WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton’s email scandal roared back to life Friday after the FBI released a report detailing her interview with investigators.
The top finding: Clinton seemed repeatedly unable to recall key information about her use of a private email server as secretary of state. Here are some other highlights from the new documents.
‘I do not recall’
On 39 separate occasions, Clinton told the FBI that she did not “recall” or remember key elements of the training or classified information process.
What’s a classification marking?
In regards to an email with classification markings, Clinton said she did not know what they meant and speculated it indicated paragraph markings.
According to the report, Clinton said “she did not pay attention to the ‘level’ of classified information and took all classified information seriously. CLINTON was not concerned the displayed email contained classified information. CLINTON believed the email amounted to a ‘condolence call’ and questioned the classification level.”
A level of trust
Clinton repeatedly said she had no reason to think emails to her contained info that was inappropriate for personal email. She said she trusted those emailing understood what was appropriate.
“Clinton did not recall receiving any emails she thought she should not be on an unclassified system,” the report read. “She relied on State officials to use their judgment when emailing her and could not recall anyone raising concerns with her regarding the sensitivity of the information she received at her email address.”
The drone program
Clinton defended discussion of the Obama administration’s controversial drone program in emails on her server, saying she felt conversation was “part of the routine deliberation process” and “did not give her cause for concern” regarding classification. She recalled many conversations about future strikes “that never occurred.”
The former secretary of state said she thought drone strike information classification “depended on the context,” noting it was an important tool but “frequently in the press.”
Hundreds had her address
Clinton said it was well known she used that email address: “At least a hundred, if not several hundred State employees” had that contact info.
Yet some State employees said they did not know her actual address since she appeared merely as the letter “H” in the sender field of the email. And “the majority” of Clinton’s aides interviewed by the FBI, including her most senior staffers, did not know of the home server until it became publicly reported or after Clinton left the State Department.
Skirting FOIA rules?
Clinton said she did not have conversations with anyone “with regard to using the server to avoid” Freedom of Information Act regulations. Clinton denied that avoiding FOIA rules was a reason for setting up the system.
Sidney Blumenthal’s role
Clinton’s correspondence with confidante Sidney Blumenthal has drawn particular scrutiny. But Clinton said that while Blumenthal is a “prodigious” writer, she said the information he provided was “sometimes accurate and sometimes not.”
Regarding an email asking an aide to remove markings, Clinton said she was directing him to create talking points and “had no intention to remove classification markings.” She explained she thought a “non paper” was a way to convey the unofficial stance of the US government to foreign governments.
The ‘oh s*** moment’
Clinton’s team had an “oh s*** moment” in late March of last year, according to the report. A few weeks after The New York Times first revealed the information about Clinton’s private email use, a person — whose name has been redacted — “deleted the Clinton archive mailbox” and “used BleachBit to delete the exported .PST files he had created on the server system containing Clinton’s emails.”