CNN's Borger: Clinton/Blumenthal E-Mails Don't Rise 'To A Huge Level'

CNN's Gloria Borger asserted on Wednesday's Wolf program that the latest revelation involving a potential conflict of interest for Hillary Clinton – her e-mail exchanges with Sidney Blumenthal on Libya when she was secretary of state – wasn't much of a scandal: "I don't think this rises to a huge level, but it does show you that when you've been in public life for decades, you do collect a lot of people...who still want to get your ear." This came moments after Borger acknowledged that this issue was "kind of embarrassing." [video below]

Host Wolf Blitzer noted that "one of her [Clinton's] friends, Sidney Blumenthal, all of a sudden, in the news once again. Those of us who have covered the Clintons for years – Sidney Blumenthal no stranger, obviously." After playing the soundbite of Mrs. Clinton's Tuesday statement on the issue, Blitzer continued that "the chairman of House Select Committee on the Benghazi investigation [Rep. Trey Gowdy] – they want to depose Sidney Blumenthal. How much of a problem is this potentially for the Democratic candidate?"

Borger replied with her "kind of embarrassing" phrase, and pointed out that Rep. Gowdy is looking at "the question of whether there was a real conflict here, since Blumenthal – who is an old friend, very partisan, former speechwriter for the Clintonshad business interests in Libya when he was sending her these unsolicited e-mails." She added that "some people are questioning her judgment" over her actions in response to Blumental, but used her "I don't think this rises to a huge level" reply just seconds later. Blitzer did contend at the segment that "this story is certainly not going to go away."

The transcript of the relevant portion of the Gloria Borger segment from CNN's Wolf program on Wednesday:

WOLF BLITZER: Let's talk about Hillary Clinton right now – the Democratic presidential candidate. One of her friends, Sidney Blumenthal, all of a sudden, in the news once again. Those of us who have covered the Clintons for years – Sidney Blumenthal no stranger, obviously. Here's what she said yesterday about the exchanges she had with Sidney Blumenthal while she was secretary of state.

HILLARY CLINTON, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He's been a friend of mine for a long time. He sent me unsolicited e-mails – which I passed on, in some instances. And I see that that's just part of the give and take. When you're in – when you're in the public eye; when you're in an official position; I think you do have to work to make sure you're not caught in a bubble and only hear from a certain small group of people. And I'm going to keep talking to my old friends, whoever they are.

BLITZER: And now, the chairman of House Select Committee on the Benghazi investigation – they want to depose Sidney Blumenthal-

GLORIA BORGER: They do-

BLITZER: How much of a problem is this potentially for the Democratic candidate?

BORGER: Well, at the very least, it's kind of embarrassing. I think what Trey Gowdy is looking for – in the Congress – is the question of whether there was a real conflict here, since Blumenthal – who is an old friend, very partisan, former speechwriter for the Clintons – had business interests in Libya when he was sending her these unsolicited e-mails. What she did was she forwarded them to people in the government – at some at the top level – saying, look, I think you ought to take a look at that. Some people are questioning her judgment on doing that.

I think what was key, in listening to Hillary Clinton there – kind of, reading between the lines – is that she made it very clear that these e-mails were unsolicited, and lots of people send people lots of unsolicited e-mails – who are in power. The information he had in his e-mail, Wolf, was not vetted in any way, shape, or form. Lots of people who worked for her questioned it. I might also add that in some of her responses, she questioned the information that – that he had.

So I don't think this rises to a huge level, but it does show you that when you've been in public life for decades, you do collect a lot of people along the way who still want to get your ear.

BLITZER: Gloria, thanks very much. This story is certainly not going to go away.

BORGER: Nope.

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Foreign Policy Africa Libya Middle East Labeling Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals CNN Other CNN Trey Gowdy Sidney Blumenthal Wolf Blitzer Gloria Borger Hillary Clinton
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