Some of Hillary Clinton’s emails, released by State Department, retroactively classified
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Initial reads of 7,000 more of Hillary Clinton’s emails released Monday night, August 31st by the State Department show more of the mundane political notes, scheduling requests and attention to media coverage that have made up earlier releases.
That’s despite 125 of those emails — which weren’t classified at the time — being retroactively classified before they were released. All or portions of some unclassified emails are redacted, too.
The emails include requests for updates on Israel and other regions from top aide Jake Sullivan.
But they also include requests for the times that the television shows like NBCs “Parks and Recreation” and CBS’ “The Good Wife” air, and for skim milk for her tea.
There are notes from Anne-Marie Slaughter, then the State Department’s director of policy planning, about the struggles of balancing a career and a family — particularly for mothers. In one, to aide Huma Abedin but directed at Clinton, Slaughter encourages her go forward with plans to start a winter vacation on December 21.
“I would urge you to — for your own sake. The pace is absolutely killing and you deserve it. But it will also mean that a lot of folks who would like to take some time off with their family before Xmas (e.g. moms like me who are necessary to make Xmas happen) would feel much freer to do so,” Slaughter wrote.
There are other odds and ends. When the health care law was close to passing, Clinton wrote to Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski that it’s time to “wrap this up in the Senate and go drink something unhealthy!”
One email from Clinton contains the subject line “Gefilte fish.” The entire content of the email: “Where are we on this?”
It’s related to nine containers of the Passover favorite that were supposed to be shipped from Illinois to Israel but had become embroiled in a trade dispute.
In 2010, Clinton offered some praise for one of her current Democratic presidential campaign rivals — then-Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.
The Democratic front-runner in the 2016 presidential race has faced five months of criticism for using her personal email address — connected to her own private server, limiting the government’s access to those emails — during her four years as President Barack Obama’s secretary of state.
The latest round of emails were released at about 9 p.m. Monday. Deputy State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters Monday that some of the emails had been retroactively classified.
Toner said retroactive classification “certainly does not speak to whether (the information) was classified at the time it was sent or handled or however forwarded or received. And we’ve always been very clear that nothing that we’ve seen so far was ever marked classified,” he said.
Toner would not say whether information from foreign government communications should have been classified at the time they were sent.
Classification is “not often a black-and-white process,” he said. “Our clear focus is on clearing these emails, redacting them as necessary in order to safeguard anything that we’ve deemed now should be upgraded in classification.”
The State Department is under a federal judge’s order to regularly process and release emails that Clinton has turned over, which means a new batch typically comes at the end of each month.
Clinton has turned her server over to the FBI amid an investigation into her emails, as intelligence agencies comb through to determine whether classified information was mishandled. Her campaign has said that the innocuous emails released so far show that she wasn’t putting closely guarded secrets at risk.