Hillary Clinton

Saying 'I Make No Excuses' for Mishandling Classified Material, Clinton Offers New One

The Democratic nominee continues to minimize her email "mistake" at the State Department.


NBC News

During last night's presidential candidate forum in New York, moderator Matt Lauer asked Hillary Clinton about her use of a personal email system as secretary of state:

Lauer: You said you made not the best choice. You were communicating on highly sensitive topics. Why wasn't it more than a mistake? Why wasn't it disqualifying, if you want to be commander-in-chief?

Clinton: Well, Matt, first of all, as I have said repeatedly, it was a mistake to have a personal account. I would certainly not do it again. I make no excuses for it. It was something that should not have been done.

"I make no excuses for it"? That is all Clinton did for months after The New York Times revealed her email practices in March 2015.

A week after that report, she claimed she "fully complied with every rule," "went above and beyond what I was requested to do," and "did not email any classified material to anyone." She also said she "opted for convenience to use my personal email account, which was allowed by the State Department, because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two."

As investigations by the State Department's inspector general and the FBI later showed, none of that was true. Clinton did not comply with every rule, she did not turn over all her work-related email to the State Department, she did email classified material, her use of a private email account was contrary to State Department policy, and she carried multiple devices despite saying she sought to avoid them.

In August 2015, Clinton conceded using a private email server "clearly wasn't the best choice," adding, "I take responsibility for that decision." Revising her earlier claim about sensitive material in her email, she said she was confident "I never sent, nor received, any email that was marked classified." According to the FBI, that was not true either.

Less than two weeks after Clinton supposedly took responsibility for not making the best choice, she was asked if she owed Americans an apology for the email controversy. "I am sorry that this has been confusing to people and has raised a lot of questions," she told NBC News. A few days later, she told the Associated Press there was no reason for her to apologize, because "what I did was allowed."

The next day, six months after the New York Times report, Clinton finally uses the m-word to describe her email practices, telling ABC News, "That was a mistake. I'm sorry about that. I take responsibility." Since then, however, Clinton has repeatedly sought to minimize her mistake, as when she falsely claimed that FBI Director James Comey had certified her inaccurate public statements as "truthful." In that same interview, Clinton falsely implied that retroactive classification accounts for any classified material in her email and passed the buck to "over 300 people" with whom she communicated by email, saying she relied on their judgments about the propriety of the conversations she had with them.

But that was then. Last night Clinton spoke in the present tense about what Comey called her "extremely careless" handling of sensitive communications, saying, "I make no excuses for it." Maybe she meant she had resolved to stop making excuses from that moment on.

If so, her resolve did not last long, because she immediately rolled out a new excuse. "Classified material has a header which says 'top secret,' 'secret,' 'confidential,'" she said. "Nothing—and I will repeat this, and this is verified in the report by the Department of Justice—none of the e-mails sent or received by me had such a header." So it's not that there was no classified material in Clinton's unsecured email, or that it was not classified at the time, or that it was not marked as classified—three earlier excuses that have been overtaken by the facts. Rather, Clinton now says, none of it carried a header indicating its classified status, as opposed to markings within the text.

Clinton may have finally settled on an excuse that happens to be true, but she is still trying to dodge the responsibility she claims to accept. As Lauer pointed out, Comey said "any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton's position should have known that an unclassified system was no place" for conversations involving top secret information, whether or not it was marked as such.

Clinton nevertheless stuck with her new excuse when she was questioned by a member of the audience, Lt. John Lester, an Air Force and Navy veteran who said he used to have "a top secret sensitive compartmentalized information clearance." If he had been caught "not following prescribed protocols," Lester said, "I would have been prosecuted and imprisoned." His question: "How can you expect those such as myself who were and are entrusted with America's most sensitive information to have any confidence in your leadership as president when you clearly corrupted our national security?"

Clinton's answer combined the "no headers" excuse with the "everybody was doing it" excuse: "What we have here is the use of an unclassified system by hundreds of people in our government to send information that was not marked. There were no headers." Clinton assured Lester that when she saw classified documents that carried headers indicating their status, "I did exactly what I should have done, and I take it very seriously, always have, always will."

That commitment should finally put this controversy to rest. After all, what reason do voters have to doubt Clinton's word?

NEXT: Brickbat: Treetop Hideaway

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  1. Get ready for four years of Clinton speak coming from the White House.

    1. I don’t think she is going to win. She had her chance to put Trump away in August and didn’t do it. Trump seems to be getting better as a candidate and Hillary just gets worse.

