Did Colin Powell Advise Clinton To Use A Private Email?

Did Colin Powell Advise Clinton To Use A Private Email?

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo


By Joe Conason

Did Colin Powell suggest that Hillary Clinton should use her private email account as secretary of state—as he had admittedly done in that same job several years earlier?

Last week, The New York Times confirmed that Powell did offer her precisely that advice, based on an account in my forthcoming book on Bill Clinton’s post-presidency. Yet Powell has responded by insisting that he has “no recollection” of such an incident.

In Man of the World: The Further Endeavors of Bill Clinton, to be published in September by Simon & Schuster, I report on a dinner party that former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright hosted for Hillary Clinton several months after she assumed that office in 2009, with Powell in attendance:

Toward the end of the evening, over dessert, Albright asked all of the former secretaries to offer one salient bit of counsel [to Clinton]…. Powell suggested that she use her own email, as he had done, except for classified communications, which he had sent and received via a State Department computer on his desk. Saying that his use of personal email had been transformative for the department, Powell thus confirmed a decision she had made months earlier.

Following up on my book, which the Times received in advance of publication, reporter Amy Chozick discovered that Clinton had mentioned her conversation with Powell—as well as an email exchange with him on the same matter—when the FBI interviewed the Democratic presidential nominee during its probe of her private email use at the State Department.

Powell’s office then released a statement saying he “has no recollection of the dinner conversation,” which he has since repeated to other news outlets. While hardly a denial, his response seems designed to cast doubt on the story.

Over the weekend, he told a reporter for the New York Post’s Page Six, “Her people have been trying to pin it on me,” with evident annoyance. “The truth is she was using [her personal email] for a year before I sent her a memo telling her what I did,” he said.

But last June, while reporting on Powell’s advice to Clinton for my book, I contacted his office for comment—and got a very different answer.

His principal assistant, Margaret “Peggy” Cifrino, informed me then via email that their calendar showed that the Albright dinner had occurred in June 2009. While he didn’t recall some details of the dinner because it had occurred seven years ago, according to Cifrino, he remembered what he did and didn’t say to Clinton on the topic in question that evening:

He does recall sharing with Secretary Clinton his use of his email account and how useful it was and transformative for the Department. He knew nothing then or until recently about her private home server and a personal domain, nor, therefore, could he have advised her on that or suggested it. By June I would assume her email system was already set up.

So it is perplexing for him to say he doesn’t remember that dinner conversation at all now, since, according to his own assistant, he remembered at least some of what he said as recently as two months ago.

Yet in another sense, it is hardly surprising that Powell would prefer not to be drawn into the center of the continuing controversy over Clinton’s emails, a position he has carefully avoided so far.

After all, not only did Powell use a private account to communicate with his State Department subordinates and others, like Clinton—but unlike her, he failed to provide any of those email records to the National Archives, which requested all of the former secretaries of state to turn over electronic records related to their government service.

Moreover, several indignant Clinton critics have drawn a distinction between her use of private email accounts and his, noting that she used a server located at her Chappaqua home, while he used America Online—suggesting that what Powell did was somehow more virtuous, circumspect or secure.

But as Powell knows all too well, the Romanian hacker known as “Guccifer,” whose real name is Marcel Lehel Lazar, easily invaded his highly vulnerable AOL account and stole messages that he later posted on the Internet. When the Justice Department prosecuted Lazar, Powell was one of the “victims” included in the indictment.

Contrary to claims made by Lazar and others, however, there is no proof that Clinton’s email was ever successfully hacked. (In fact, Guccifer eventually confessed that he had lied about accessing her account.)

Powell’s complaint that Clinton is trying to “pin” her email use on him also seems misplaced. Although several sources told me about Powell’s 2009 conversation with her, Clinton was not among them.

She didn’t mention Powell when I interviewed her for my book in 2013, and during the past seven years she has never spoken publicly about his advice, which she considered private. Although she told FBI agents about it earlier this year, she had every reason to expect that interview would remain confidential.

