National Security

Inside Clinton’s emails: Boehner, ‘Parks and Rec’ and gefilte fish


The more than 7,000 Hillary Clinton emails released by the State Department late Monday provide an inside look at the jet-setting life of a global diplomat.

Mostly, it’s pretty tame.

In an email to an aide on Jan. 3, 2010, for instance, Clinton asked for a copy of a Human Rights Watch report as well as “skim milk for me to have for my tea.”

{mosads}She also asks for the broadcast times of two network TV shows: “Parks and Recreation” and “The Good Wife.” 

“Parks and Recreation: NBC Thursday at 8:30pm,” the aide dutifully responded. “The Good Wife CBS Tuesdays at 10pm.” 

Though 125 of the more than 4,300 emails released by State contained information that is now considered classified, the vast majority of the documents made public by the government contain little more than scheduling notes, check-ins and the copy-and-pasted text of recent news stories.

“Remember, you’re on vacation!” Clinton scolded one aide in an August 2010 message about the Senate’s schedule. 

“Your iPad has arrived!” close staffer Huma Abedin told Clinton in another email from that June.

“This is exciting news,” Clinton replied. “do you think you can teach me to use it on the flight to Kyev next week?” 

A March 2010, email with the subject line “Gefilte fish” asked merely: “Where are we on this?” The message was related to a dispute about gefilte fish shipments to a plant in Israel.

Other messages are somewhat revealing.

While Clinton herself declined to offer up any salacious gossip on her political opponents, longtime confidant Sidney Blumenthal sent a memo in 2010 dismissing Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) as an “alcoholic” and a “louche” who is “lazy, and without any commitment to any principle.” 

“His hold is insecure. He is not [Newt] Gingrich, the natural leader of a ‘revolution,’ riding the crest into power. He is careworn and threadbare, banal and hollow, holding nobody’s enduring loyalty,” Blumenthal wrote on Nov. 2, 2010, the day Republicans won back the House.

“Thx, as always, for your insights,” Clinton wrote back to him.

Long-time aide Cheryl Mills passed along an October 2010 New York Times column from Maureen Dowd but made sure to include a subtle jab at the left-leaning writer. “[N]ot that I like her…” she wrote.

The existence of the classified information is likely to do the most political damage to Clinton, whose front-runner presidential bid has been tested by the fallout surrounding her private email setup. The reports about classified material in her email inbox has contributed to the drop in her poll numbers and created new anxieties about her campaign among Democrats.

Clinton is included on one February 2010 email chain about Iran that is severely redacted both because of national security concerns and to protect inter-agency discussions. 

Anne-Marie Slaughter, then the State Department’s director of policy planning, passed along details of European foreign policy head Catherine Ashton’s talks with then-Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman which have been entirely redacted. 

Much of the other redacted material concerns classified information about foreign relations and foreign governments, according to government coding.

The State Department has maintained that none of the information was classified at the time it was sent but has been “subsequently upgraded” based on new information.

Clinton was emphatic at a press conference earlier this year that classified material never passed through her server.

“There is no classified material,” she said at a news conference in March. “I’m certainly well-aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.”

Lately, she echoed the State Department’s line that information in the emails was never classified when it was sent and was never marked as classified.

“I’m confident that this process will prove that I never sent nor received any e-mail that was marked classified,” she said in Iowa last week.

Tags Hillary Clinton Parks and Recreation The Good Wife

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