Kristen Welker's questions to Clinton!


Can anyone here play this game:
When she was secretary of state, was Hillary Clinton "extremely careless" with her email pactices?

James B. Comey—"Comey the God—first made that claim on July 5, in a dramatic and irregular public statement. As we noted yesterday, Comey's claim involves 110 emails which he described this way:
COMEY (7/5/16): From the group of 30,000 e-mails returned to the State Department in 2014, 110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was top secret at the time they were sent; 36 of those chains contained secret information at the time; and eight contained confidential information at the time. That's the lowest level of classification.


Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of the classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.

For example, seven e-mail chains concerned matters that were classified at the top secret special access program at the time they were sent and received. Those chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails about those same matters.

There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton's position or in the position of those with whom she was corresponding about the matters should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation.
According to Comey the God, Clinton should have known that the material in these emails was classified by its very nature. According to Comey, though these emails weren't formally marked classified, competent people should have known that they were classified by their very nature—"born classified."

Two Sundays ago, Clinton spoke with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. Some of her comments about what Comey said seemed to be inaccurate. But at several points, she seemed to dispute what Comey had said about The Should Have Known 110:
CLINTON (7/31/16): I was communicating with over 300 people in my e-mailing. They certainly did not believe, and had no reason to believe, that what they were sending was classified.


I take classification seriously. I relied on, and had every reason to rely on, the judgments of the professionals with whom I worked. And so, in retrospect, maybe some people are saying, "Well, among those 300 people, they made the wrong call."

At the time, there was no reason in my view to doubt the professionalism and the determination by the people who work every single day on behalf of our country.
In those passages, Clinton seemed to dispute the claim that the material in those emails was "born classified"—that professionals should have known that the material, by its very nature, should only have been discussed in the way it was.

Does Clinton dispute Comey's assessment of the 110 emails? In this piece for Slate, Fred Kaplan provided the rationale for such a disagreement. But as is the norm in our "national discourse," Kaplan's piece came and went without generating any further discussion. As we've often noted, discussion has basically ceased to exist within our "national discourse."

Does Clinton dispute Comey's assessment of the 110 emails? That seems to be the question which emerged from her somewhat jumbled discussion with Wallace.

How lucky! Five days later, NBC's Kristen Welker got the chance to pose two questions to Clinton about this very matter. That said, can anyone here play this game?

Below, you see the text of Welker's two questions for Clinton. The exchange begins at 23:30 on this videotape:
WELKER (8/5/16): Madame Secretary, your poll numbers went way up this week, and yet the email controvery was still in the headlines. So I want to give you the opportunity to respond.

This week, you told two separate news organizations that FBI Director James Comey said, quote, My answers were truthful, and that what I said was consistent with what I have told the American people.
That assertion, as you know, has been debunked by multiple news organizations which point out that Director Comey did say there's no indication that you lied to the FBI, but he didn't weigh in on whether or not you were truthful to the American people.

So my question for you is, are you mischaracterizing Director Comey's testimony? And is this not undercutting your efforts to rebuild trust with the American people?


WELKER: Is the one inconsistency, though, that you said you never sent or received classified material, and he did say there were thre emails that were marked classified. Is that an inconsistency?
Can anyone here play this game?

For the record, Welker's first question made perfect sense. When she spoke with Wallace, Clinton did mischaracterize part of what Comey had said. Welker's initial question addressed this obvious point.

But good God, that second question! Rather than discuss the 110 emails, Welker asked about the three emails which, according to Comey, were actually "marked" as classified. Since Comey acknowledged under questioning that those emails had been marked incorrectly, this has basically ceased to be a serious point of dispute.

In response to that second question, Clinton simply explained, all over again, that the three "marked" emails hadn't been marked correctly. This left the outstanding point of dispute completely unaddressed.

Does Clinton dispute Comey's assessment of the 110 "born classified" emails? Does she dispute his claim that it was "extremely careless" to handle such material in the way she and her associates did?

Kaplan did dispute Comey's assessment in his piece for Slate. But his piece was never mentioned again, and Welker seemed to have no idea where the real dispute lies.

As a result of Welker's question, the remaining apparent point of dispute remained unaddressed.

Doggone it! Subsequent discussion of this exchange didn't turn on Clinton's reaction to the key question which went unasked. Instead, in a typical manifestation, it turned on Clinton's use of the term "short-circuited" at one point in this exchange.

Welker prepped at Germantown Friends. She graduated from Harvard in the class of 98. She's a big major journalist TV star. She left the key question unasked.

Can anyone here play this game? Frequently, we swivel toward our young analysts and we thoughtfully ask.


  1. 1. I do not believe that any Secretary of State could have neither sent nor received any e-mails with sensitive information.