To “blame” Powell could not have exculpated her in any case—and she has taken responsibility for her own decision, which she has described more than once as a mistake that she is sorry for making.

Finally, although Clinton provided 55,000 pages of emails to the National Archives, Powell has said that all of the email messages he sent as secretary of state are long gone, in apparent violation of his responsibility to preserve them under the Federal Records Act.

That is too bad for historians and everyone else who would like to know more about Powell’s conduct during the prelude to the invasion of Iraq—among many other controversial events during his tenure.

Hillary Clinton has eased one of the biggest doubts about her capacity to be a good president

Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images


As Donald Trump undertakes his second major campaign shakeup of the summer, it’s worth reflecting on the remarkable stability of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 quest for the presidency. Campaign chair John Podesta is exactly where he was a year ago. So are policy point man Jake Sullivan, communications director Jennifer Palmieri, spokesperson Brian Fallon, and basically everyone else.

The campaign is bigger than it was a year ago, with more field organizers and regional offices and an ever-expanded digital team. But fundamentally the team was put in place back when Joe Biden was seen as Clinton’s main rival for the Democratic nomination.

The difference is stark: Trump appears to be running a pirate ship with endless mutinies on board while Hillary Clinton is running a well-disciplined battleship.

It’s difficult to report on a negative, and the fact that Clinton’s campaign hasn’t been the scene of staff turmoil, semi-public infighting, and damaging leaks is in some ways the definition of a nonstory.

But her 2008 campaign was all of these things, and her success in reinventing herself as the leader of a “no drama” operation in the mold of Barack Obama’s campaign style is a genuinely surprising subplot to a campaign that’s been full of surprises.

Clinton’s 2008 campaign was a leaky mess

Hillary Clinton not only lost the 2008 primary, she did so in a way that raised serious doubts in many people’s mind as to whether she was capable of managing any kind of large-scale organization.

Management problems were visible to even the most casual observers, as in her slow-motion firing of campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle after losing the Iowa caucuses. But beyond difficulty settling on which subordinates she really wanted, Clinton struggled to properly empower her campaign team — frequently circumventing the formal campaign structure to consult with longtime family friends like Sid Blumenthal and Mark Penn, and maintaining a highly ambiguous role for her husband who served as an often counterproductive surrogate on the trail.

The sprawling and unfocused Clinton campaign apparatus was constantly leaking to the press, ensuring that every decision she made was greeted by a chorus of second-guessing.

The campaign was, obviously, not well run — especially in contrast to the disciplined and focused Obama operation.

But when Josh Green sat down to report a post-convention retrospective on the frontrunner’s collapse for the Atlantic he discovered that it “was even worse than I’d imagined.”

The anger and toxic obsessions overwhelmed even the most reserved Beltway wise men. Surprisingly, Clinton herself, when pressed, was her own shrewdest strategist, a role that had never been her strong suit in the White House. But her advisers couldn’t execute strategy; they routinely attacked and undermined each other, and Clinton never forced a resolution. Major decisions would be put off for weeks until suddenly she would erupt, driving her staff to panic and misfire.

When controversy surrounding Clinton’s email management practices as secretary of state began to swirl in the spring of 2015, for many it brought back memories of this deeply flawed Clinton operation.

Jonathan Chait wrote in March of that year about “the larger question of whether Clinton is capable of managing a competent campaign (and thus, in turn, a competent administration).” He reflected that not only did the email imbroglio itself reflect highly questionable staff work, but the content of the some of the Clinton emails seemed to show a continued inability to impose a viable management structure.

“After her appointment as secretary of state, she sought to hire Sidney Blumenthal, one of the longtime loyalists who fed her most paranoid and self-destructive tendencies,” Chait wrote. “The Obama administration blocked this appointment. Clinton went on getting advice from him anyway.”

Clinton’s 2016 team broke with the past

The early development of Clinton’s 2016 team clearly reflected a desire to break with the legacy of mismanagement that plagued her 2008 effort. Most of the key people from that campaign didn’t come back for a second tour of duty.