      1. She’s a terrible candidate for the Democrats. And any of the August Ten — even Carson, or even the second string at the kiddies’ table — other than Trump would have double digits on Clinton right now.

        But Trump is such an ass that he has a difficult job to convince the electorate that he’s not as bad as Hillary.

        1. Have you actually listened to his speeches lately? They are lot better than they have been. His speech in Detroit to that black church was really good. His new campaign manager has seemed to have reined him in a lot. He has never run for office before this. He is figuring it out as he goes and he is getting better.

          It is an article of faith among a certain kind of person that Trump is this horrible evil ass who wants to destroy all that is good and righteous. Saying that is the way of showing that you are not one of those no good lazy racist pieces of white trash garbage whose support Trump has the audacity to take. There is no worse person on earth in this country than a working class or poor white person. And Trump has to do a lot to get over the original sin of giving those people any attention or letting them think they in any way matter to anyone or anything.

          When you get past all of that emotion and neurosis about his supporters, you find Trump is basically a centrist Republican. I suspect most people will figure that out and if the polls are to be believed are figuring that out.

          And don’t kid yourself. If Carson were the nominee, you would be saying the exact same things about him that you are saying about Trump. Carson would have same original sin of having the wrong supporters that Trump does.

          1. I know three people who say the same thing.

            “I never heard his speeches before. After I actually sat down and listened to his speeches he’s pretty good.”

            I think there might be a lot more of that going on that most realize.

            1. The problem is that VERY FEW people will pay much attention to anything but what the MSM tell them. Just read how Trumps words last night are reported – “he would get rid of the generals” “he thinks he knows more than the generals”. And nary a word about Herself.

              “Hildog, are you saying that unless a doc has clear markings that it is secret/confidential you could not determine that it was secret? Do you have so little judgment? Do you not even trust your own judgment?”

              1. Yeah, the people saying other candidates would do better than Trump don’t realize that the media is so corrupt that any other candidate would be painted to look exactly like Trump.

            2. If (and it’s a big if) Trump manages to seem reasonable in the debates as he has in some of his speeches, then he will probably run away with the election. Clinton is still the safe bet, though, but she probably would have been easily defeated by anyone with some competence and a bit of fight in them (which does not describe half of the Reps who ran in the primary).

          2. This morning on Imus they played a clip of Bill Clinton explaining that “make America great again” is a secret code to white southern racists.

            Then they played multiple clips of Bill himself saying he was going to make America great again.

            1. It depends on what the meaning of the word “great” is.

            2. That’s beautiful. 😀

          3. Nah, totally different. Trump is unintelligible, Carson is just soporific.

          4. It is an article of faith among a certain kind of person that Trump is this horrible evil ass who wants to destroy all that is good and righteous.

            He destroyed the USFL because he didnt want to be a minor league owner.

            It had to be HUUUUGE or nothing.

            He doesnt understand small business. His ego wont allow him too. Its the wrong mindset for being President too. Although, to be fair, its the mindset of most who run for President.

            Could you imagine Trump on Shark Tank? He would scoff at ideas that might only be worth a few million.

          5. Trump is only tolerable in the sense that he isn’t Clinton. The thing about Trump seems to be that you can cherry pick his statements to string together a caricature of a tolerable candidate, but it requires you to ignore vast swaths of things he’s said.

            Your contention that his new campaign manager is doing a good job is likely true, but all that really means is that people have told Trump to stop talking precisely because of the idiotic bullshit that comes out of his face fully half of the times he opens it. When a candidate suddenly becomes more palatable when they hire, say, a new speech writer did the candidate actually get better or did they buy themselves more marketable lies?

            Would I prefer Trump over Clinton? Absolutely. Will I vote for Trump to block Clinton? Absolutely not. I do not trust Trump, even if he’s theoretically the lesser evil. As Obama proved, just because a politician doesn’t have a track record doesn’t mean they’ll do a good job. It just means it’s harder to nail them down on anything before the election.

            1. Rookie makes rookie mistakes! In other news, water still wet, Sky still blue.

              1. Is it a rookie mistake to say that you believe that Ted Cruz’s father helped assassinate JFK? I guess.

                A lot of people are choosing to forget the last six months to a year, or cherry pick from those months, because Trump managed to finally hire some people who make him look like less of an incompetent politician with no deeply held beliefs or concrete opinions on issues. It’s what I expect of a candidate that just won a brutal primary, but this is an example of why you never go full retard during primary season.

                Go ahead and take a gander at Trump’s various idea’s on immigration. If you’re for Trump, you can construct yourself a delicious meal out of the immigration view you prefer. You can construct it out of the veritable buffet of varying Trump opinions on immigration, precisely because he’s had so many different views.

