The headline at a video posted by the Washington Free Beacon is a real jaw-dropper: "CNN Fact Check Confirms Clinton Aide Destroyed Mobile Devices With Hammers." What?
The key part of the video, in its second half, shows the network's Brooke Baldwin as very skeptical — I would say disbelieving, to the point where she wouldn't stop loudly saying "hang on" until the guests stopped talking — when Donald Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn stated that "they (Team Clinton) destroyed Blackberrys with hammers in the State Department." Baldwin went to CNN's Evan Perez for confirmation "on the fly." The answer: Hillary's aide did exactly what Epshteyn contended.
The video begins with Baldwin challenging Clinton-supporting smarmy smart-aleck Bernard Whitman with the fact that the FBI cannot say for certain that Mrs. Clinton's "emails" weren't hacked. (Actually, invaders hack programs and devices so that documents like emails can be accessed and lifted or copied, Brooke, but I digress.)
Whitman went into the usual change-the-subject routine we've come to expect from Team Clinton, but Epshteyn was having none of it. Then, as viewers will see, Baldwin tried to stop his momentum by questioning his "destroyed devices" claim. Instead, she handed him an incontestable victory. In the process, it would also appear that Epshteyn earned some grudging admiration:
Transcript (bolds are mine):
BROOKE BALDWIN: It's a fact that the FBI cannot say with regard to her emails that they were not conclusively, not totally hacked. That's not a good thing.
BERNARD WHITMAN: No, it's not a good thing. But you know what is a good thing? The release of this report.
The Clinton campaign wanted this report to come out. Why? Because the FBI had an exhaustive, year-long investigation. They talked to probably dozens and dozens of people. Hours, hours and hours of testimony, and the decision not to recommend prosecution was absolutely unanimous. (Yes, two people: FBI Directory Jim Comey and Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Whitman has no idea how many people under Comey or Lynch suggested prosecution. — Ed.)
Was she careless? Yes. Was it a mistake? Yes. As Hillary Clinton said, "I should not have done this, and if I ever had to do it again, I'd make a different decision.
BALDWIN: But was it criminal? No. (Whitman talked over Baldwin here, so what she said is intelligible, but we see that she pitched in and helped Whitman finish his assertion. Is that how they teach interviewing in Journalism 101? — Ed.)
WHITMAN: It's not criminal. Let's move on.
BORIS EPSHTEYN: I guess that's the benchmark now to become President, is not to be a criminal in jail.
WHITMAN: No, it's to be competent, Boris, unlike your candidate.
EPSHTEYN: Let's go through the facts. 17,500 emails that she lied about turning over. The server wipe: Within weeks of there being a report that she had a private server, it was wiped. She thought that "C," which stands for Classified, stood for cookie, or something, which stands for classified. She thought that drone strikes are not classified.
She said that the reason she uses a private server was for convenience, and that she only had one, uh, device. She used 13 Blackberrys — let me finish — and 5 iPads. At least she doesn't stick to either Blackberry or iPad. This is somebody who is absolutely disqualified from becoming President.
They destroyed Blackberrys with hammers in the State Department. That's not what we want in the presidency. That came out of the 302s.
BALDWIN: Evan, Evan, Evan, Evan hold on, can you fact check that? Hang on, hang on, hang on, hang on, hang on, hang on, Evan Perez, hammers? Fact check that for me please, on the fly.
EVAN PEREZ: Yes, they did, Brooke.
BALDWIN: They did.
PEREZ: As you mentioned there were 13 devices, mobile device and five iPads that the FBI said that, y'know, in some way were used with her private email server and they did, in some cases, just destroy them with hammers when they were done using them.
WHITMAN: That’s a pretty good way of destroying a device. (Proving that "smarmy smart-aleck" is an apt description of Whitman. — Ed.)
EPSHTEYN: No, it’s not. That is absolutely not following the rules and regulations of the State Department, you know it. Your 52 reasons just went down to one. No reasons left.
Listen, here's the bottom line here. This is somebody who is disqualified from becoming President. She said that she didn't remember her training because of her concussion? Does she still not remember things? This is all —
WHITMAN: Excuse me, Boris. Enough of your grandstanding. Your candidate —
EPSHTEYN: These are all facts. Did I say anything wrong?
The related Washington Free Beacon article by Jack Heretik reports that "The FBI documents reveal that Clinton aide Justin Cooper destroyed the then-secretary of state’s Blackberry cell phones on multiple occasions."
Epshteyn's reference to "52 Reasons" is to a book Whitman co-wrote with Brittany Stalsburg called 52 Reasons to Vote for Hillary. Published in July, at the time of this post the book was ranked 274,791 on Amazon. Epshteyn's "down to one (reason)" would appear to refer to the fact that Whitman believes Mrs. Clinton election is supremely important because she is a woman ("as a historic signal of equality").
One can't read their minds, but the looks on Baldwin's and Perez's faces after Perez confirmed Epshteyn's claim sure look like they're thinking, "Boy, this guy Epshteyn just nailed it":
The positive reaction from Baldwin is especially interesting, because she did not look at all pleased when Perez delivered his "yes, they did" opening.
Too bad the rest of the press is basically not interested in Team Clinton's penchant for destruction.
The Associated Press mentioned it in the very last of 27 paragraphs of its Saturday morning "HIGHLIGHTS OF FBI NOTES ON CLINTON EMAIL INVESTIGATION" dispatch — and made it look as if doing so was a perfectly normal thing to do, not a move that violated State Department rules and regulations:
One Clinton aide recalled to the FBI destroying her old mobile devices by breaking them in half or hitting them with a hammer.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.