Even by the fluid ethics of a liberal pol, this was brazen, and then repeated for obvious emphasis.
Appearing on ABC's This Week With George Stephanopoulos this morning, Democrat vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine did what he could to limit damage from last week's release of FBI notes from the agency's "interview" with Hillary Clinton over her scofflaw decision to use private, unsecured (and hence inherently vulnerable) email servers while she was secretary of state.
Among the revelations -- that even the pro-Clinton Daily Beast was forced to report given their obvious news value -- was that Clinton claimed she received "no training" at the State Department on handling classified materials, that she used more than a dozen email devices (not just one, as she previously insisted), and -- most devastating of all -- she had no idea a "C" marking on a document indicated it was ... classified.
Veteran ABC foreign affairs reporter Martha Raddatz, guest hosting for Stephanopoulos on This Week, was aggressive in questioning Kaine but with a glaring exception -- Kaine's repeated false claim that Clinton used a single email device while at State. Not according to the notes of Clinton's interrogation by the FBI, notes that Clinton was allegedly in favor of publicly disclosing --
RADDATZ: Senator Kaine, the FBI released more documents about the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails and a summary of her interview with the FBI. Let me just highlight what is new -- she didn't seem to know what some classification marks even meant, she said she relied on staff to tell her what was classified, archived emails were deleted even after a congressional committee requested them -- and all she has really said about this is that it was a mistake to use a personal server. Don't the American people deserve a better explanation?
KAINE: Well, I think, Martha, that's they've gotten a better explanation because to add to what you just said, the reason these materials are being made public is that Hillary Clinton said I want the public to see them. When Congress asked the FBI, give us your notes, Hillary said, yeah, that's great, give 'em your notes but let the American public see it. And what these notes demonstrate is in very significant detail why the FBI chose not to go forward with any additional proceeding. She did make a mistake and she made it by deciding she wanted to use one device rather than multiple devices. She's apologized for that, she said it was a mistake, and she's learned from it.
Kaine here inexplicably clinging to the party line established by Clinton at a UN press conference in March 2015 after the email scandal broke -- even though the newly released FBI documents specifically refute this claim. In case anyone missed it the first time, Kaine doubled down shortly after criticizing Trump for not releasing his tax returns --
RADDATZ: Let's got back to Hillary Clinton, this is an issue that Americans care about. A majority of Americans do not trust her, largely because of this email issue, 66 percent do not trust her in the latest Fox News poll, and our ABC/Washington Post poll shows a majority, 55 percent, disapprove of the FBI's decision not to indict her. So again, isn't this an issue that she needs to better explain?
KAINE: That's why she asked that these materials be made public and I think when you read the materials and read the articles about the materials, they go into significant detail about why the FBI concluded that there was no need for any additional proceedings. And again, I just contrast that with Donald Trump who ...
RADDATZ (interrupting): But Senator Kaine, she hasn't answered questions about this. Shouldn't she be answering questions about this?
KAINE: Martha, I just have to disagree with you. I have sat with her while she has answered questions, while she's answered questions about what she did and why, and then she said, look, by using one device I made a mistake, I apologize for it, I've learned something, and I wouldn't do it again.
Kaine suggests to Raddatz and This Week viewers that they'll better understand this "when you read the materials" and "read the articles about the materials." Great idea, senator. Here's what the "articles" from three major newspapers are saying.
In a story headlined "FBI Documents Show Hillary Clinton Used Many Email Devices," the Wall Street Journal reports that Clinton "used more than a dozen email devices during her time as secretary of state ..."
While predictably protective of Clinton, the Washington Post buried this deep in its story, but with two devastating details added -- "One staffer told investigators that he destroyed two mobile devices 'by breaking them in half or hitting them with a hammer.' The FBI said it requested 13 devices from the law firm representing Clinton, and the firm said it could not produce any.' (emphasis added).
This detail was also buried in a story at the Los Angeles Times, which held off until the final paragraph on reporting that FBI agents "said it was difficult to determine whether accounts were compromised because they were not able to examine the 11 mobile devices used by Clinton" while at the State Department since they were "either destroyed or could not be tracked down."
Ah, transparency -- Clinton style!