On Monday, President Obama and Vladimir Putin had a meeting at the United Nations. All Putin wanted from it was a photo of the two men huddling together. The Russian president needed to show his people that he’s still a major player on the world stage, a big man driving events. Obama, who spent much of the last year trying to isolate the butcher of Ukraine, gave Putin exactly what he wanted. In wall-to-wall coverage, Russian media celebrated the big man’s diplomatic triumph and his geo-strategic genius.But don't worry. We're on the case.
What was Obama’s price for granting Putin this PR windfall? The leader of the free world made the Russian autocrat listen to another tedious lecture about how Putin doesn’t understand his country’s interests as well as Obama does. No doubt Putin would have preferred to avoid yet another seminar on how the word should work. But if Paris was worth a mass for Henry IV, no doubt Syria (and not just Syria) was worth yet another sonorous tutorial about the moral arc of the universe doing jobs our president won’t.
#share#While Obama droned on about the importance of cooperation and communication, Putin was probably counting the minutes until he could get back to reviewing Syrian targets for his bombers.
It didn’t take long for Putin to reveal what he thinks of Obama’s sermons on the importance of communication. On Wednesday, a three-star Russian general marched into the U.S. embassy in Baghdad and issued a démarche — a fancy diplomatic word for a formal, non-negotiable declaration. The general reportedly instructed U.S. officials that Russia would commence airstrikes within the hour and that American forces had better clear out. In diplomatic terms, it was somewhere between a white-gloved slap in the face and a spit in the eye.
A State Department spokesman later said, “We’ve seen media reporting that has suggested Russian missions have begun.”
There’s a nice irony here in that Obama has often said that he only learned about the failures of his administration — corruption at the IRS, malfeasance at the VA, etc. — from media reports. So perhaps Putin thought this was the way Obama liked to be informed of unfortunate events.
Then, Kerry issued this less-than-blistering denunciation: “I relayed and reiterated the concerns that I expressed in the course of the U.N. Security Council meeting which was led by Russia today: concerns that we have about the nature of the targets, the type of targets, and the need for clarity with respect to them. And it is one thing obviously to be targeting ISIL. We’re concerned, obviously, if that is not what is happening.”
No doubt our friends are reassured by the news that if Russia bombs them, America will immediately respond by expressing our “concerns.”
At the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Ash Carter convened a press conference where he brought all the urgency of a faculty department chair assigning new parking spaces. He did say that he takes the Russians “at their word.”
“My problem isn’t that I don’t understand what they’re doing,” Carter said. “I think my problem is that I think what they’re doing is going to backfire and is counterproductive.”
This is the Obama doctrine in a nutshell. The president’s favorite rhetorical trope is to justify withdrawing from the world on the grounds that the “international community” will fill the vacuum created by our abdication. But the international community’s troops always stay in their barracks. Meanwhile, bad actors — Russia, China, Iran, et al. — seize the opening. Our president responds with mournful words that doing so is not in the villains’ interests. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, and Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s bombing of his own people demonstrate, according to Obama, that they are on “the wrong side of history.”
Having made his pronouncement, the ostrich buries his head back in the sand.
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Jim Geraghty nails it. The Obama administration seems determined to see Putin as they want to see him, rather than as he really is.
Russia lies all the time. They insisted the Malaysian jetliner was shot down by a fighter jet. They lied about Russian forces in Ukraine. Putin boasted about how people believed his lies about sending troops into Crimea.Geraghty links to this tweet by Nancy Youssef, the Daily Beast national security correspondent.
It’s easy to forget Putin spent his entire early adult life in the service of a regime that was willing to relentlessly repeat the biggest lies imaginable about the most important issues. The old Soviet Union didn’t say anything at all about the Chornobyl nuclear meltdown for two days. Six days later, May Day parades and events went on as scheduled, including in Kiev, 90 miles from the still-burning, radioactive-cloud-emitting plant. No warnings to the local population were made until nearly two weeks later. Mikhail Gorbachev didn’t mention anything about it in public for nearly three weeks. The number of radiation-related cancer deaths in Eastern Europe may reach the tens of thousands.
