Clinton emails reveal internal gossip, bank heists and ... gefilte fish?
The emails are the latest in a series of monthly, court-ordered releases that began in May, although the batch released Monday is the largest set to date. According to the State Department, 125 of the emails are now considered “confidential” but were not classified documents at the time they were sent.
"We stand by our contention that the information we've upgraded was not marked ‘classified' at the time the emails were sent," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Monday in a press briefing.
Many of the emails were logistical in nature, but others contained gossip about politicians and world leaders. There were also battles with her agency’s information technology department, notes from her daughter and celebrities, and some that reveal Clinton to be a pop culture maven.
The former secretary of state received gossip-filled emails from long-time advisers about political foes and foreign leaders alike.
Sidney Blumenthal, an unofficial Clinton adviser, emailed her on Election Day to discuss Republican victories in the 2010 midterm races. In the memo, he described Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), who was set to become the next Speaker of the House, as “louche, alcoholic, lazy, and without any commitment to any principle,” and “careworn and threadbare, banal and hollow, holding nobody’s enduring loyalty.”
Clinton responded to the entire memo with: “Thx[sic], as always, for your insights. I'm on a plane on the way to Papua New Guinea for the next 6 hours so pis[sic] email me results as you get them. Needless to say, I'm so distressed over all of this."
Blumenthal also warned that Conservative British Prime Minister David Cameron was “no partner” of the US; said Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg blew his chances at power through “inbred arrogance”; and advised that incoming Foreign Secretary William Hague would be “disingenuous with you.”
Influential Clinton ally David Brock sent Clinton a memo on how to impeach Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, citing Lillian McEwen, a former prosecutor who said she was romantically involved with the conservative judge before he was nominated to the Supreme Court. McEwen said that, for Thomas, pornography was “just a part of his personality structure” and was part of his professional relationships, Brock wrote.
State’s IT department
Despite her initial claims that she used a private server because she didn’t want to have to carry two devices for email, previous State Department document releases showed the former secretary had an iPad. This batch showed that not only did Clinton use her iPad, it was nicknamed the “hPad.” On top of that, the use of her so-called hPad was repeatedly rejected by the State Department’s Office of Security Technology, Judicial Watch reported in March.
The agency’s IT department seemed unaware that Clinton did not use her official state.gov address, according to one email from long-time aide Huma Abedin after an email addressed to Clinton’s official account bounced back.
“[The email author] called the email help desk at state (I guess assuming u had state email),” Abedin wrote. “They had no idea it was YOU, just some random address so they emailed.”
In one email, Clinton’s daughter Chelsea wrote to her and former President Bill Clinton from Haiti outlining problems with international relief efforts following the 2010 earthquake. Despite an extensive assessment of the problems she stated that she was “happy to be an invisible soldier” and did not want attribution regarding the findings.
Clinton’s mother, Dorothy Howell Rodham, was also mentioned in a birthday email from Cheryl Mills, the secretary of state’s long-time aide.
“So glad you were born!” Mills wrote. “Kiss your mom for me ‒ she did us right bringing you into the world.”
Girls rule, boys drool
Clinton, who seeks to be the first female presidential nominee by either major party, stood up for fellow women on her staff, according to former spokesman Philippe Reines.
“I for one loved that you finally called out the ogrish males on your staff who roll their eyes at womens issues and events,” he wrote. “But fyi I’m pretty sure I saw [redacted] roll their eyes at the very moment that you were obviously referring to them. They just don’t get it”
Oy vey, not the gefilte fish!
Clinton was very concerned about the Passover delicacy just before the holiday in March 2010, one email showed. She only asked, however, “Where are we on this?”
Theory: Gefilte Fish was Hillary’s code name for Jon Stewart— Downtown Josh Brown (@ReformedBroker) September 1, 2015
At the time, Clinton was working to get Israel to allow in a blocked US shipment of 400 lbs. of Asian carp from Illinois. The cargo was denied entry due to a US-Israeli free trade agreement from 1985 that sought to protect Galilean carp farmers, former Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren wrote in his memoir.
Boob tube and Fox News
The former secretary of state was a huge fan of two TV shows, but she didn’t know when they aired. Her staff member, Monica Hanley, had to tell her when “Parks and Recreation” and “The Good Wife” would be on. “The Good Wife” is about a woman who stood by her political husband during a sex scandal, and the main character is rumored to be loosely based on Clinton.
One email from a State Department staffer revealed several movies Clinton was interested in watching, including “The Tillman Story,” “Company Men” and “Blue Valentine.” That same email showed that movie producer Harvey Weinstein lobbied the then-Secretary of State to watch “The King’s Speech,” a movie which he produced.
“It’s a fun movie that is much in the tradition of ‘Shakespeare in Love’, again I think you would both like it (and Hillary would approve because it’s PG-13 with not too many swear words,” Weinstein wrote.
Clinton made clear in her emails that she is not a fan of Fox News. Several times, she complained that they were going after one of her top staffers, Michael Posner. She also once asked a staffer, “How soon will FOX attack me for my ‘tax the rich’ comments?”
When an armed robber wore a Hillary Clinton Halloween mask while robbing a Virginia bank in December 2010, she was unsure of how to respond.
“Should I be flattered? Even a little bit? And, as for my alibi, well, let's just say it depends on the snow and the secret service,” Clinton wrote in an email.
She later noted in a response that she appeared to be the first Democrat to have a mask used in a ‘Point Break’-style bank heist.
“I don't know what motivated the robber here, but we are safely far behind in the masked robbery department,” she wrote. “By my quick research, former President Nixon masks lead the way (perhaps not surprisingly) with 11 reported instances, followed by masks of the second President Bush (5 reported instances), and those of President Reagan (3). We appear to be the first Democrat, however.”