8 things we learned from the Clinton emails

Photo - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tours the Smuttynose Brewery May 22, 2015 in Hampton, New Hampshire. Clinton has made two trips to New Hampshire since announcing her candidacy on April 12. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tours the Smuttynose Brewery May 22, 2015 in Hampton, New Hampshire. Clinton has made two trips to New Hampshire since announcing her candidacy on April 12. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

The highly selective trove of Hillary Clinton emails released by the State Department Friday revealed both the seemingly strong influence Sidney Blumenthal wielded over the secretary of state and the preoccupation with media coverage exhibited by her closest aides.

If the 296 published emails are to be considered a complete collection, they would suggest Clinton relied almost exclusively on an aide that had been banned from the State Department, Blumenthal, to provide her intelligence on a country at war.

The emails show that Clinton’s staffers often circulated and debated press clippings amongst themselves and occasionally discussed how to respond to certain media criticisms.

They also provide a narrow glimpse of how the State Department’s top ranks operated in the weeks before and after the greatest crisis of Clinton’s tenure.

Clinton asked State Dept. aides to prepare speech for Clinton Foundation

An email dated Sept. 22, 2012 shows Clinton appeared to discuss a speech for the Clinton Global Initiative less than two weeks after the Benghazi attack.

Jake Sullivan, a top Clinton aide, sent Clinton a draft of the speech that day and encouraged her to “let me know your thoughts.”

The entire speech is redacted under a FOIA exemption that allows agencies to hold back internal deliberations.

What is unclear is why Clinton was using State Department aides to prepare a speech for her family’s foundation, or why the text of that draft would be considered an internal government communication.

The day of Benghazi attacks, Clinton asked for a film she made a cameo in

Hours before the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Clinton asked a pair of her top staffers to find her a copy of the Bernard Henri Levy documentary, “The Oath of Tobruk.”

Levy had directed the film about the Libyan war, which featured a cameo from Clinton herself.

But elsewhere in the emails, Levy’s name surfaced again, although it was redacted in the version released by the State Department.

In a memo to Clinton dated March 27, 2011, Blumenthal noted that French President Nicolas Sarkozy had asked Levy, a sociologist, to use his “long established ties to Israel, Syria, and other nations in the Middle East” to assess the level of influence al Qaeda and other terrorist groups wielded in the Libyan government.

‘This will be exciting when it’s FOIA’d’

A light-hearted exchange between Philippe Reines, Thomas Nides and Caroline Adler — all top Clinton aides — revealed the staffers had FOIA in mind when emailing with their government accounts.

Describing an interview Clinton gave to Wall Street Journal reporter Monica Langley in which the reporter sat too close to the secretary, Reines said he didn’t “think you see that behavior among any type of mammal.”

“Was like the dental hygienist rolling around the floor to get the best access to your mouth depending on what tooth she was trying to get access to,” he wrote.

“I may go and throw up since I am laughing so hard,” Nides said.

Adler, who was copied on the chain, added, “this will be exciting when it’s FOIA’d.”

Clinton confused names of slain Americans

In the hours after Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were murdered in a terrorist raid, Clinton sought advice from her aides about when to announce Stevens’ death.

But critics quickly pounced on the fact that Clinton seemingly jumbled the ambassador’s name with that of Sean Smith, a foreign service information management officer who was also killed in the attack, by referring to the slain diplomat as “Chris Smith” instead of Chris Stevens.

Blumenthal and Clinton had secret meeting just after Benghazi attack

Clinton appears to have visited Blumenthal just weeks after the Benghazi attack.

Blumenthal told his old friend it was “great to see you” on October 6, 2012, and encouraged her to “drop in again,” the emails show.

A day later, he invited Bill and Hillary Clinton to his home after the election.

“Post-election, we’d like to have you over for dinner,” Blumenthal wrote. “Bill can come too, if he’s in town. Whatever works.”

“Will do,” she replied.

The exchange was yet another illustration of the close ties between the former Clinton aide and secretary of state that has sparked controversy in recent days.

Emails between Blumenthal and Clinton made up a significant portion of the records released Friday.

In 9 months leading up to Benghazi, there’s only 35 Clinton emails

The State Department emails span most of Clinton’s final two years in office, but the cache contains long stretches of time when either no emails were sent, or none were disclosed.

In the two weeks before the Benghazi attack, Clinton and her staff either did not send each other a single email regarding the atmosphere in Benghazi that led to the death of four Americans in a raid on the U.S. consulate there, or the emails during that time were not disclosed.

In the nine months of 2012 before the Sept. 11 attack, Clinton and her aides exchanged just 35 emails that the secretary of state evidently deemed fit to give the State Department.

