Hillary Clinton told FBI agents that she could not recall issues related to her email server at least 26 times, according to an 11-page document released by the FBI Friday.
Clinton’s memory lapses are frequent during the interview, marked often by agents as “could not recall” and “did not remember.” But the “could not recall” remarks are often related not to long-distant emails, but things she should perhaps definitely recall.
At least 26 times, Clinton couldn’t recall issues raised by the FBI. Clinton told FBI agents she couldn’t even remember any briefing or training by State “related to the retention of federal records or handling of classified information.”
And Clinton told the FBI she could not recall any briefing after her December 2012 fall that left her with a concussion, an admission that will surely stoke concerns about Clinton’s health and physical fitness to serve in the job of president.
Most surprisingly perhaps: Clinton said she “did not recall receiving any emails she thought should not be on an unclassified system.” Clinton said she relied on employees’ judgment in sending her emails.
But Clinton’s memory doesn’t just fall short on email servers, vital procedures, and possible security problems. When asked by the FBI to give an example of how a federal document arrives at classification, Clinton couldn’t. The FBI document is sure to raise issues about how Clinton and President Obama’s State Department handled secure papers and emails.
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Clinton could not even recall when she got her security clearance. She told FBI agents she wasn’t sure if she carried it over from the U.S. Senate or if she got it from State. But perhaps even worse, Clinton told FBI agents she couldn’t even remember any briefing or training by State “related to the retention of federal records or handling of classified information.”
That admission could raise the question if Clinton was ever trained at all in handling secret information.
Below is the list of things Clinton could not recall in the FBI interview:
- When she received security clearance
- Being briefed on how to handle classified material
- How many times she used her authority to designate items classified
- Any briefing on how to handle very top-secret “Special Access Program” material
- How to select a target for a drone strike
- How the data from her mobile devices was destroyed when she switched devices
- The number of times her staff was given a secure phone
- Why she didn’t get a secure Blackberry
- Receiving any emails she thought should not be on the private system
- Did not remember giving staff direction to create private email account
- Getting guidance from state on email policy
- Who had access to her Blackberry account
- The process for deleting her emails
- Ever getting a message that her storage was almost full
- Anyone besides Huma Abedin being offered an account on the private server
- Being sent information on state government private emails being hacked
- Receiving cable on State Dept personnel securing personal email accounts
- Receiving cable on Bryan Pagliano upgrading her server
- Using an iPad mini
- An Oct. 13, 2012, email on Egypt with Clinton pal Sidney Blumenthal
- Jacob Sullivan using personal email
- State Department protocol for confirming classified information in media reports
- Every briefing she received after suffering concussions
- Being notified of a FOIA request on Dec. 11, 2012
- Being read out of her clearance
- Any further access to her private email account from her State Department tenure after switching to her HRCoffice.com account
It is a “time-honored tradition in Washington scandals” to claim one doesn’t recall as they were busy being busy Washington officials, The Associated Press said in a 2005 report on common criminal defenses inside the Beltway.
The Trump campaign leaped on the disclosure.
“Hillary Clinton is applying for a job that begins each day with a Top Secret intelligence briefing, and the notes from her FBI interview reinforce her tremendously bad judgment and dishonesty,” the Trump campaign said in a statement to LifeZette. “Clinton’s secret email server was an end-run around government transparency laws that wound up jeopardizing our national security and sensitive diplomatic efforts. On more than 2,000 occasions, classified material was exposed on her private server, including highly sensitive Top Secret information and intelligence.”