Instead, the campaign’s senior personnel were either (like Podesta and Palmieri) less tied to her personally than to the Democratic Party institutionally or else (like Sullivan) relative newcomers to Clintonworld who’d done well at the State Department. It was a highly professional operation full of well-regarded political operatives, mostly battle-tested by service in an Obama administration that prided itself on an un-Clintonian absence of drama and scandal.

It seemed like the right way to go, but to many outsiders — okay, to me — it seemed almost too good to be true.

Was Hillary really going to count on this team to see her through thick and thin, or was the official campaign staff going to be rapidly overruled by back-channel communications with Howard Wolfson, Penn, Blumenthal, and whoever else at the first sign of trouble?

And yet she either really has stuck with the core formal campaign team or else has at least imposed enough discipline on herself and her circle that she appears to have done so as far as any political journalist or consumer of political journalism is aware. Clinton hasn’t reinvented herself or become an entirely different person. She’s still secretive, media-averse, and nontransparent in a way that keeps her trapped in a cycle of unusually hostile press coverage.

But this time around she seems to be genuinely executing on the strategy of calm. Clinton’s campaign operates like something resembling a black box. Decisions that can’t possibly have been unanimous are made, and nobody on the outside hears who disagreed or why.

Clinton has been tested — but only a little

One difference, of course, is that in politics it’s a lot easier to look good while you’re winning than while you’re losing. This time around, Clinton has been consistently winning.

We can’t really know whether she would have stayed the course had she fallen behind Bernie Sanders in the delegate count or if Donald Trump had opened up a persistent national polling lead.

We can certainly say that Sanders surprising on the upside didn’t lead to a panic. Indeed, in January, Politico carried a report by Glenn Thrush and Annie Karni hinting that a major staff shakeup was in the offing if Clinton lost New Hampshire, but it never happened even though she got creamed. Whatever doubts Clinton may have expressed to friends who talked to Politico, nothing came of it. And there were no more rumors of staff shakeups even as Sanders proved frustratingly difficult to put away.

Perhaps more significantly, her team stayed the course throughout the July period when Trump largely closed the polling gap and had many liberals alarmed. The Clinton team’s theory was that Trump was benefitting from party unity and that a strong show of support for Clinton from Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren at the Democratic convention would accomplish the same for her — and they stuck with that theory. Probably not every single person in Clinton’s orbit agreed with it, but whoever had doubts kept them to themselves, they executed the strategy, and it worked.

To an extent, of course, old worries about Clinton’s management skills are moot at this point. Put next to Donald Trump, basically anyone would look like a well-disciplined politician capable of running a polished, professional campaign organization. But while elections are a zero-sum game, governance is not. People who remember her 2008 campaign with alarm can take at least some solace in the fact that she seems to have improved on her weaknesses.


Rudy Giuliani Asks Viewers To ‘Go Online’ For Clinton Health Conspiracies

Rudy Giuliani Asks Viewers To ‘Go Online’ For Clinton Health Conspiracies

Fox News screenshot via You Tube


When all else fails in an interview, a flummoxed public figure can turn to Google, the omniscient fount of wisdom in our era — and, apparently, Rudy Giuliani’s sole source for information on Hillary Clinton’s health.

On Sunday morning, Giuliani urged everyone watching his interview with Fox News’ Shannon Bream to “go online and put down Hillary Clinton illness and take a look at the videos for yourself.”

He could have simply told us to look at the note from Clinton’s doctor, released a year ago, which offers a detailed account of her medical history. Given the questionable veracity of his own candidate’s doctor’s note, perhaps Giuliani thought it better not to draw attention to either document: Claims from Dr. Harold Bornstein last December that Trump’s tests returned “only positive results,” and that his health is “astonishingly excellent,” sound like North Korean Mad Libs in light of wild (and partisan) bloviating about Clinton’s… pillows.

This is hardly the first baseless conspiracy theory to bubble into official Trump Campaign rhetoric. And while Stephen Bannon, the Breitbart executive and current Trump campaign “CEO,” may be encouraging surrogates to turn up their attacks, the real blame lies with Trump confidant and “dirty trickster” Roger Stone.