To Putin, these were the good old days. He and the other men and women of the old KGB are ruthless liars who don’t care how many people get killed. The Obama administration has been in psychological denial about this since the “reset button” ceremony.
There is a longstanding American tradition of refusing to believe that hostile states and leaders are genuinely hostile, and insisting that they can be brought to reason if we just reach out to them correctly. There’s an oft-repeated anecdote of Senator William Borah saying, in September 1939, after Germany invaded Poland, “Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler -- all this might have been averted.”
What’s fascinating is that foreign-policy minds who have no problem seeing their country as the villain in the narrative -- calling for “respect” and “empathy” for our enemies -- somehow can’t believe that their opponents actually hate them.
Vladimir Putin hates us. I know, it isn’t fair. Most of us have never met the guy. But he thinks his country should be the biggest, baddest dog on the block, and up until recently, we held that title. He wants us taken down a peg at every possible opportunity.
Mitt Romney called it back in 2012, “This is without question our No. 1 geopolitical foe. They fight for every cause for the world’s worst actors.” Obama scoffed at the assessment as outdated Cold War thinking.
And Geraghty reminds us that Marco Rubio exactly predicted what is happening now during the CNN debate a couple of weeks ago.
Overheard at the Pentagon: "Right now, we are Putin's prison bitch."— Nancy Youssef, نانسى (@nancyayoussef) September 30, 2015
It’s pretty straightforward: He wants to reposition Russia once again as a geopolitical force. He himself said that the destruction of the Soviet Union, the fall of the Soviet Union, was the greatest catastrophe of the 20th century. And now he’s trying to reverse that. He’s trying to destroy NATO. He is exploiting a vacuum that this administration has left in the Middle East. Here’s what you’re going to see in the next few weeks: The Russians will begin to fly combat missions in that region -- not just targeting ISIS, but in order to prop up Assad.
David French reminds us why we should not have any feeling of security that Russia will bring security to Syria and help us out to destroy ISIS.
First, Putin wants Russia to supplant the United States as the pre-eminent world power in the Middle East. By forging closer ties with Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Hezbollah, Putin hopes to build an alliance that stretches from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf — an alliance that explicitly includes and incorporates known American enemies and is implacably hostile to American allies like the Israelis and the Kurds.
Second, fighting ISIS is incidental to this goal. Putin doesn’t care if the Middle East is “stable,” and he doesn’t have the slightest desire to halt the flow of migrants into Western Europe (or the U.S., for that matter). He can easily tolerate long-term conflict — so long as his forces and allies maintain the upper hand, America’s international position erodes, and American allies are weak, dispirited, and ultimately defeated. Russia cares about power, not about building stable, just, and moderate Middle Eastern governments.
Third, Russia is humiliating the U.S. not just out of spite but also out of keen awareness of Middle Eastern culture....
Fourth, things are set to get worse. With news reports emerging of more Russian heavy weapons flowing into Syria, and with the Obama administration gifting Iran with a massive economic stimulus and access to international arms market, our enemies have the momentum. We’re looking at the ugly long-term prospect of a Russian/Iranian strategic hegemony in much of the Middle East, with ISIS still alive and threatening U.S. interests.
Putin understands a central rule of great power rivalries – the nation that fears conflict the most (regardless of actual relative military strength) will always be at a disadvantage. And so he engages in a deliberate strategy of aggressive incrementalism, where none of his actions — by themselves — are deemed serious enough to risk conflict, but the collective effect is a real change in the balance of power — complete with redrawn maps, large-scale loss of life, and defeated, dispirited allies. Yes indeed, we’ve “reset” our relationship with Russia — in all the wrong ways.
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Charles Krauthammer describes the disaster that is Obama's policy in Syria. Putin has totally exposed how weak Obama has been as the administration seemed to believe that Russia was entering Syria to fight ISIS.
Indeed, some of these bombed fighters were U.S. trained and equipped. Asked if we didn’t have an obligation to support our own allies on the ground, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter bumbled that Russia’s actions exposed its policy as self-contradictory.Obama's defenders will say that there was nothing else he could have done in a difficult situation. But that ignores how far he has diminished the American role in the Middle East. And Obama's demonstrated weakness presents opportunities for a wily and ruthless operator like Putin.
