Morning Joe Guest Spins: Hillary is Not Being Personally Investigated, Only ‘Her Conduct’ is

On Morning Joe today, a panel discussed the news that Hillary Clinton will turn over thumb drives to federal investigators as well as the discovery of emails on Clinton’s private account that were labeled top secret. McClatchy’s Anita Kumar, who broke the story regarding the classified nature of the emails, tried to spin for Hillary by making the case that she was not personally being investigated: “There are several investigations into her conduct – not into her – but into her use of personal e-mail and a personal server.”

Regular Morning Joe contributor Mark Halperin largely came to the defense of the former secretary of state. While initially noting that, politically, this is “a no-win situation” for Clinton, he later objected when former Bush press secretary Nicolle Wallace compared the situation to General David Petraeus. Wallace declared:

 

I think the discovery of two now classified e-mails will raise questions among the public, you know, how is this different from what General David Petraeus was found to have done with his classified material? So, I think – 

Halperin cut Wallace off to explain that there is a big difference between Clinton’s behavior and what Petraeus did: “His was marked classified. Hers was not.” The former co-host of The View suggested Hillary is in trouble with the public due to lack of trust: 

I think that – again, I think that this cumulative sort of string of dishonesty and of changing their answers, and of depending on what the meaning of is is, depending on what the meaning of classified is, mine wasn't stamped, his was stamped. I just think they are down a rabbit hole of now squandering whatever is left of the general public's trust. 

Halperin refused to back down from his point, saying, “People bring up the Petraeus comparison. He took stuff that was clearly marked classified and gave it to someone who wasn't authorized to have it...it’s different than what she did.” 

The relevant portion of the transcript is below. 

MSNBC
Morning Joe
August 12, 2015

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: State department officials say they are still determining whether they agree the two emails were classified at the time they were sent. Senator Chuck Grassley has called for the inspectors in the case to look into staff's use of the server, and four top aides have turned over records including copies of work e-mails on personal accounts. And Willie, this is something we've been wondering about for a while. The initial reaction I remember always being is it doesn't matter. They don't matter. The e-mails don't matter. Whose e-mails are they? 

WILLIE GEIST: And that's not for the Clinton campaign to decide. And that's what we're gonna find out right now. From Washington, White House correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers Anita Kumar. She was the first to report about the sensitive, classified status of those e-mails. Anita, it’s good to have you with us this morning. Let's flesh out your reporting a little bit more. How serious could this be for Hillary Clinton based on what you found? 

ANITA KUMAR: Well, it could be serious. There are several investigations into her conduct – not into her – but into her use of personal e-mail and a personal server. So she's facing an FBI investigation, she’s got some investigations on Capitol Hill. And then, yesterday we heard from the inspector general of the state department saying that he's now looking into her aides – her aides’ use of personal e-mail. 

GEIST: And so, what exactly is Hillary Clinton's campaign turning over at this point? 

KUMAR: They're turning over two things and it is voluntary at this point. They've been asked by the committee – House committee looking into the Benghazi attacks in 2012 to turn over her server. She has not done it for months and yesterday they announced pretty late in the day that they’re gonna turn that over to the justice department. As of this morning, they have not done so yet. Yesterday, they did turn over a thumb drive that had e-mails, her e-mails on it, that her attorney had been holding onto. 

GEIST: And then there's the question Anita of what is even on these servers. I mean, all of the reporting was that it had been wiped clean by Hillary Clinton. Do we have any sense of what they'll find when they look at these servers? 

KUMAR: Well, experts – technology experts sort of differ on that. It's unclear sort of how she did that and what they would find. Many people think that you can't really wipe it clean, that there would be evidence still there, that e-mails would still be there. 

[...]

MARK HALPERIN: Politically it's a no win situation for her. If they recover the information from that, the e-mails, the 30,000 personal ones, I think there's almost certainly the case that someone will find something on there that should have been turned over and that would be a problem for her. If it's been fully deleted and permanently erased which, under any technology is hard to do, I think people will say, wow, why did Hillary Clinton go to such lengths to permanently delete these e-mails and the question will linger forever, what was on there? I don’t think either of those is a good outcome for her. 

NICOLLE WALLACE: I think the discovery of two now classified e-mails will raise questions among the public, you know, how is this different from what General David Petraeus was found to have done with his classified material? So, I think – 

HALPERIN: His was marked classified. Hers was not. 

WALLACE: A secretary of state should know the difference. I think that – again, I think that this cumulative sort of string of dishonesty and of changing their answers, and of depending on what the meaning of is is, depending on what the meaning of classified is, mine wasn't stamped, his was stamped. I just think they are down a rabbit hole of now squandering whatever is left of the general public's trust. 

HALPERIN: People bring up the Petraeus comparison. He took stuff that was clearly marked classified and gave it to someone who wasn't authorized to have it. 

WALLACE: Good luck explaining that to the public.

HALPERIN: It’s different than what she did. 

NB Daily 2016 Presidential Morning Joe Anita Kumar Mark Halperin Nicolle Wallace Hillary Clinton

Sponsored Links