Thursday, October 6, 2016

New Emails Expose White House Helped Clinton Campaign Navigate Server Scandal

The Obama White House was in close contact with the Clinton campaign last year, in handling the candidate’s email controversy.

The scandal surrounding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as the country’s top diplomat have plagued her presidential run. New revelations won’t help put concerns of American voters to rest.

Emails newly obtained by the Republican National Committee, and shared in part with the Wall Street Journal, show communications between the White House and State Department that indicate the Obama Administration coordinated closely with Clinton presidential campaign to address and help manage the controversy.

One email includes a request from the White House for the State Department to arrange it so that Secretary of State John Kerry could avoid discussing Clinton’s email scandal in public. "…Between us on the shows…think we can get this done so he is not asked about the email?" White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri wrote to State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki.

"Good to go on killing CBS idea," Psaki wrote back one day later. "And we are going to hold on any other TV options just given the swirl of crap out there."

Palmieri later left the White House to work on Clinton’s campaign. In response, State Department spokesman John Kirby claimed there was nothing unusual about the exchange between Psaki and Palmieri. "It is common practice for State Department and White House staffers to be in touch when agency officials are potentially conducting television interviews," he said, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Other redacted emails seem to indicate White House discussions about whether Kerry should be prevented from making appearances on Sunday morning talk shows, in order to avoid the Clinton email question from arising.

Another exchange showed a State Department official assuring an attorney for Clinton that the department had not criticized the candidate’s private server use before Congress, despite media reports to the contrary. According to Meredith McGehee, an expert on campaign finance ethics with the nonpartisan advocacy group Issue One, the communications are likely legal since White House staff members are allowed to engage in certain political activity.

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