                Obama pulled much the same schtick only he had full cover of the media and the appearance of being a reasonable adult in a shitty situation inherited from another shitty President. How well did that work out for us? Are we to believe that someone pulling the same crap, only less competently, is going to be better? Maybe better than Hillary, but still abysmal by any other measure.

      2. She’s gonna win.

        And like Fist said, get ready for this mendacious twat and her insulting babblespeak.

        The Lt. was right. Anyone else is in PRISON which is exactly where she should be; or at least not running for President.

        1. All I know is that Canuck assess were kicked in the Bronx this week.

          1. Is that a way to treat tourists?

            /flips bat.

          2. Kicked right out of first place.

          3. Mitchell and Severino and seven shutout innings? Who saw that coming? That was awesome.

      3. I agree with you – I don’t think she’s going to win. And it’s going to cost me a bundle plus I’ll have egg on my face.

    2. Started working at home! It is by far the best job I have ever had. I just recently purchased a Brand new BMW since getting a check for $25470 this 8-week past. I began this 6 months ago and I am now bringing home at least $92 per hour. Go to this website and click tech tab to start your own business…. http://goo.gl/LtI1C0

    3. My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do… http://www.14earnpath.com

  2. I take full responsibility, which of course means that I suffer no consequences.

    1. The old Janet Reno defense. Saying you take responsibility is the entire extent of your punishment.

  3. “I take responsibility for that decision.”

    “Therefore, to avoid the distinct possibility of being blackmailed by foreign powers should I become President, I am immediately suspending my campaign.”

  4. So we went from:
    There was no head
    There was no header

    1. elegant synopsis with historical reference.

  5. Democrat Party nominee Hitlery Kkklinton?

    The Libertarian Party standard-bearer, Gary Johnson, describes her as:

    Hillary Clinton, a wonderful public servant, I guess I would say that.

    1. We get it SIV. The Johnson is a terrible candidate, but why all the hate? He skews a bit left and the only votes he is going to get are otherwise Cankles voters. He could throw the election for her which would be a great service to the country.

      Suppose, miracle of miracles, he were to win. He might be a bit of a squish, but he’s not a bad guy. How bad would that be?

      *He would probably shit his pants and abdicate

      1. It’s got nothing to do with Johnson and everything to do with SIV’s creepy obsession with Trump. He’s afflicted with whatever’s the opposite of TDS.

        1. Bullshit, asshole.

          I was anti-Johnson in 2012*, and I never once even suggested or implied anyone vote for the GOP candidate.

          The Republican running as the Libertarian Party nominee should not be rewarded with libertarian votes.

          (* GayJay was nowhere near as bad then as he is now)

          1. I get it, and I mostly agree, I just don’t understand why all the hate. I look at Johnson and all I can muster is ‘Meh’.

          2. Dude, you’ve been slagging the guy with glee for months. Yes, he doesn’t stand a chance. We get it, you’re bullish on Trump.

            1. Trump eats a lot of pineapple just for SIV.

              1. And I’m pulling for Trump now. If it’s four years of indulging the vapid fantasies of dumb nationalists so that the country can repudiate Obama, Clinton et al., so be it. But I’m not kidding myself that Trump is a hero to libertarians.

                1. No, he definitely is not. He is the lesser of two evils by miles, but he is no champion of liberty.

                2. I can’t decide. On one hand, I’d like to hang the economy around Hillary’s neck, although I’d almost certainly be on the losing end of things there myself, being lower economic status. On the other hand, I really don’t want Hillary to pack the Supreme Court. Trump’s picks for the slot might be bad. Hillary’s will be known bad.

                  I’m still voting Johnson. But of the two, I guess I’d prefer Trump win. Blech.

                  1. Yep, if I had to vote, it would never be for Hillary.

        2. He’s afflicted with whatever’s the opposite of TDS.

          STD? Remember, SIV is the simian form of HIV and can be transmitted to humans.

      2. He skews a bit left and the only votes he is going to get are otherwise Cankles voters.

        Gary Johnson has the endorsement of the 2012 GOP nominee, Mitt Romney.

          1. What is Aleppo?

            1. Well look at that. I didn’t understand what you were referring to. I just saw it on the news.


            2. Aren’t you glad I didn’t say “Banana” – Gary Johnson

  6. 350B hike in the income tax
    275B hike on the business tax
    400B hike in ‘fairness’ tax – capital gains and death tax
    Capital gains tax hike on the ‘tyranny of todays earnings reports’, whatever the fuck that means
    Taxes on 401Ks, IRAs and savings accounts
    Exit taxes on companies that leave the country or are located overseas.

