — that what I practiced was in keeping with others’ practices.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you were the only one who had exclusive use of a personal account. Secretary Powell did have a personal e-mail account as well and they were very, very clear.
CLINTON: You know —
STEPHANOPOULOS: Go ahead.
CLINTON: Well, George, I have to tell you that — that, you know, I — I will say it was a mistake. I would not do it again. But I think that the rules were not clarified until after I had left and the first secretary of State to use a government email account was John Kerry, some months into his tenure. Those are the facts.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But the — the reports — so you don’t accept the conclusions of the report, because they say you were unmindful of the rules.
CLINTON: Everybody in the department knew that I was e-mailing from a personal address. Hundreds of people knew it. People around the government knew it. And, uh, you know, that was what the practice had been and that’s what I did, as well.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So I’ll take it that you don’t accept their conclusion.
Just one other question on this.
Has there — have you had any contact yet with the FBI, you or your agents, over this matter?
CLINTON: I — I have not been asked to come in for an interview. I’ve said I am more than willing since last August and I would like to do that sooner instead of later and get this matter wrapped up and behind us.
What is amusing here is that Stephanopoulos actually presses Clinton on the email issue. He doesn’t accept her characterization of her email system (no, the IG did not say that her email system was like her predecessors), in fact, he contradicts her. His expression of stunned disbelief at her denial is perhaps the funniest thing I’ve seen on the Sunday shows in a while.
The main point here is that if a long time Clinton retainer, like Stephanopoulos, is playing the email story as something other than inside the beltway scandal dreamed up by a vast right wing conspiracy, then there are things moving under the surface that we little people can only guess at.