Private server emails contained sensitive data FBI classified just hours before release

The FBI classified information in one of Clinton’s emails just hours before their release, the Associated Press reported Friday.

State Department officials told the AP Clinton’s emails from Nov. 18, 2012, contained the names of suspects that had been arrested in Libya in connection with the attacks.

Twenty-three words were redacted from that particular email published on the State Department website.

Reporters pressed State Department spokesperson Marie Harf on why information sensitive enough to be considered classified, even retroactively, was handled on a private server.

“It’s possible that the degree of sensitivity … evolved over time,” Harf said at a briefing Friday.

State Dept. made political, helpful redactions

Leaked emails published by the New York Times just one day before the State Department officially released the email trove show that the agency redacted a number of passages before publishing the documents.

The State Department had redacted parts of emails that revealed officials’ personal opinions about prominent Libyans.

The agency also removed some of Clinton’s own words, such as her suggestion to explore arming the Libyan rebels using “private security experts.”

Clinton’s attempt to warn the White House to prepare for Republican attacks on the Obama campaign using Benghazi as fodder was also redacted, although it is unclear how that information would affect national security.



Memorial Day Thoughts

President Obama has a record of drawing red lines in sand, and as his minion said “look just muscular enough not to be mocked”. Now the Commander-In-Chief of the most powerful country in the world has no detectable shame, and hides under his desk as his self pronounced JV team ISIS spreads terror; and even threatens to behead him with no concern for retaliation. What would a Clinton or other Democrat, or a Republican president like Reagan do? What would an American fighting man or woman who made the ultimate sacrifice for America to protect our freedom say? 






ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has released a call to arms which asks Muslims everywhere to physically join ISIS in the area it now controls or simply take up the struggle against unbelievers wherever they are.

The title of the message “March Forth Whether Heavy or Light” comes from a verse in the Koran which calls on believers to “strive with your wealth and your lives in the cause of Allah.” In Baghdadi’s view that striving is ISIS’s war against unbelievers.

“O Muslims, Islam was never for a day the religion of peace. Islam is the religion of war,” al-Baghdadi says, according to an English language transcript of the speech promoted by ISIS-affiliated social media accounts. The transcript, which was posted online at Downrange, portrays Islam’s Muhammad as a warrior:

Where are you in relation to your Prophet (peace be upon him), whom you claim to emulate, and who spent his whole life (peace be upon him) as a mujāhid for the cause of Allah, fighting His enemies? His lateral incisor tooth was broken in battle, his forehead was wounded, two rings from his chainmail cut his cheeks, his helmet was broken on his head, and blood ran down his face.

Baghdadi frames the necessity of war against unbelievers as a religious duty but also as a necessity, saying, “the Jews, the Christians, and the rest of the disbelievers will not approve of you nor abandon waging war against you until you follow their religion and apostatize from yours.” The only place of safety in this global war between Muslims and unbelievers, Baghdadi says, is with ISIS:

This war is only against you and against your religion. Has the time not come for you to return to your religion and your jihād and thereby bring back your glory, honor, rights, and leadership? Has the time not come for you to know that there is no might nor honor nor safety nor rights for you except in the shade of the Caliphate?… Therefore, O Muslims, seek shelter – after Allah – with the Islamic State.

The final pages of the letter are devoted to praise for the so-called “lions of the Caliphate” who are already fighting for ISIS around the world. In addition to numerous areas within Iraq and Syria, Baghdadi mentions fighters in Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Yemen, and West Africa.

Last month, sources claimed Baghdadi had been seriously injured by an airstrike in Iraq sometime in March. Baghdadi was reportedly recovering but unable to maintain daily control of the terrorist group, however, those reports were not confirmed by U.S. officials. The audio message released Thursday is being viewed by some analysts as proof that Baghdadi (injured or not) is still leading the group.

According to the Iraqi military, ISIS’s 2nd in command Abu Alaa al-Afri was killed in an airstrike this week. That report appears to have been unsupported by any verifiable facts, and U.S. officials are said to be skeptical.


Read More Stories About:

National Security, ISIS, Islam, Jihad, Middle East, Islamic State, islamic extremism, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi


Stephanopoulos, ABC have not fully disclosed Clinton ties: Schweizer

Peter Schweizer

ABC’s anchor much closer to Hillary’s foundation than he told his viewers.


(Photo: Heidi Gutman, ABC)


Fact-driven, fair, aggressive journalism animates American politics. As an investigative journalist, I am accustomed to asking tough questions. When I publish, I expect tough questions in turn,

That’s not what ABC News This Week host and chief anchor George Stephanopoulos delivered when he interviewed me about my new book on the Clinton Foundation last month. There’s a reason. Though Stephanopoulos belatedly disclosed$75,000 in donations to the foundation, he has yet to disclose his much deeper relationship with the Clinton Foundation.