Carter made it sound as if the Russian offense was to have perpetrated an oxymoron, rather than a provocation — and a direct challenge to what’s left of the U.S. policy of supporting a moderate opposition.
The whole point of Russian intervention is to maintain Assad in power. Putin has no interest in fighting the Islamic State. Indeed, the second round of Russian air attacks was on rival insurgents opposed to the Islamic State. The Islamic State is nothing but a pretense for Russian intervention. And Obama fell for it.
Just three weeks ago, Obama chided Russia for its military buildup, wagging his finger that it was “doomed to failure.” Yet by Monday he was publicly welcoming Russia to join the fight against the Islamic State. He not only acquiesced to the Russian buildup, he held an ostentatious meeting with Putin on the subject, thereby marking the ignominious collapse of Obama’s vaunted campaign to isolate Putin diplomatically over Crimea.
Putin then showed his utter contempt for Obama by launching his air campaign against our erstwhile anti-Assad allies not 48 hours after meeting Obama. Which the U.S. found out about when a Russian general knocked on the door of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and delivered a brusque demarche announcing that the attack would begin within an hour and warning the U.S. to get out of the way.
In his subsequent news conference, Carter averred that he found such Russian behavior “unprofessional.”
Good grief. Russia, with its inferior military and hemorrhaging economy, had just eaten Carter’s lunch, seizing the initiative and exposing American powerlessness — and the secretary of defense deplores what? Russia’s lack of professional etiquette.
Makes you want to weep.
Consider: When Obama became president, the surge in Iraq had succeeded and the United States had emerged as the dominant regional actor, able to project power throughout the region. Last Sunday, Iraq announced the establishment of a joint intelligence-gathering center with Iran, Syria and Russia, symbolizing the new “Shiite-crescent” alliance stretching from Iran across the northern Middle East to the Mediterranean, under the umbrella of Russia, the rising regional hegemon.
Russian planes roam free over Syria attacking Assad’s opposition as we stand by helpless. Meanwhile, the U.S. secretary of state beseeches the Russians to negotiate “de-conflict” arrangements — so that we and they can each bomb our own targets safely. It has come to this.
Why is Putin moving so quickly and so brazenly? Because he’s got only 16 more months to push on the open door that is Obama. He knows he’ll never again see an American president such as this — one who once told the General Assembly that “no one nation can or should try to dominate another nation” and told it again Monday of “believing in my core that we, the nations of the world, cannot return to the old ways of conflict and coercion.”
They cannot? Has he looked at the world around him — from Homs to Kunduz, from Sanaa to Donetsk — ablaze with conflict and coercion?
Wouldn’t you take advantage of these last 16 months if you were Putin, facing a man living in a faculty-lounge fantasy world? Where was Obama when Putin began bombing Syria? Leading a U.N. meeting on countering violent extremism.
Seminar to follow.
And the Obama administration is so clueless that they thought Russian involvement would be a good thing.
To U.S. officials, Russian involvement in defusing the Syria mess seemed just a few months ago like a useful spinoff of the Iran nuclear deal. At the last negotiating session in Vienna, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is said to have turned to his “P5+1” colleagues and proposed similar cooperation in resolving other Middle East disputes.Inspires confidence, doesn't it?
President Obama and Secretary of State John F. Kerry were hopeful about working with the Russians on a “managed transition” away from a weakened President Bashar al-Assad. “I do think the window has opened a crack for us to get a political resolution in Syria, partly because both Russia and Iran, I think, recognize that the trend lines are not good for Assad,” Obama told reporters at the White House on Aug. 5.
Back then, the enthusiasts for greater Russian involvement in the Middle East included many traditional U.S. allies who also seemed eager to play the Russian card. Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman traveled to Moscow; so did United Arab Emirates leader Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir met with Kerry and Lavrov in Qatar. An ominous sign of what was really ahead — a Russian-Iranian alliance to bolster Assad — came with the Moscow visit of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds Force. But otherwise, this looked until a week ago like a diplomatic love boat.