Stone — who has been banned from appearing on CNN, MSNBC, and elsewhere after decades of personal attacks on political opponents — is behind much of the Trump’s campaign’s more ambitious lies. He continues to assert that top Clinton aide Huma Abedin is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, and just recently alleged that she married former congressman Anthony Weiner because “marrying a Jewish fellow, that’s pretty good cover if you ask me.”

Stone popularized an obscure conspiracy article alleging that Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father of the late Army Captain Humayun Khan, was in cahoots with extremists because he is an immigration attorney. Stone also planted the first seed of a favorite Trump insinuation of late, namely that the election will be “rigged” against him.

And, yes, Stone has been central in pushing the narrative that Hillary Clinton isn’t healthy enough to be president:

Rick Perry: Gold star parents should shut up or expect to be vilified

Attribution: None


… at least the one’s who attack Trump. TPM wrote up this interview with Rick Perry in which he proves once again that he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed:

…In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Perry charged Khan with striking “the first blow” by speaking at the convention.

“In a campaign, if you’re going to go out and think that you can take a shot at somebody and not have incoming coming back at you, shame on you,” Perry said.

He cited Khan’s remarks as a justification for the fiery response from Trump and his supporters, saying that Khan “politically used his time on that stage to go after Donald Trump” and therefore should not get a “free ride” in response.

“Because he had a son that was lost in this war against terror,” Perry asked, “that gives him a free ride to say whatever he would like against a candidate that he is not for? That is not proper. That is not correct.

I guess Perry didn’t bother to watch the RNC because there was a lady there who personally blamed Hillary Clinton for the death of her son and said “Hillary for Prison, she deserves to be in stripes!” — for something that eight different investigations have shown she did not do.

And the Democrats and Clinton didn’t “hit back.” They did nothing in return except extend their condolences for her loss.  You can bet that if she had been on the other side the likes of Trump and Perry would have ripped her to shreds.



Team Trump is a disaster: It’s not just the candidate — his entire staff is ill-equipped for a presidential campaign

Team Trump is a disaster: It's not just the candidate — his entire staff is ill-equipped for a presidential campaign

Donald Trump; Betsy McCaughey (Credit: AP/David Furst/Faleh Kheiber/Photo montage by Salon)


Trump has filled out his economic policy team with a long list of wealthy donors and female right-wing cranks

Donald Trump says he isn’t running against crooked Hillary Clinton anymore, he’s running against the crooked media. This comment was in response to a couple of scorching articles by The New York Times and the AP over the week-end that featured off the record interviews with people inside the campaign making it clear that it’s in chaos with Trump himself having serious mood swings and refusing to listen to anyone. This seems obviously true judging by the “low energy” desultory performances in Florida on Friday followed by his highly agitated behavior in a rally in Connecticut on Saturday after the articles were published online. By Sunday he was refuting the notion that he’d ever agreed to follow the advice of his small cadre of political advisers, tweeting like Popeye: “I am who I am!”

It had been yet another bad week in which he pretty much stepped all over what was supposed to be his big economic speech. He’d gathered quite a group of big donors along with a few of the GOP old guard to pull together a policy designed to reassure contributors and confused normal Republicans that he had some kind of economic plan.

Though the speech was obviously conceived as a standard issue conservative economic manifesto, the Fact Checks were brutal which raises an interesting question. If that speech was a product of Trump’s team rather than his own off-the-cuff remarks at a rally, who are these people?

Prior to the speech it was announced that he was being advised by 13 CEOs, hedge fund managers, Wall Street investors, a couple of obscure economists and the Club for Growth’s Steven Moore. There are some big names among them, like hedge fund manager John Paulson, best known for his prescient 2007 bet against the mortgage market and Hollywood financier Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s finance chair. (In fact, there are so many men named Steve among them that wags are just calling his advisory group “the Steves”.)

