CBS Reporter: Clinton E-Mails Issue of ‘Trust’ Is With NY Times, Not Hillary

During an appearance on CBS This Morning: Saturday, reporter Paula Reid desperately urged viewers to not blame Hillary Clinton if a possible Department of Justice investigation reveals she sent classified State Department documents from her private e-mail server. 

The CBS News justice reporter acted like a Clinton spokesperson as she argued that “This particular issue really shouldn’t have any impact on Clinton. The issue of the e-mails has been out there for a long time.”

Host Vinita Nair initially brought up the issue of “trustworthiness” for Mrs. Clinton which has “been something that has dogged former secretary of state” before she wondered “[h]ow do you think all of this will affect her and in particular on that, I guess, criticism?” 

In response, Reid quickly defended Clinton from questions about her trustworthiness and instead chose to blame the messenger: 

This particular issue really shouldn’t have any impact on Clinton. The issue of the e-mails has been out there for a long time. This is not a criminal matter. In fact, it’s far from it. If there are any questions about trust -- trustworthiness it comes from the New York Times or the Department of Justice.

From the beginning of the segment, Reid made sure to downplay the significance of the “security referral” over Clinton possibly sending classified information as nothing out of the ordinary: 

This is not a criminal referral. There was a lot of confusion about this yesterday. And even in talking the sources at the Department of Justice, a security referral sort of administrative flag is very unusual and unfamiliar to a lot of lawyers at the Department of Justice.
--
The Department of Justice will look-- justice officials will look at whatever evidence they’ve been presented and determine whether or not they need to go in and take additional measures to protect this classified information. Now, while this is not criminal at this point, any inquiry can always uncover potential evidence of criminal wrongdoing. But at this point, it shouldn’t take very long to figure out a way to-- to remedy the situation.

See relevant transcript below. 

CBS This Morning: Saturday 

July 25, 2015 

VINITA NAIR: CBS News justice reporter Paula Reid has been following this story closely. She’s in our Washington bureau with more. Good morning to you, Paula.

PAULA REID: Good morning.

NAIR: So tell us about this security referral. Is there a criminal element involved in that?

REID: A security referral is just meant to flag when classified information may not be properly stored. And in this case, they’re particular worried about a private server and a thumb drive that may contain some classified information and these-- these two items are not in the possession of the government. At this point, there’s no evidence of criminal wrongdoing. This is not a criminal referral. There was a lot of confusion about this yesterday. And even in talking the sources at the Department of Justice, a security referral sort of administrative flag is very unusual and unfamiliar to a lot of lawyers at the Department of Justice.

ANTHONY MASON: Paula, there was, as you mentioned, a lot of confusion yesterday about this and the initial reports were that it was a criminal referral. What exactly happened do you think?

REID: Following the report by the New York Times that Clinton was the subject of a potential criminal inquiry, the Department of Justice confirmed that they had indeed received a criminal referral. Just a few hours later, they came out and issued a rare correction to the national media saying we received the referral but it’s not a criminal referral, which raised the question is that if you refer a matter to the Department of Justice and it’s not criminal, what is it? And that elicited an even more rare statement from two federal watchdogs clarifying that this is what is called a security referral. It’s a tool that’s unique to the counterintelligence community.

NAIR: Yeah, we’re certainly in uncharted territories. I want to ask you just about trustworthiness, because that’s obviously been something that has dogged former secretary of state. How do you think all of this will affect her and in particular on that, I guess, criticism?

REID: This particular issue really shouldn’t have any impact on Clinton. The issue of the e-mails has been out there for a long time. This is not a criminal matter. In fact, it’s far from it. If there are any questions about trust-- trustworthiness it comes from the New York Times or the Department of Justice.

MASON: How long does it take for something like this to play out, Paula, once the referral like which has been made?

REID: The Department of Justice will look-- justice officials will look at whatever evidence they’ve been presented and determine whether or not they need to go in and take additional measures to protect this classified information. Now, while this is not criminal at this point, any inquiry can always uncover potential evidence of criminal wrongdoing. But at this point, it shouldn’t take very long to figure out a way to-- to remedy the situation.

 

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