Obama and his allies failed to anticipate that Russian President Vladimir Putin would come armed to the negotiating table — and prepared to use his weapons to gain military leverage. Putin embodies a kind of muscular diplomacy the United States disdained over the past three years of halfhearted attempts to train and equip the Syrian opposition. Obama’s failure to develop a coherent strategy left the field open for Putin.
The speed and decisiveness of Russian action appear to have taken the administration by surprise, prompting Kerry to voice “grave concerns.” A U.S. official said the intelligence community predicted that Russia would provide indirect support to Assad, such as training and advisers, but that “direct military intervention was not considered the most likely” response.
A source close to Assad’s regime blasted what he claimed was chronic American misunderstanding of Syria. “The scandal is how amazingly incompetent American intelligence is,” he wrote in an e-mail. “Not only were U.S. officials predicting until weeks ago that the Russians could abandon Assad . . . U.S. intelligence could not even pick up on what the Russians were doing, the logistical, technical, military and manpower preparations . . . [to] execute such an unprecedented mission.”
Lawsuits against Trump University appear to put the lie to Trump's claims about how well he can manage the country as demonstrated by how well he has run his own businesses.
Now, Trump is facing three separate lawsuits -- two class action suits filed in California and one filed by New York's attorney general -- which argue the program that took in an estimated $40 million, but was mired in fraud and deception.
"We started looking at Trump University and discovered that it was a classic bait-and-switch scheme. It was a scam, starting with the fact that it was not a university," New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman told CNN's New Day after filing suit in 2013.
Schneiderman's case argues that Trump and Michael Sexton, the former president of the program, engaged in fraudulent, illegal and deceptive conduct, and that although the program promised to offer courses taught by experts personally selected by Trump, the teachers were neither handpicked nor experts.
Trump University's courses ranged from $1,495 three-day seminars to $35,000 "Gold" level programs that allowed for personal mentoring, real estate field trips and access to the expertise that made Trump a billionaire.
Affidavits within the case additionally show some students felt the program consisted of worthless information they could have obtained for free elsewhere. Others said they simply did not receive the services they paid for.
How weird is this story?
Ianian soccer fans were left reeling earlier this week after eight members of the women’s national team were found to be men, the Al-Arabiya website reported on Monday.Ian Tuttle thinks that those people who think that Iran would never cheat on the nuclear deal might want to ponder a country using men on their women's soccer team. He concludes,
Mojtabi Sharifi, described as an official connected to the Iranian soccer league, said that the footballers “have been playing with Iran’s female team without completing sex change operations.”
He claimed that some of the men had enjoyed a whole career as female players and only outed themselves just before retiring from their teams.
It was not clear how many of the national squad players were born as men or how long they had been playing before their surplus credentials were uncovered. Iranian female footballers notably play wearing hijab head scarves and outfits that fully cover their arms and legs.
Sharifi accused Iranian football’s governing body of being responsible for the “unethical” cock up.
Soccer is a popular sport in Iran with well established men’s and women’s leagues.
Iranian men playing as women has plagued the female leagues in the past. In 2014 the Telegraph reported that mandatory gender-testing was to be implemented after several players — including four in the women’s national team — were discovered to be men who had not yet undergone sexual reassignment surgery.
No gays, but fleet-footed pre-op transsexuals in abundance? Odd place, Iran.
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We're starting to have to change our personnel in China due to the Chinese hack of the OPM computers.
The CIA pulled a number of officers from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing as a precautionary measure in the wake of the massive cybertheft of the personal data of federal employees, current and former U.S. officials said.I bet this is just the first step in having to react to the Chinese hackers getting so much personal information.
The move is a concrete impact of the breach, one of two major hacks into Office of Personnel Management computers that were disclosed earlier this year. Officials have privately attributed the hacks to the Chinese government.
The theft of documents has been characterized by senior U.S. officials as political espionage intended to identify spies and people who might be recruited as spies or blackmailed to provide useful information.
Because the OPM records contained the background checks of State Department employees, officials privately said the Chinese could have compared those records with the list of embassy personnel. Anybody not on that list could be a CIA officer.
The CIA's move was meant to safeguard officers whose agency affiliation might be discovered as a result of the hack, said officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter.