When Stephanopoulos invited me on his Sunday program, I knew that he had worked as a top adviser and campaign manager to President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, but I didn’t know about his donations or his other ties to the foundation founded and overseen by the former president and his wife, potential future president Hillary Clinton.


Wolff: Stephanopoulos donation furor overdone

I agreed to be interviewed, expecting a robust examination of my new book, Clinton Cash, and my reporting on the Clintons’ accumulation of massive personal wealth, cronyism and the lack of transparency surrounding the Clintons’ foundation.

I expected probing questions, similar to the ones I’ve received from Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC, Chris Wallace on Fox News and Frank Sesno on CNN.

What I did not expect — what no one expected — was the sort of “hidden hand journalism” that has contributed to America’s news media’s crisis of credibility in particular, and Americans’ distrust of the news media more broadly.

If Stephanopoulos had disclosed his donations to the very foundation I was there to talk about, perhaps it would have put the aggressive posture of his interview with me in context.

But he didn’t.

And even though he has apologized to his viewers for keeping this information from both his audience and his bosses, there is much that Stephanopoulos has yet to disclose to his viewers. Indeed, far from being a passive donor who strokes Clinton Foundation checks from afar, a closer look reveals that Stephanopoulos is an ardent and engaged Clinton Foundation advocate.

For example, in his on air apology for this ethical mess, Stephanopoulos did not disclose that in 2006 he was a featured attendee and panel moderator at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).


Only the Clintons seem blind to foundation’s conflicts: Our view


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He did not disclose that in 2007, he was a featured attendee at the CGI annual meeting, a gathering also attended by several individuals I report on in Clinton Cash, including mega Clinton Foundation donors Lucas Lundin, Frank Giustra, Frank Holmes, and Carlos Slim — individuals whose involvement with the Clintons I assumed he had invited me on his program to discuss.

Stephanopoulos did not disclose that he was a 2008 panelist at the CGI annual meeting which, once again, featured individuals I report on in the book, such as billionaire Clinton Foundation foreign donor Denis O’Brien.

ABC’s most visible news employee did not disclose that in 2009, he served as a panel moderator at CGI’s annual meeting, nor did he disclose that in 2010 and 2011, he was an official CGI member.

Stephanopoulos did not disclose that in 2013 and 2014, he and Chelsea Clintonserved as CGI contest judges for awards, in part, underwritten by Laureate International Universities — a for-profit education company I report on in the book. Bill Clinton was on its payroll until his recent resignation.

Obviously, Stephanopoulos has favorable feelings toward Hillary and Bill Clinton; he gives their foundation his money and his time. Big-time news media personalities have one thing in very short supply — time. Regular participation in Clinton Foundation events shows a deeper commitment to the Clintons than just the donations.


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NBC made the right call to suspend Williams: Our view

Perhaps if Stephanopoulos weren’t so close to the subject of my book, he might have asked me about my reporting on Hillary Clinton’s brother, Tony Rodham, serving on the board of a company that scored a coveted and rare gold mining permit in Haiti as the Clintons directed the flow of U.S. Agency for International Development dollars. (AsThe Washington Post reported, Rodham met those mining executives at a CGI meeting.)

Indeed, Stephanopoulos could have pounded away at all the book’s news. He chose not to. Instead, he made sure to highlight the four months I wrote speeches forPresident George W. Bush and my long past financial supporters, all while keeping quiet about his deep and longstanding involvement in the Clintons’ foundation, and thethree annual checks for $25,000 that he wrote.

What ABC News’ top anchor has done is far different than the “honest mistake” ABC called it in a statement earlier this week.

I asked ABC News about the fact that this information was yet to be disclosed to ABC viewers, and mostly they avoided my questions, releasing a statement that reads in full, “Yes, George made us aware that he was moderating these panels and that is absolutely within our guidelines. We know that he would be listed as a member — as all moderators are. He is in good company of scores of other journalists that have moderated these panels.”

That, however, is not at all what the Clinton Foundation website says about CGI membership. Read for yourself. Whether ABC News will ultimately punish Stephanopoulos is unclear.

What is certain is that Stephanopoulos’ ethical malpractice and hidden-hand journalism have done further injury to an essential, if beleaguered, institution, one already battling to preserve legitimacy.

That’s news no one can celebrate.

Peter Schweizer is the author of Clinton Cash and president of the Government Accountability Institute.

In addition to its own editorials, USA TODAY publishes diverse opinions from outside writers, including our Board of Contributors. To read more columns like this, go to theOpinion front page.



