Clinton Emails Hint at Her Presidential Bid

     WASHINGTON (CN) – Newly released messages from Hilary Clinton’s private email server show the former secretary’s high aspirations, even in the early years of her office.
     Even though the most recent emails in the release made late Monday come from 2010, Clinton’s early years at the State Department, they show that her run for the presidency was long on the agenda.
     One chain of emails from May 2010 has Clinton discussing the fallout of comments she made at the Brookings Institute, advocating for higher taxes on the rich.
     “Are you getting any feedback?” Clinton wrote. “How soon will FOX attack me for my ‘tax the rich comments?'”
     Jake Sullivan, now the foreign-policy adviser on Clinton’s presidential campaign, insisted in a later email that he got “good feedback” on the comments.
     Philippe Reines, another Clinton adviser, said the news coverage of the comments was largely positive, other than a “couple of wingnut blogs” that criticized her stance.
     Reines also commented that a New York Times opinion piece pointed out the potential damage Clinton would face if she decided to run for president.
     In a separate chain of emails, Clinton said she was “distressed” by a memo from Nov. 2, 2010, detailing a potential Republican strategy for the 2012 election.
     Clinton’s personal friend and adviser Sid Blumenthal is the author of that memo, in which he says his “Republican sources” told him the 2012 Republican ticket would feature Mitt Romney and Karl Rove’s “ally” Haley Barbour.
     Blumenthal goes on to describe infighting in the Republican party, calling Speaker of the House John Boehner an “alcoholic” and “lazy,” and speculating as to how Democrats can exploit that divide for political gain.
     “Policies/tactics should be calculated to locate GOP fissures, find political space by widening schisms, and ultimately break them apart,” Blumenthal wrote in the memo. “This is, emphatically, not a strategy of bipartisanship as Obama has pursued it so far. It is a different and more informed approach.”
     Blumenthal appears in emails throughout the release, weighing in on a variety of international and domestic topics, and analyzing their potential political impacts.
     Another noteworthy email contains a letter from a State Department legal adviser to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, imploring him to stop the release of 250,000 classified government documents WikiLeaks obtained from its now imprisoned source, Chelsea Manning.
     Messages from Clinton’s team are more positive in the wake of that letter. Some discuss opinion pieces that portrayed the release as good for the country’s image, with one aide calling the disclosure “the opposite of the Pentagon Papers.”
     Monday’s release is the latest in a series of monthly disclosures the State Department has scheduled to comply with a court order mandating the release of emails Clinton sent between 2009 and 2013.
     The State Department is required by court order to release all of the emails by Jan. 29, 2016.
     Redacted versions of emails that researchers for the State Department determined contained classified information makes some of the messages unintelligible.
     Mark Toner, deputy spokesman for the office, maintained at a press briefing Monday that as many as 150 emails newly released contained classified information.
     The State Department later revised that number to 125, NBC and other media outlets reported.
     The Washington Times counted 60 emails from last month’s release that the State Department flagged as classified as well.
     Toner insisted that the emails could have been classified after Clinton stored them on her private server.
     “Our goal, as I said, is to respond to the FOIA request,” Toner said. “Now, there are other reviews, investigations that we’ve spoken to or alluded to that may look at some of these broader questions, but it’s not for me to do that from here and certainly not today. I can just say that we stand by our contention that the information we’ve upgraded was not marked classified at the time that the emails were sent.”
     Subject lines of the released emails provide insights into the day-to-day life of the former secretary, from scheduling meetings with diplomats and members of Congress, to letters of thanks from former staffers, to a request from an Israeli politician that Clinton free shipments of gefilte fish trapped in customs on the way to his district.
     Toner said the department has now published 25 percent of the emails from Clinton’s private servers.
     The next release is set for Sept. 30.

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