Trump promised to flesh out more details as time went on but nobody’s heard a word about it from him since, leaving members of of his team to spend the rest of the week trying to explain his plans on TV while Trump was on the stump creating firestorm after firestorm. Steven Moore was everywhere explaining Trump’s innovative view that tax cuts for the wealthy always create growth while CEO of CKE restaurants, Andy Puzder, spent the weekend on CNN defending Trump’s electoral strategy for some reason and told the Huffington Post that he believes in Trump because “he certainly has all the indications of wealth.” Trump’s senior economic adviser, former Reagan official David Malpass ineffectually tried to make a case for the estate tax helping the average Joe.

Trump, meanwhile, added a little zazz to his usual red-faced stump rant by holding up charts (which only the people in the front row will be able to see.) One of them is a list of Arab countries from which the Clinton Foundation supposedly received millions of dollars after which the “Clinton State Department” then sent military equipment.Trump surrogate Jason Miller said the charts originated from “the policy department” which is odd since this one came from a far-right web site and was tweeted out weeks ago by David Duke, replete with a Star of David. (It’s unclear if the star was on the chart Trump used for the rally.) It turns out that Trump has quite the diverse policy department: hedge fund managers to KKK Grand Wizards.

But for all that the one thing everyone noticed about his economic team was the fact that he couldn’t manage to find even one worthy woman in the whole country. This is not surprising since when Trump was asked recently which women he would consider putting in his cabinet the only name he could come up with was his daughter Ivanka. But never say he is unresponsive to criticism. Last Thursday he released an additional list of economic advisers that included eight women and one man to his team. (The man was Anthony “the Mooch” Scaramuchi who I wrote about here.)

The most interesting of the bunch of mostly businesswomen (no economists among them) is the notorious former lieutenant governor of New York Betsy McCaughey best known for being one of the tools that tanked Hillary Clinton’s health care plan back in 1994 and years later spreading the malicious misinformation that Obamacare featured “death panels.” She’s also known as a fierce foe of immigration reform due to the danger it presents to the GOP’s electoral prospects and she cheers on government shutdowns and Bundy-style anti-government protests. There couldn’t be a more perfect female “policy adviser” for Trump. It’s a wonder she took so long to jump on his crazy train.

So Trump has filled out his economic policy team with a long list of wealthy donors and female right-wing cranks even as he still gets a good bit of his information from his Twitter feed. Today he is slated to give another stilted teleprompter speech on foreign policy which his campaign says Trump will use to “put blame for the rise of ISIS at feet of Obama and Clinton dating to 2009.”  It’s clear that the 70 plus foreign policy bigwigs who signed a letter condemning Trump are not among his advisers and nobody really knows who they might be. Speculation is that Senator Jeff Sessions is a big influence along with the flamboyantly Strangelovian General Michael Flynn. Newt Gingrich and Rudolph Giuliani are fluttering around in the background.

Oh, and there’s his campaign manager Paul Manafort who knows a lot about foreign affairs, especially in the Ukraine. (This blockbuster New York Times expose headlined “Secret Ledger in Ukraine Lists Cash for Donald Trump’s Campaign Chief” hit the internet like a nuclear bomb last night.) Everyone will no doubt listen closely to Trump’s speech about NATO and Russia in light of what we’ve learned.

But there’s really only one serious adviser to Donald Trump as he will tell you himself: “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.”

OOPS: Trump Supporter Argues Hillary Could Rig Election Because Republicans Do It All The Time

OOPS: Trump Supporter Argues Hillary Could Rig Election Because Republicans Do It All The Time

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images


Talk about throwing your own party under a bus. This Trump supporter literally said the GOP has rigged elections and that is supposed to prove that Hillary Clinton has rigged the 2016 Election.

Roger Stone is one of Trump’s biggest supporters and in defense of the Republican nominee’s assertion that the 2016 Election is “rigged” in favor of Hillary he wrote a column for The Hill in an attempt to demonstrate that Trump is right to be concerned. Not only did it go badly, but the Republican Party must be totally pissed off about it.