Glenn Reynolds writes in USA Today about the efforts of the Department of Education to deny due process rights to college men accused of sexual assault.
And, ever since the Department of Education issued a ”Dear Colleague" letter to universities in 2011, in essence ordering them to adopt new and draconian campus “sexual assault” rules that treat accusations as presumptively true and force the accused — almost always men — to prove their innocence, sometimes even very strong evidence of innocence is ignored.How like this administration to ignore the actual laws about how such changes in policy must be made and think they can do whatever they want just by writing a "Dear Colleague" letter.
Spearheading this effort has been Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights Catherine Lhamon, who has characterized the letter as binding on colleges and universities even though it is not a law, was not adopted as a formal or informal rule making after notice and comment under any law, and appears to have very little to do with the federal anti-discrimination law Title IX, which says only that “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”
Title IX was supposed to force colleges to admit women to programs formerly reserved for men. The law says nothing about sexual assault, sexual harassment, or the duty of universities to investigate criminal behavior on their own instead of referring crimes to law enforcement. But through a period of interpretation and reinterpretation, that simple statutory language has produced reams of federal paperwork that, in effect, turn a simple academic non-discrimination rule into a rape law that lacks the due process protections and evidentiary standards of actual rape law.
Now it appears that Congress has noticed. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., crashed a Senate hearing last week to grill Deputy Assistant Secretary of Education Amy McIntosh about past statements by Lhamon that purported to establish the “guidance” letter as binding law. How could this be binding, asked Sen. Alexander, when it’s simply a letter issued without any of the procedures required for administrative rule making?
McIntosh didn’t offer much of an answer, and that’s because there isn’t one. As some, including Ari Cohn, have argued for a while, the Department of Education is acting unlawfully here.
A law, to be binding, must pass both houses of Congress and be presented to the president's desk, where it must either pass into law or be vetoed and then overridden by a two-thirds vote of each house. Because this procedure, which the framers of our Constitution designed in order to make lawmaking difficult, turns out to make it difficult to pass laws, we also allow administrative agencies to issue regulations that are binding as law. But those regulations can be issued only after a draft is published and the public has a chance to comment, via either formal or informal rule making.
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So Joe Biden is not going to appear in the CNN Democratic debate on October 13. Apparently, he's "extending his window" for deciding whether he wants to jump into the race. He has people set to go as soon as he gives them the word, but he hasn't done so.
He has stopped short of asking his advisers to actually pull the trigger on any of their plans-in-waiting, including setting up the legal structure of a campaign organization and taking steps to qualify for ballots in Michigan, Texas and other states with early deadlines.Ed Morrissey tries to figure out what Biden is thinking. He could be that he doesn't want to run against Hillary or maybe he just doesn't want to run. He would be 74 on inauguration day 2017. And he has suffered a terrible personal loss with the death of his son.
"Nothing is actually being done yet," said a senior Democrat who has spoken with Biden, speaking to CNN on condition of anonymity to avoid openly violating the trust of the vice president. "There's far more talk than action."
The only explanation that doesn’t make sense is that Biden actually wants to run for President, but thinks the timing’s not right. First off, all of the other contenders will get prime-time slots on TV in Biden’s absence, in a Democratic debate series that will be very limited in this cycle. No serious contender for a major-party nomination would allow that to happen; Republicans are practically recreating the wall scene from World War Z to get onto the main debate stage, and for good reason. Plus, a Democratic candidate who wants to compete in the primaries has to have an organization on the ground already, not just donors lined up to help finance one. Biden’s already behind that 8-ball — by about six pool tables.Deroy Murdock reports on some of the details in Ronald Kessler's book, First Family Detail, which looks at the history of Secret Service agents protecting the first families. Murdock summarizes some of the stories that former Secret Service agents have said about covering Hillary Clinton.
Hillary didn’t like the military aides wearing their uniforms around the White House,” one former agent remembers. “She asked if they would wear business suits instead. The uniform’s a sign of pride, and they’re proud to wear their uniform. I know that the military was actually really offended by it.”No wonder she has such a hard time convincing voters that she's likable. She isn't.
• Former agent Jeff Crane says, “Hillary would cuss at Secret Service drivers for going over bumps.”