    She has sworn to overturn Citizens United and Heller. She has sworn to shut down news organizations that the thinks ‘have no right to exist’. She fully backs prosecution for climate deniers. She wants a 25% tax on firearms purchases. She supports a carbon tax.

    You read that right…Donald Trump is literally Hitler.

    You cant make this shit up.

    1. The list is long. I forgot to include her plan to dictate prices to the private sector and punish those who don’t comply. If you like your aspirin you can keep your aspirin. All you have to do is get online and beg foreign strangers to send your child’s medication through the mail.

      Yep, Trump is a fascist. No doubt about it.

  7. Derpbook is full of people calling on Matt Lauer to be fired for his partisanship.
    Get a load of this: “How dare Matt L go so hard on Hillary and go easy on Trump”

    It has to be sarcasm, right? Right?

    1. This made me laugh. Hard on Hillary…

      The words ‘hard’ and ‘Hillary’ do not belong in the same sentence.

      1. I thought Matt L took a different approach interviewing the 2 candidates: Shillary he let ramble (and violate his rules_, Trump he kept interrupting

        1. The NYT commenters are livid at Lauer, and think he interrupted H too much and was too easy on T.

          Of course!

      2. She looked pretty miffed at the retired Lieutenant.

    2. The prog media is sending the message early that they expect active, interventionist debate moderators to protect Hillary ala Crowley in 2012.

    3. I guess anything less than a big sloppy wet kiss for Hillary is shocking to the progtards.

      1. Yeah. My centrist Democrat wife, who is totally in the tank for Clinton because she thinks that Trump will get us all killed but nevertheless agrees that Hillary is an unindicted felon, thought Lauer was excellent at not letting either candidate off on their bullshit.

        I can neither agree nor disagree since I’m staying as far away from this shit show as possible. I’m halfheartedly rooting for Trump out of a combination of schadenfreude and the belief that Hillary’s rampant criminality should not be rewarded, but really I just hope the debate hall blows up when they meet.

    4. There is a live feed on Daily Kos just chock full of whining about how horribly Lauer treated Her Royal Highness. Jeebus, that shit is funny. I laughed my ass off.

      1. Poor, poor Granny.

    5. I only caught a couple of minutes and lap dog Lauer was actually trying to guide her nonsensical rambling answer and thats when i quit watching

  8. What is she making no excuses for? I thought she did nothing wrong.

    1. She has repeatedly admitted it was a mistake to do nothing wrong, and she takes full responsibility.

      The woman just oozes integrity.

  9. If everyone does it, then perhaps nailing her wrinkled ass to the wall would have the salubrious effect of ensuring nobody does it anymore.

    Also, didn’t she or her aides request that classified documents be stripped of their headers when being sent be email? No forethought there, of course.

    And lastly: she attempted to hide her State Department business from the public. Full stop. That alone is totally damning, whatever her attitude vis-a-vis classified documents.

    1. There are so many full stops with her it’s hard to know where to start.

      Her lawyers destroyed her emails after they were under subpoena. WTF doesnt go to jail for that?

      1. *Many* heads deserve to roll for H’s bullshit.

        Unfortunately, deserve’s got nothing to do with it.

        1. If you want heads to roll, vote for Trump. I never thought I’d say it, but the powers that be are pissing me off.

      2. And, her lawyers were not cleared to view classified information, yet they ‘reviewed’ all of her emails. So she knowingly and deliberately turned over classified information to unauthorized recipients. Which people generally go to jail for.

      3. “Her lawyers destroyed her emails after they were under subpoena.”

        Oh come on now, it was just an Oopsie moment to delete the emails. And the archives. And then to use (an I’m not making this shit up) a product called BleachBit on the server.

        Hey it was an honest mistake that anyone could make.

        Also, check out BleachBit’s site. They now have the quote by Rep. Trey Gowdy posted to the right.


  10. One commenter on the story elsewhere noted that the real question that should be asked of Hillary is:

    Exlplain how the United States information classification system works….

    It’s an absolutely brilliant question to ask because at this point in time it’s completely clear that she has no fucking idea how classification works….

    1. The problem is that most Americans have no clue.

      The classified header thing is such absolute bullshit already.

      1. Because the sequential (C) begged the question of – where are (A) and (B)?

        1. Since her strokeallergy attacks, she doesn’t recognize any letters other than “C” anymore.

    2. And it’s a terrific rook fork: if she acknowledges knowing nothing she looks incompetent, if she recites the rules knowingly she looks like a crook.