    2. Hillary's decision to use a personal e-mail for government work was extremely careless, no matter what. Even if it were somehow true that Hillary neither received nor sent any sensitive e-mail, that would have been sheer luck. She had no way to be sure that someone wouldn't send her an e-mail with sensitive info.

    1. "Hillary's decision to use a personal e-mail for government work was extremely careless, no matter what."

      It was not necessarily careless. It was most certainly stupid.

      She would be 20 points ahead had she done otherwise.

    2. Ha! The press would have ginned something else up to attack her with. They care more about how many readers and viewers they get than the well being of our nation. Much more.

      I keep reading about this email scandal, and can't help but think that the same people who are so outraged about this breach of security would just as easily feign massive concern that a government official wasn't "transparent" enough, because "the public needs to know!"

      It just depends upon if they like you or not.

  2. Damnable Quakers. How dare they operate a prep school for biracial children.

  3. Well she did use a private server for public business. I think that's "extremely careless". it's not something I could imagine doing.

  4. Does Clinton dispute Comey's assessment of the 110 "born classified" emails? Does she dispute his claim that it was "extremely careless" to handle such material in the way she and her associates did?

    Has the thought ever occurred to you that Secretary Clinton is in a no win situation. Those 52 email chains have been withheld from the public, and the IC has ruled them to contain classified content.

    She simply cannot discuss them, if she were to start arguing about the specific reasons she doesn't believe them to be classified, they will hang her for revealing the contents of those emails.

    If only journalist would recognize and acknowledge how she is unable to properly defend herself from Comey the God, it might help the public understand the actual situation, instead of judging this extraordinarily brilliant and accomplished woman to be lying every time she's asked about this.

    1. The thought has occurred to me that it was Secretary Clinton who put herself in the no win situation.

    2. Not at all, they are applying rules to her that they have never applied to anyone in her position previously.

      When classified content in Colin Powell's emails were discovered, he gave a very blunt response.

      In a recent statements to ABC News, Powell disputed the claims.

      "I have reviewed the messages and I do not see what makes them classified." Powell said. "The emails were from my Executive Assistant and forwarded messages sent by two of our Ambassadors to State Department staff members. My Executive Assistant thought I should see them in a timely manner so sent them to my personal account. Both messages were unclassified. There was no reason not to forward them in this manner. ... The Ambassadors did not believe the contents were Confidential at the time and they were sent as unclassified. That is a fact. While they have not yet clarified this point, the State Department cannot now say they were classified then because they weren't. If the Department wishes to say a dozen years later they should have been classified that is an opinion of the Department that I do not share."

      And that was that, end of story, end of discussion. Powell remains the honored distinguished former Secretary.

      It makes me sick how people so cheerfully always blame the victim Clinton for the over the top ridiculous, extreme attacks on her for things done by predecessors routinely without any questions.

      In the very introduction to the OIG Report they make the very plain statement:

      However, based on its review of records, questionnaires, and interviews, OIG determined that email usage and preservation practices varied across the tenures of the five most recent Secretaries and that, accordingly, compliance with statutory, regulatory, and internal requirements varied as well.

      The fact of the matter is, using personal email was never previously treated as a big deal. Until the treasonous bastards running the Benghazi committee and the racist lunatic Larry Klayman decided they had to see all of Secretary Clintons.

      The Secretary consistently maintained from the beginning that she consciously copied persons in the State Department with email addresses as a way to insure that the emails would be captured in their system. You know who else did that?

      12 Secretary Powell has also publicly stated that he generally sent emails to his staff via their State Department email addresses but that he personally does not know whether the Department captured those emails on its servers. OIG Report, page 7

      Secretary Powell also stated that neither he nor his representatives took any specific measures to preserve Federal records in his email account. Secretary Powell’s representative told OIG that she asked Department staff responsible for recordkeeping whether they needed to do anything to preserve the Secretary’s emails prior to his departure, though she could not recall the names or titles of these staff. According to the representative, the Department staff responded that the Secretary’s emails would be captured on Department servers because the Secretary had emailed other Department employees.

      So I guess her attempt to comply wasn't so unusual after all.

    3. "The thought has occurred to me that it was Secretary Clinton who put herself in the no win situation."

      Yes, when as a Clinton, she agreed to be President Obama's Secretary of State.

      As for "no-win", check the polls, and the noise you hear is the GOP stampede from the candidate it selected a couple weeks ago.

  5. I turned on CNN the other day and the game was very clear. Burn Trump at the stake and pretend Hillary has'nt figured out how to use Microsoft Excel anymore.

    There is a coverup of Libyan oil corruption in those emails. There is support for Syrian terrorists. But according to the press, the major issue facing Clinton is the same thing everyone has. We just don't know how to use computers! Eeks.

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    Burn Trump on the stake and pretend Hillary has'nt discovered easy methods to use Microsoft Excel anymore.