That’s because Stone claimed that Wisconsin Republicans, under Reince Priebus’s leadership, were successful at rigging five elections in the state to make sure things went their way.

“As someone with great sentimental attachment to the Republican Party, as I joined as the party of Goldwater, both parties have engaged in voting machine manipulation,” Stone claimed before naming names. “Nowhere in the country has this been more true than Wisconsin, where there are strong indications that Scott Walker and the Reince Priebus machine rigged as many as five elections including the defeat of a Walker recall election.”

Stone even accused Priebus of orchestrating Ted Cruz’s victory over Trump in Wisconsin earlier this year:

When the Trump vs. Cruz primary took place, the same pattern emerged again of a Marquette University poll showing a 20 point shift from Trump ahead by 10% to Trump behind by 10%, which was simply absurd. Shifts like that don’t happen over brief intervals of time, absent a nuclear explosion. It didn’t make any sense — unless you knew what was going on was an “instant replay” of Walker’s victories. The machine Priebus built was delivering for Cruz big time.

In short, Trump’s longtime ally just tried to prove that Hillary could rig the election by accusing Republicans of rigging five elections and a primary in Wisconsin.

Of course, this doesn’t prove Trump’s accusation against Hillary. What it does do, however, is call into question the trustworthiness of Republicans. If Reince Priebus is capable of rigging elections in Wisconsin to the point where Republicans can win five of them he is definitely capable of rigging a national election to make sure Republicans gain absolute power even though all of the polls indicate that Trump is losing this election badly.

Trump own man just kneecapped the GOP nominee’s own claims by shifting the election rigging accusation to Republicans.

By Stephen D Foster Jr

Republicans Hate Hillary Clinton (Unless They Actually Know Her)

Republicans Hate Hillary Clinton (Unless They Actually Know Her)

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Dating back to Hillary Clinton’s earliest days as First Lady, the frame imposed on her by mainstream and conservative media both has been “unlikable” — a description that has mystified many people who know her.

What this framing has proved is that she is disliked by a lot of journalists and columnists, most of whom don’t know Clinton, at powerful outlets like the New York Times, the Washington Post, the broadcast networks and cable shows.  (A clinical example is Maureen Dowd of the Times op-ed page, whose crazed animus seems based on no personal knowledge whatsoever.) To those who are familiar with Clinton, in fact, she has always seemed considerably more agreeable than the vain, bitter, superficial journalists who whine incessantly about her. But hammered in over and over again for decades, the framing stuck.

In the current electoral context, it is hard to imagine Clinton being less likable than the juvenile bigot and prevaricating braggart Donald Trump (who used to praise her quite generously, by the way, until he decided to run for president and realized that she’s the devil).

But what I’ve found truly striking about the “unlikable Hillary” narrative is how often and how bluntly it is contradicted not only by Democrats and independents, but by Republicans, too, who actually know and like the former Secretary of State despite their profound disagreement with her political outlook. These Republicans, including many of her former Senate colleagues, admit that they like — or even “love” — Hillary despite her liberal voting record and Democratic loyalties.

So I wrote a guest column for Monday’s Daily News that noted how routinely she has earned the affections of Republicans and conservatives who served and worked with her — as Weekly Standard online editor Daniel Halper learned, to his apparent dismay and frustration:

…Halper was astounded to hear Hillary Clinton praised by one Republican after another on Capitol Hill while working on Clinton, Inc., a scathingly negative book he published in 2014. When he interviewed “Clinton’s biggest opponents within the Republican Party during her time as First Lady,” Halper recalled, “no matter how much they were coaxed, not one of them would say a negative thing about Hillary Clinton as a person.” Unwilling to believe his ears, Halper assumed that she had merely flattered them into extolling her.

But the positive view presented by her erstwhile critics was remarkably consistent, Halper admitted. Among those who got to know her best was Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who “developed a very friendly relationship” with Clinton on the Armed Services Committee. McCain’s political consultant Mike Murphy explained, “They get along. He respects her. She’s funny. She’s smart.” Former Arkansas Sen. Asa Hutchinson, who ran the Drug Enforcement Administration during the Bush years, said working with her was “always a joy.” Other Republicans described her as “highly regarded,” “engaged,” even mischievous, with a keen sense of humor.