    3. Note that every State Department employee learns the classification rules within their first week of landing there.

      1. Shit, when I was in the Marines, I was just a lowly lance coolie who worked with classified material, and the rules and the consequences of breaking them were explained to me in great detail. Somehow I managed to grasp it.

        1. you managed to grasp the rules because you knew you’d get in trouble. when you know no one can touch you you have no need to know any of the rules just like Hillary

      2. Every State Department employee except ONE apparently….

    4. “Mrs. Clinton, as Secretary of State you were an Original Classification Authority. Without going into specifics, please describe how you went about determining to classify one item.”

      1. “Oh, that’s easy. I chucked it at Huma and said ‘Here, take care of this’.”

  11. “I accept full responsibility” means it’s in the past, it’s over and done with, let’s move on. Whether you’re selling secrets to scumbags in Saudi Arabia or burning little children alive in Waco, Texas, “I accept full responsibility” just means “what difference, at this point, does it make?”

  12. Fine. Throw them both in jail.

    Powell can transition and Hillary can become a big house Muslim.

    1. And Petraeus? Sentenced to never consorting with biographers again?

      Oh, wait, he actually served a sentence. Broke the law, was convicted. Funny how that works.

      1. Petraeus wasn’t too big to prosecute. Even though he did far less than Hillary.

    1. Remember when Bush was accused of having an entire sound system on his back in the 2004 debates with Kerry after he won the first one? Me neither! This is surely just more dirty, misogynistic Republican lies.

    2. Of course she was.

      Didn’t you see how she had to get out all her talking points despite the moderator trying desperately to rein her in?

    3. The headline is ‘Was she wearing an earpiece?’ and then shows a close-up photo of her obviously wearing an earpiece.

      1. Earpiece, Hairpiece, Merkin.


      2. In fairness it could be a hearing aid.





    4. Could the Russians hack her earpiece?

    5. Hillary doesn’t need an earpiece, she has a remote controlled brain implant. Occasionally, it glitches.

  13. Hillary says “I make no excuses” in the way Ricky Bobby says “With all due respect”

    1. I can’t wait for Ferrel to pull a Mrs. Doubtfire in the upcoming H mockumentary.

  14. “What we have here is the use of an unclassified system by hundreds of people in our government to send information that was not marked. There were no headers.”

    Excuse me, Madame Fucking Secretary, but those people were working for you. You were in charge of the State Department. Do you have some dim notion what that means? It means you are responsible when your subordinates commit federal felonies on the job, like mishandling classified material.

    1. She’ll have a sign on her desk in the Oval Office that says “The Buck Stops Elsewhere.”

      1. It says:

        Anything less than a million bucks is chump change. Next!!

  15. Nice write-up, Jacob.

  16. I cannot stand the woman. Truly.

  17. “Classified material has a header which says ‘top secret,’ ‘secret,’ ‘confidential,'” she said. “Nothing?and I will repeat this, and this is verified in the report by the Department of Justice?none of the e-mails sent or received by me had such a header.”

    The handling of classified materials improperly is NOT dependent on whether or not that material is marked classified or how that material is marked classified. While he statement may actually be true in a sense is of no consequence. It is the information not the document that is classified and it is the responsibility of the person viewing it to understand whether or not that information should be classified. Time and time again she should have insisted that the unmarked documents be marked and confined to appropriate channels. That is the responsibility identified in the document that she signed and “can’t remember signing.” Furthermore, anyone, I repeat anyone who takes the job of SoS should be intelligent enough to simply assume that they will be sent a good deal of classified, compartmented information. Stupidity is not an excuse for committing a crime. Except, she is not stupid. The setting up of this system was purposeful and not for the reasons she has given. The avoidance of FOI was purposeful, wonder why? I wonder why her buddy Sid was in possession of information that one should have to view in a SKIF lab?

    Amazing that this country is about to put basically a crime family in a position of extreme power.

    1. Yes,but what is she going to do – admit she lied? She lied from the start and she’s still lying?

      It’s our problem we are confused and it’s our mistake we don’t trust her.

      1. I know she’s a fucking liar. I have known that for most of my adult life. What I want is for the fucking press to honestly dig into what’s happening. Such as, the likelihood that she, State and the Clinton Foundation conspired with foreign powers to create wars for profit.

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  19. She meant to say “I make no old excuses, only new ones.”

  20. Geez, Bart Simpson is better at making up excuses for his stupid crap.

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