The State Department opened the new year by falling short of a court-ordered goal from last year to have out by now 82 percent of Hillary Clinton’s emails from her years as secretary of state.
The mountain of her correspondence in the public eye grew Thursday with the release of 5,500 more pages of her emails, thousands of pages short of the goal. Among them, portions of 275 emails were retroactively classified, the department revealed, keeping questions alive about whether Clinton, now a Democratic presidential candidate, put sensitive information at risk by using her personal email account for business and running it on a private server at her New York home.
Clinton has said she didn’t send or receive information that was classified at the time via her personal email account.
The State Department said it “worked diligently” to meet the court’s release schedule but could not do so because of the large number of documents involved and the holidays. More Clinton emails are to be disclosed next week and all of them designated for release are supposed to be out by the end of January.
In all, the State Department said 1,274 of Clinton’s emails have been retroactively classified since the department started reviewing them for release. In response, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said: “Hillary Clinton’s decision to put secrecy over national security by exclusively operating off of a secret email server looks even more reckless.”
Two emails released Thursday were designated “secret,” the second-highest level of classification, which applies to information that could cause serious damage to national security if released. Most of the emails were classified “confidential,” which is the lowest level of classification.
A sampling from the latest batch:
Clinton and one of her closest aides, Jake Sullivan, had an exchange in September 2010 that showed considerable confusion over her email practices.
“I’m never sure which of my emails you receive, so pls let me know if you receive this one and on which address you did,” she wrote to Sullivan on a Sunday morning.
A few hours later Sullivan responded: “I have just received this email on my personal account, which I check much less frequently than my State Department account. I have not received any emails from you on my State account in recent days — for example, I did not get the email you sent to me and (Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Jeff) Feltman on the Egyptian custody case. Something is very wrong with the connection there.”
Sullivan added, “I suppose a near-term fix is to just send messages to this account — my personal account — and I will check it more frequently.”
Billionaire George Soros, a major donor to liberal causes, confided to a former Clinton aide that he made the wrong choice in supporting Barack Obama in the 2008 primaries over Clinton.
Soros told Neera Tanden during a dinner sponsored by Democracy Alliance, a liberal group, that he “regretted his decision in the primary — he likes to admit mistakes when he makes them and that was one of them,” Tanden told Clinton in a May 2012 email. “He then extolled his work with you from your time as First Lady on.”
Tanden also said Soros had been “impressed that he can always call/meet” with Clinton on policy issues but he hadn’t yet met with Obama. Soros has been a major donor to Priorities USA, a pro-Clinton Democratic super PAC.
SITUATION ROOM PHOTO
Clinton expressed outrage at a Hasidic Jewish newspaper that airbrushed her and another woman out of a famous photograph of officials in the White House Situation Room watching the raid on Osama Bin Laden.
The original photo had shown Clinton seated at the table, her hand covering her mouth. Counterterrorism director Audrey Tomason had also been pictured, standing at the back of the room. Both were blacked out in the newspaper’s reproduction of the photograph.
“The Jerusalem Post reported today that a NY Hasidic paper Der Zeitung published the sit room photo w/o me (or Audrey T) photoshopped out perhaps because no woman should be in such a place of power or that I am dressed immodestly!!” Clinton wrote in an email with the subject line “Unbelievable.”
The email was sent May 8, 2011, to aides, including Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, and to her daughter, Chelsea, under the alias Diane Reynolds.
RIDING WITH HRC
Philippe Reines, Clinton’s senior communications adviser, developed an elaborate flow chart during the summer of 2012 to determine a specific pecking order: Who gets to ride with Hillary?
In an email to a group of Clinton advisers, Reines said longtime aide Huma Abedin should ride with Clinton under most circumstances, with deputy chief of staff Jake Sullivan joining Clinton on other occasions. Capricia Marshall, a Clinton insider and the chief of protocol, was also listed as someone who should ride with the secretary of state.
The flow chart also includes cases in which Clinton could ride with someone dubbed “Ambassador Tolerable,” how they should handle drives covering 10 minutes or more and the circumstances in which Reines “should jump in.”
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump took note of the timing of the latest release on Twitter, writing: “Do you believe that The State Department, on NEW YEAR’S EVE, just released more of Hillary’s e-mails. They just want it all to end. BAD!”
But Trump’s tweet was off-base. A federal judge set the schedule for the release of the emails, not Clinton or the department. It’s not clear whether any penalty is involved in missing the court’s target.
Associated Press writers Josh Lederman, Catherine Lucey, Robert Burns, Jill Colvin, Erica Werner, Becky Bohrer, Justin Juozapavicius, Kathleen Ronayne, Jill Colvin, Chad Day, Deb Riechmann, Michael Sisak, Jill Zeman Bleed, Janie Har, Matthew Brown, Jonathan Cooper, David Eggert and Corey R. Williams contributed to this report.
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