Another former member of her detail recollects, “Hillary never talked to us. . . . Most all members of first families would talk to us and smile. She never did that.”
“We spent years with her,” yet another Secret Service agent notes. “She never said thank you.”
• Within the White House, Hillary had a “standing rule that no one spoke to her when she was going from one location to another,” says former FBI agent Coy Copeland. “In fact, anyone who would see her coming would just step into the first available office.”
One former Secret Service agent states, “If Hillary was walking down a hall, you were supposed to hide behind drapes used as partitions.”
• Hillary one day ran into a White House electrician who was changing a light bulb in the upstairs family quarters. She screamed at him, because she had demanded that all repairs be performed while the Clintons were outside the Executive Mansion.
“She caught the guy on a ladder doing the light bulb,” says Franette McCulloch, who served at that time as assistant White House pastry chef. “He was a basket case.”
• White House usher Christopher B. Emery unwisely called back Barbara Bush after she phoned him for computer troubleshooting. Emery helped the former first lady twice. Consequently, Kessler reports, Hillary sacked him. The father of four stayed jobless for a year.
• While running for U.S. Senate, Hillary stopped at a 4-H club in upstate New York. As one Secret Service agent says, Hillary saw farmers and cows and then erupted. “She turned to a staffer and said, ‘What the f*** did we come here for? There’s no money here.’”
Secret Service “agents consider being assigned to her detail a form of punishment,” Kessler concludes. “In fact, agents say being on Hillary Clinton’s detail is the worst duty assignment in the Secret Service.”
And going on SNL isn't going to change much. She's going to appear on SNL instead of accepting an invitation to give the keynote address to the Human Rights Campaign, a powerful gay and lesbian rights group. And they invited Joe Biden in her place.
Clinton is snubbing the most powerful LGBT group in the country for a chance at five minutes (or so) of airtime at 11:30 p.m. on a Saturday because she and her campaign know that they have to poke a hole in the current perception of her as guarded, stiff and not terribly honest. There's no better way to do that than laughing at yourself in front of a few million people. Self-deprecation — especially via humor — is the secret weapon of any candidate trying to change a negative perception about him- or herself.So, of course appearing on SNL will make her seem more honest.
And Clinton is absolutely fighting a negative image. In a Washington Post-ABC News national poll conducted this month, just 33 percent of registered voters said the words "honest" and "trustworthy" applied to Clinton, while 62 percent said they did not. Those numbers include 58 percent of independents who don't think Clinton is honest and trustworthy and, perhaps more surprising, 1 in 3 Democrats (32 percent) who say those words don't describe her.
Of course, all the lies that she has told recently sort of block that whole honesty shtick she's trying to pretend she has. Kimberley Strassel provides a handy checklist of the lies she's told about her emails and private server. She's lied about why she established the whole system and when she gave the emails to the State Department. She lied about what she turned over to the State Department and she lied when she claimed that all her emails would have been saved on the State Department's own servers. And she lied when she claimed that there was no classified information on the servers.
Clinton: “There is no classified material” on the private server.
Truth: The latest State Department document dump now brings to more than 400 the number of Clinton emails that contain classified information. They touch on everything from spy satellites, to drone strikes to Iranian nuclear discussions. The Clinton team contends that these emails were not stamped classified until after the fact. But intelligence experts note many were “born” classified—that is, the nature of the information required that they be handled as classified from the start.
Clinton: The server “had numerous safeguards. It was on property guarded by the Secret Service. And there were no security breaches.”
Truth: The Clinton emails released this week show that her server was attacked at least five times by hackers linked to Russia. It is unclear whether she clicked on any email attachments and put her account at risk. Mrs. Clinton’s server meanwhile sat for many months in a private data center in New Jersey, accessible to people who lacked security clearances. Thumb-drive copies of her email were also unsecured for months, while in the possession of her lawyer, David Kendall. And classified email she sent to aides on their private accounts is now sitting on Google and AOL servers.
Clinton (on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sept. 27): “I think I have done all that I can . . . to be as transparent as possible.”
Truth: Give her marks for this one. Mrs. Clinton is undoubtedly being as transparent as Mrs. Clinton can possibly be.
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