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New Documents Show Top Obama Officials Collaborated on Clinton Email Issue

Image: New Documents Show Top Obama Officials Collaborated on Clinton Email Issue

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By    |   Friday, 07 Oct 2016 09:43 AM

Emails show that in early 2015, Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign was in contact with Obama administration officials at the State Department about dealing with issues surrounding her use of a private email server when she was secretary of state, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The discussion included the administration's communications director to the State Department, asking if Secretary of State John Kerry could avoid questions about Clinton's emails. In another exchange, a State Department official assured a Clinton attorney that the department had not told Congress that Clinton made an error in using a private email account.

The Journal reports the Republican National Committee obtained the emails through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, and released those involving communication between the Obama administration and the State Department to the Journal.

Meredith McGehee, chief of policy, programs, and strategy at the nonpartisan advocacy group Issue One, said the exchange would probably not raise concerns about legality, because federal law allows White House staff to engage in some political activity.

Republicans and other critics have slammed Clinton's campaign over her private email server arrangement. Clinton has acknowledged it was a mistake, but she has said no national secrets were put at risk.

The New York Times first reported on March 2, 2015 about Clinton's private email server, which set off the controversy, and resulted in an FBI probe that ultimately did not recommend prosecuting Clinton.

Ten days after the story broke, the emails show that White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri emailed State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki to ask, "between us on the shows…think we can get this done so he is not asked about email," apparently referring to Secretary of State John Kerry.

He was interviewed on CBS's "Face the Nation" three days later.

"Agree completely and working to crush on my end," Psaki responded. A day later, Psaki added, "Good to go on killing CBS idea." She continued, "And we are going to hold on any other TV options just given the swirl of crap out there." Mr. Kerry wasn't asked on "Face the Nation" about the email server.

Palmieri jokingly asked Psaki about her phrase "swirl of crap," and Psaki responded, "Ha I mean — the challenging stories out there."

CBS spokeswoman Caitlin Conant said the network did not make a deal with Kerry over what questions he would be asked. "No subject was off-limits when this interview was arranged, as is the CBS News standard," she said.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said that the communication between Psaki and Palmieri was "common practice."

In another email, the State Department's undersecretary for management Patrick Kennedy told Heather Samuelson, one of Clinton's attorneys, that Politico was publishing a story in which Joyce Barr, assistant secretary of state for administration, said that Clinton's record-keeping practices were "not acceptable."

Kennedy said the Politico story was "wildly inaccurate reporting," but Politico told the Journal that it stands by its story.

Samuelson was one of the attorneys who reviewed Clinton's emails before providing them to the State Department and was later granted limited immunity in the FBI probe.

Adding to the issue over Clinton's emails, Fox News reported that FBI files pointed out two missing boxes of emails.

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Emails show that in early 2015, Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign was in contact with Obama administration officials at the State Department about dealing with issues surrounding her use of a private email server when she was secretary of state...
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Friday, 07 Oct 2016 09:43 AM
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