The latest court-ordered dump of Hillary Clinton's emails shows the former Secretary of State kept meticulous tabs on White House office politics – including the presidential aspirations of Gen. David Petraeus and some sniping from former Clinton White House chief of staff John Podesta.
The peek into the Democratic presidential nominee's digital sleuthing is revealed in the latest posting of more than 7,000 pages of emails the State Department put online Monday night to comply with a judge's order to an every 60-day release of data
in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.
According to Politico,
Clinton was intrigued by Petraeus' reported interest in a White House run in 2012.
Instead, he took a job as CIA director in the Obama administration but got driven out of government by a scandal over his secrets-sharing with his mistress and biographer Jill Kelly
Clinton pal Sidney Blumenthal shot her an email in February 2010 that foreign policy blogger Steve Clemons said Petraeus was talking about the possibility of a presidential run.
"Clemons had dinner this week with Petraeus, who freely talked about running for president," Blumenthal writes, according to Politico.
"Will he write about Petraeus?" Clinton shot back 5 minutes later, Politico reports.
Blumenthal quickly replies to Clinton with Clemons' post mentioning the off-the-record dinner and discussing the relative political merits of Petraeus, Vice President Joe Biden and Clinton herself, Politico reports.
"Clemons... told me more detail about [Petraeus'] attitude and interest," Blumenthal said, adding a couple of nuggets.
Four months later, Petraeus was abruptly named the U.S. commander in Afghanistan after President Barack Obama removed Gen. Stanley McChrystal
over disrespectful comments his aides made about Biden.
Clinton's top communications adviser, Philippe Reines – writing to Clinton's advisers in an email that was later forwarded to Clinton – suggested the new assignment would be seen as a way to take the Republican Petraeus out of contention as a potential presidential candidate in 2012, Politico writes.
"My bet on the direction this now takes is two fronts 1) does Petreaus make any big changes; can he do in Afghanistan what he did in Iraq; his health; political benefits of locking him up like Huntsman," Reines wrote, referring to perceptions that former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman was out of the running for 2012 because he accepted an appointment from Obama to be U.S. Ambassador to China.
Huntsman ultimately launched a brief run for the GOP nomination in 2012. Petraeus was named CIA director in 2011 but resigned after the 2012 elections when his extramarital affair was exposed.
In addition to keeping track of Petraeus, Clinton also was eager to hear all about Podesta's reported swipe at Obama's administration of the White House, the emails show, according to Politico.
"Send me the next article about Podesta," she asked Blumenthal in an email.
Politico reports previously released emails show Clinton seemed annoyed at perceived snubs from Obama's national security team and her team.
Clinton also sent her chief of staff an article by former New York Times columnist Les Gelb arguing for a shake-up of Obama's White House team, including the removal of Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
She writes:"FYI" with no further comment, Politico reports.
The email dump also highlights the much-criticized secrecy tendencies of Clinton. Though her pals knew about her private email setup, some people on State's tech support team were completely in the dark.
"I work as a Help Desk Analyst and it has come to my attention that one of our customers has been receiving permanent fatal errors from this address, can you please confirm if you receive this message," State Department IT specialist Christopher Butzgy wrote in a message that Clinton forwarded to top aide Huma Abedin inquiring about its contents.
"What happened is judith sent.you an email. It bounced back. She called the email help desk at state (I guess assuming u had state email) and told them that. They had no idea it was YOU, just some random address so they emailed. Sorry about that. But regardless, means ur email must be back! R u getting other messages?" Abedin emailed back.
Ironically, the new dump also shows the tough tack she took to the largest breach of classified information in U.S. history: WikiLeaks' disclosure
of 250,000 diplomatic cables ion 2010.
For example, Politico reports, after State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley forwarded Clinton a Swedish cartoon showing Clinton using a wrench trying to shut down the flow of information to WikiLeaks, she wrote back: "It certainly hits the mark. Can you hand me a wrench?"
"I can think of several folks for you to toss that wrench at!" Crowley replied.
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