Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton defended her lack of transparency while dismissing the controversy surrounding her use of a private email server, during an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday.
Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd brought up the subject by first reading an excerpt from an editorial in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which blasted Clinton for her “horrible track record on transparency,” and urged voters to remember that when they cast their votes in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. Here is an extended excerpt from that editorial:
Her horrible track record on transparency raises serious concerns for open government under a Clinton administration — so serious we believe they may disqualify her from public office. We hope Wisconsin voters give this issue the consideration it deserves when they go to the polls on Tuesday.
The issue immediately at hand — and under investigation by the FBI — is Clinton’s use of a private email server for State Department communications. Clinton may have violated national security laws by making top secret documents vulnerable to hackers and available to people without proper security clearance. Violating those laws rightly ended the public service career of Gen. David Petraeus when he was President Barack Obama’s CIA director. The FBI and Justice Department must be free to fully investigate and, if warranted, prosecute Clinton in this matter without any political interference from the Obama administration.
In addition, regardless of Clinton’s excuses, the only believable reason for the private server in her basement was to keep her emails out of the public eye by willfully avoiding freedom of information laws. No president, no secretary of state, no public official at any level is above the law. She chose to ignore it, and must face the consequences.
After Todd quoted from that editorial, he and Clinton had this exchange:
Todd: This issue of secrecy or the accusation that you’re secretive has followed you for quite some time. Is there any way you think you can at least convince Wisconsin voters that’s not the case?
Clinton: Well, it’s just a wrong set of assertions and conclusions, and as you may know, I’ve received the vast majority of newspaper endorsements. They all have the same information. They have all analyzed it, a lot of them have conducted interviews. So let me just say again, I sent emails to government employees on their government accounts. I had every reason to believe that they were in the government system. It was a matter of convenience. I’ve said repeatedly it was not the best choice. It was a mistake, but I think that anybody who’s actually looked at this has concluded that I have now put out all of my emails. Go and ask others for their emails. Ask everybody else who’s in public office. I’m the one who’s done it, and I did it because I thought it was the right thing to do.
Todd: Has the FBI reached out to you yet for an interview?
Clinton: No, I’m not, because I don’t think anything inappropriate was done. I have to let them decide how to resolve their security inquiry, but I’m not at all worried about it.
Clinton wants the public to think that she’s been open and transparent with regard to her email server, but the fact of the matter is that she only relented to releasing her emails after intense pressure to do so. And even though she claims she isn’t worried about the FBI investigation, I’m sure that she and her supporters are considering the possibility that it could potentially lead to her indictment and the end of her political career.