Makes Clinton’s words disappear: Did Hillary Clinton do something wrong in her behavior with emails?
We can’t really tell you that. But yesterday afternoon, Candidate Clinton made a glaring misstatement.
She took some questions from the press. At one point, she even said this:
CLINTON (8/18/15): Look, I just told Jeff. In retrospect, this didn’t turn out to be convenient at all. And I regret that this has become a cause célèbre. But that does not change the facts. And no matter what anybody tries to say, the facts are stubborn. What I did was legally permitted—number one, first and foremost, OK?For tape of Clinton’s statement, click here.
Clinton made a blatant misstatement in that highlighted passage. Surely, you can spot it.
Americans, please! The facts aren’t stubborn in our culture; the facts are not stubborn things. That has been true in matters like this for a very long time.
Candidate Clinton’s basic statements don’t seem to be “stubborn” either. Just consider the way New York magazine’s Jaime Fuller reported what Clinton said.
As anyone can see, Clinton flatly denied legal wrongdoing during yesterday’s presser. “What I did was legally permitted,” she boldly said.
She even tried to highlight the statement. She described that statement as “number one, first and foremost.”
“What I did was legally permitted!” We can’t say if that is true, but it seems to dovetail with what the New York Times reported two Sundays ago, in a front-page news report. Fuller may have read it:
“When she took office in 2009, with ever more people doing government business through email, the State Department allowed the use of home computers as long as they were secure...There appears to have been no prohibition on the exclusive use of a private server.”
The New York Times is frequently wrong. But that’s what the famous newspaper wrote. Yesterday, Clinton agreed:
“What I did was legally permitted,” she said.
Clinton said that particular statement was “number one, first and foremost.” But the statement disappeared like a Snapchat post when Fuller got busy at New York magazine.
Fuller quoted the start of the seminal statement we’ve posted. But look where the talented scribe decided to work a deletion:
FULLER (8/19/15): She said earlier of the server that “this didn't turn out to be convenient at all and I regret that this has become such a cause célèbre...I know there's a certain level of, you know, sort of anxiety or interest in this, but the facts are the facts.” She insisted that she never sent or received any materials marked as classified; the government is currently going through her emails looking for materials that may have been classified when sent, and 305 emails have been flagged for further review.Fuller did let Clinton say this: “the facts are the facts.” But she wasn’t willing to quote her claiming this as a fact:
“What I did was legally permitted!”
Not in Fuller’s house! That particular statement disappeared, not unlike a Snapchat post.
Fuller is four years out of Middlebury. That seems to make her rather young—but she seems to have learned the ways of the guild with impressive speed.
In scandal matters of this type, the facts have never been stubborn. Today, brilliant young scholars of Fuller’s type know to hide basic statements too, even those which are “number one, first and foremost.”
Earth to hustlers like Fuller:
Those who want to clarify this matter must start with that disappeared statement. Did Clinton actually do something which wasn’t “legally permitted?”
Call your former TAs—they’ll tell you! That’s where reporting and analysis of this whole fandango must start.
Fuller cut several corners in her post. At that one point, she seems to have gone for the Snapchat endorsement.
The kids just learn so fast these days! For ourselves, we’ve watched their elders make plays like that for more than twenty-five years!
Another basic question: Fairly deep in Fuller’s comments, a long-standing question is raised once again:
“How is sending emails with a plain-as-day private email address that she gave out to people at State, the CIA, the Pentagon, and Congress hiding something?”
Had everyone seen Clinton’s email address? We don’t know the answer to that. But if everyone had seen her email address, what does it mean that no one told her to dump it, said it wasn’t permitted?
We don’t know the answer to that. That said, we’re seeking clarity here, not the latest in slickness and snark.