Two 2015 Commencement Addresses – One lifts up the graduates


Denzel Washington – 2015 Dillard University Commencement Speech
An amazing speech! The kind of speech that should be given at EVERY high school and college commencement ceremony!

Fresh off the heels of being an Internet meme sensation after attending Floyd Mayweather’s fight in Las Vegas, Denzel Washington gave a riveting commencement speech at Dillard University in New Orleans. Washington’s speech was filled with religious overtones but also gave students some basic fundamentals for life.

“Put God first in everything you do. Everything that I have is by the grace of God, understand that. It’s a gift. I didn’t always stick with him, but he stuck with me,” Washington told the students.

Washington told the Dillard grads that when it came to grades, like many college students, he wasn’t a perfect student, but he hoped that they didn’t follow his path. He shared his story of flunking out of college but then finally completing his degree at Fordham University.

Washington also implored students to make a difference, not just a paycheck, when it comes to their career goals.

He referred to positive direction that his mother gave him that has helped guide him through life.

“I don’t care how much money you make; you can’t take it with you. It’s not how much you have, it’s what you do with it,” Washington stated. Washington also advised students against focusing on material possessions. He used the old adage: “You will never see a U-Haul behind a hearse.”

Michelle Obama’s Full Speech at Tuskegee University 2015

Pertinent comment shared below from Facebook.

She was horrible, her speech was horrible; she continues the racial divide in this country that her and her husband have prided themselves on. It’s always black & white to them; nothing more…nothing less. You would think we were still in the 60’s or even in the cotton fields the way she talked; she complained about everything. One of the most successful individuals in the country complained throughout the whole speech. Life for all is full of challenges, ups & downs, highs & lows; that’s life. But she and her husband feel life has done them wrong; btw, they are the first family of the United States! But by the way she was talking you wouldn’t think that. Instead of truly inspiring the graduates of the great Tuskegee as they enter Into a vast world of wondrous opportunity for all that believe they are a beautiful creation of God, she instilled doubt, fear, worry, apprehension, and divide in them.To sum it up, obama and his wife hate Booker T. Washington for calling them out over a 100 years ago. But Booker T. Washington was the wiser…””There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs. There is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don’t want the patient to get well.”

Denzel Washington – 2015 Dillard University Commencement Speech



The Obamas Have Spent Over $44,351,777.12 In Taxpayer Cash On Travel

Obama’s Have Spent Over $44,351,777.12 on Vacations
The Obamas have spent over 44 million dollars in taxpayer money on travel and vacations. Some are even calling him the



Everyone is racist at me!! – Michelle Obama’s whiny, self-centered commencement speech

Published on May 10, 2015

There’s nothing like the wife of the most powerful man in the world whining that someone made fun of her in the media. Most commencement speakers try to inspire students with hope for the future, but Michelle Obama brought her best race-baiting speech and made sure to indoctrinate everyone into the dreary 


Michelle Obama Miiiiight Have Wanted To Reference What Tuskegee U’s Founder Said Before Giving Her Stupid, Race-Baiting Commencement Address.

 Written by  

Earlier this past week, we wrote about Michelle Obama’s horrific commencement address at Tuskegee University, an HBC in Alabama.  If you missed that, you can catch up right here.  In short, it was typical Michelle.  Angry, bitter, pessimistic, discouraging, race-baiting Michelle. It was all wrong for a commencement address, but totally typical.

And according to this piece by Jeannie DeAngelis, it was absolutely contrary to the attitude of the founder of Tuskegee, Booker T Washington.  Washington loathed the kind of victimization that both Michelle and her husband cultivate.

Jeannie points to these words written by Booker T Washington back in 1911:

There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.

Michelle used her time at the podium to whine about how hard it has been for her to be black.  At a commencement address.And as Jeannie’s column further pointed out, in Up from Slavery Booker T. Washington wrote:

The wisest among my race understand that agitations of social equality is the extremist folly, and that progress in the enjoyment of all privileges that will come to us must be the result of severe and constant struggle rather than of artificial forcing.

Compare, if you will, the struggles that Booker T Washington faced as a black man over a centruy ago, to the struggles Michelle complains about facing today, and then just ponder how ridiculous it is that she’s so freaking bitter and race-baity.  Washington founded Tuskegee on hope and optimism, and Michelle basically trashed it in her tone-deaf, pointless, useless speech.

Jeannie said it best in her conclusion:

…when matched against the stature of a man like Booker T. Washington, the real loss was the first African-American first lady’s decision to taint the Tuskegee commencement with an acrimonious attitude of despair and anger that Booker T. would never have endorsed.

That’s damn right.



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