There is much more at the link, notably the revealing remarks of conservative commentators Dick Morris and Michael Medved (who has known Clinton since law school and, I’m reliably told, may soon endorse her over Trump, whom he despises). The point is simple: Be skeptical of journalists who constantly disparage the personality of a public figure whom they scarcely know at all.

Parents of Benghazi Slain Sue Hillary Clinton

Democratic Nominee for President of the United States former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images


The parents of two Americans killed in Benghazi filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Hillary Clinton on Monday, claiming that her use of a private email server led to the death of their sons.

Patricia Smith and Charles Woods, the parents of Sean Smith and Tyrone Woods, also said that Clinton defamed them in subsequent public statements.

“The deaths of Sean Smith and Tyrone Woods were directly and proximately caused by the negligent and reckless actions of Defendant Clinton,” the lawsuit alleges.

The plaintiffs argue that it is “highly probable” that Clinton sent and received email on her private server about Ambassador Chris Stevens. Furthermore, the suit argues, that information “was compromised” and “easily found its way to foreign powers” which then allowed Islamic terrorists to “obtain the whereabouts of Ambassador Christopher Stevens,” though the lawsuit does not give any direct evidence for any of those claims.

FBI director James Comey said last month that it was “possible” that foreign powers gained access, the bureau did not find direct evidence that Clinton’s email was hacked.

Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, won a prominent speaking role at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland where she tearfully accused Clinton of the death of her son. “I blame Hillary Clinton personally,” she said.

“While no one can imagine the pain of the families of the brave Americans we lost at Benghazi, there have been nine different investigations into this attack and none found any evidence whatsoever of any wrongdoing on the part of Hillary Clinton,” said Clinton campaign spokesman Nick Merrill.

The attorney for the plaintiffs, Larry Klayman, is a Tea Party activist and the founder of Freedom Watch and Judicial Watch. A Clinton campaign official said “he has been unsuccessfully attacking the Clintons for decades.”


The deep red state that could turn blue


Hillary Clinton is up seven points over Donald Trump in a new poll in Georgia. Ben Jealous joins Chris Hayes to discuss the ‘Georgia Math’ – the factors that could turn this red state blue. Duration: 4:52

Clinton’s support among Hispanics equal to Obama’s in 2012, 2008

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Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump nationally by double digits among Hispanics, according to a new poll that shows support for the Democratic nominee comparable to that seen for President Obama in 2012 and 2008.

The Florida Atlantic University (FAU) poll shows Clinton leading Trump, the Republican nominee, among Hispanics, 66 to 18 percent. Another 15 percent were undecided.

That’s a 16-point jump in support for Clinton from the same poll conducted in May, where she had the support of 50 percent of Hispanic voters, compared to Trump’s 24 percent.

Obama won the White House in 2012 by carrying similar margins with Hispanic voters: 71 percent voted for him against GOP nominee Mitt Romney. Similarly, 67 percent of Hispanics picked Obama in 2008, compared to 31 percent who voted for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Monica Escaleras, director of the FAU Business and Economics Polling Initiative, noted the similarities between the Clinton and Obama campaigns and credited Clinton’s work with Hispanic voters as the reason for her gains.

“Clinton has taken some major strides to increase her support among Hispanics,” Escaleras said.

“Her efforts to win over many who said they were undecided a couple of months ago are paying off.”

The poll also shows Hispanics view Clinton as better to handle the economy and terrorism.

Sixty-three percent see Clinton as better than Trump for the economy, compared to the 23 percent who favor Trump. And 56 percent think the former secretary of State would be best to keep them safe from terrorism, compared to the 22.9 percent who favor Trump.

The poll was conducted nationally from July 1 to 31 among 500 Hispanics and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.

By Jessie Hellmann