Hillary Clinton's reaction to the Obama administration's disclosure Friday of top secret emails on her private home server "brings out one of her worst characteristics," USA Today columnist Rem Rieder said on Monday
"In her response to the latest development, she has sought to cast the controversy in a political context: The Republicans are trying to undermine me with it, a la Benghazi," Rieder said. "Vast right-wing conspiracy, anyone?
"Under fire, cornered, she reacts defensively, legalistically, sarcastically," he added. "Which simply aggravates what's a serious issue for her: Lots of people don't trust her and consider her dishonest.
"When she's snarky, she's not really likable enough, President [Barack] Obama to the contrary," Rieder said.
On Friday, the Obama administration admitted for the first time that top secret information had passed
through Clinton's unsecured home email server during her four years as secretary of state.
The 22 emails comprising seven chains of documents will not be released — in any form — along with Clinton's other emails, the State Department said.
"No matter how you parse it, the decision to use the private server raises serious questions about her judgment, and they return to the fore every time the emails pop up," Rieder said.
The FBI is continuing its investigation, and any indictment would be made by the Justice Department — and that remains "the wild card" as the 2016 presidential election nears, he said.
Noting that the email scandal has proven strong fodder for Republicans, Rieder cited attacks over the weekend by front-runner Donald Trump and rival Marco Rubio.
"If you are sick and tired of hearing about Clinton's damn emails now — just wait," he said.
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