Secretary Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both took part in a presidential forum last night.
My commentaries have focused so much on Donald Trump lately, I’ve decided to give you a break and discuss Secretary Clinton this time.
The secretary took questions first.
And what do you think was the first question?
If you guessed emails, you’re a smart cookie.
“I communicated about classified material on a wholly separate system. I took it very seriously. When I traveled I went into one of those little tents that I’m sure you’ve seen around the world, because we didn’t want there to be any potential for someone to have embedded a camera to try to see whatever it is that I was seeing that was designated, marked and headed as classified. So, I did– exactly what I should have done and I take it very seriously. Always have. Always will.
That for sure won’t be enough to satisfy Clinton’s critics who believe there is nothing to convince them that she is telling the truth about her use of a private server.
She did, however, get a bit of a reprieve from Congressman Elijah Cummings who released an email exchange between Clinton and Secretary Colin Powell regarding doing state business on devices such as blackberries.
On Friday, Jan 23, 2009 at 7:37AM, Secretary Clinton wrote:
I hope to catch up soon w you, but I have one pressing question which only you can answer!
What were the restrictions on your use of your blackberry? Did you use it in your personal office?”
The former Secretary of State Colin Powell replied in a lengthy email in part:
“I didn’t have a BlackBerry. What I did do was have a personal computer that was hooked up to a private phone line (sounds
ancient.) So I could communicate with a wide range of friends directly without it going through the State Department servers. I even used it to do business with some foreign leaders and some of the senior folks in the Department on their personal email accounts. I did the same thing on the road in hotels.”
He did go on to warn Clinton that her device and the communications could go on to become part of the public record.
Also, last night was a moment that a lot of Clinton supporters had been waiting for – for her to be more forceful instead of trying to come off as the sweet meandering grandmotherly type.
SECRETARY CLINTON – “Our decision was to try and put together an international coalition that included Russia and China, to exert the kind of pressure through sanctions that the United States alone could not do.”
MATT LAUER – “Well, it’s–“
SECRETARY CLINTON – “So– wait, let me finish– MATT LAUER – “I think of it’s–“ SECRETARY CLINTON – “This is an important issue. I know we’re on TV with (UNINTEL) live time.
MATT LAUER – “I wanna get to–“
SECRETARY CLINTON – “I will–“
MATT LAUER – “A lot of questions.”
SECRETARY CLINTON – “I will talk quickly. But I want people to understand this. So yes, I put together the coalition. We imposed the sanctions. We got them to the negotiating table. And after I left we got the agreement. That agreement put a lid on their nuclear weapons program and imposed intrusive inspections. I have said we are going to enforce it to the letter.”
That is the type of discussion that experts on my show told me only Secretary Clinton could have because she is so well versed in policy.
And if she is to win this election that is where she needs to live.
However, Trump and his people know that it is her strength and his Achilles heel.
So, don’t hold your breath if you’re looking for policy to be the focus over the next two months.
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