The formula here is neither imaginative nor subtle -- ignore the question, pivot to Republicans, attack Trump. Watch as CNN's Jim Sciutto tries in vain to coax any semblance of an answer out of this DNC flack, who has clearly been trained like a seal to respond to any unhelpful question about the Democratic frontrunner with some variation of "but Trump," which isn't necessarily a terrible ploy on the merits. Via the Free Beacon:
In fairness, Mr. Paustenbach's approach, while ham-fisted, may still have been superior to President Obama's choices in reacting to these sorts of inquiries. After sharing his preemptive judgment last year that Hillary Clinton hadn't broken any laws with her improper, national security-compromising email scheme, the White House was forced to walk back Obama's comments. He wasn't influencing an active investigation being conducted by an arm of the executive branch, we were assured. Then, when asked again about the controversy on Fox News Sunday, the president again delivered a verdict -- expressing confidence that Clinton was at worst guilty of a little carelessness, and sniffing that much of the material on her unsecure private server wasn't, you know, classified classified. Some points: (1) Notice how the Obama White House can be rather choosey indeed regarding which ongoing proceedings they will, or will not, wade into. Psychopath Kermit Gosnell's den of illegal abortions and murder? Can't comment. The FBI's apparently still-expanding criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton? Many comments. The aforementioned Free Beacon also noticed this unevenly-applied standard earlier this year:
(2) The act of setting up an rules-violating private email server was not "careless." It was deliberate. The continued use of said server (in addition to an unsanctioned blackberry) to conduct all personal and government business -- even after she was explicitly warned of the security threats such actions constituted -- was not "careless." It was deliberate. The numerous, evolving falsehoods purveyed after this scheme was revealed to the public were not "careless." They were deliberate. Carelessness would entail accidentally misfiring an email or two through the wrong system, not erecting an entire discrete system for the purpose of evading the rules, national security consequences be damned.
(3) One of the dumbest staples of Hillary's self-defense, parroted by Obama over the weekend, involves lamenting the scourge of "over-classification." The way the story goes, the US government goes way overboard when it comes to determining what information might need to be classified on some level, resulting in a problematic glut of "secret" information that really needn't be treated as such. There may be some merit to that argument, which, in turn, could conceivably apply to the majority of work-related emails discovered on Hillary's server (excluding the 30,000-plus "personal" messages she and her lawyers deleted with no oversight, some of which have been discovered to apply to her work after all) that were listed as "confidential," the lowest classification level. But we know that dozens of her emails were, in fact, classified at the levels of 'secret,' 'top secret' and even 'beyond top secret.' This fact exposes the over-classification protestations for what they are: Water-muddying red herrings. We've also heard that the nature of the highly sensitive information in question was the subject of intra-agency squabbles between the intelligence community and the State Department, wherein the former group thought material should be highly classified, while the latter organization disagreed. While this is irrelevant under the law, the State Department ended up concurring with the IC's Inspector General on at least 22 "top secret" emails, which Hillary's former agency decided were so sensitive that they couldn't even be released in redacted form. ("Too damaging" to national security). Some of the data was so secret that even the IG tasked with overseeing intelligence gathering needed special clearances just to view it. Hillary Clinton erased "over-classification" from the list of plausible justifications for her actions when she decided to eschew proper channels and conduct all of her business through unsecure means, thus indiscriminately placing highly secret information at risk.
(4) Because the White House is still regurgitating the "marked/stamped classified" line, let's repeat: Those emails weren't marked classified because they were passing through -- and in many cases, originating in -- Hillary's bootleg server. There were no formal markings because the system itself was off-the-books. Also, Mrs. Clinton signed a binding agreement to recognize and protect all classified information, "marked or unmarked," when she took the helm at State:
And the Obama-appointed nonpartisan intelligence community Inspector General has formally affirmed what other experts and officials have stated repeatedly: Intelligence that rises to the level of 'top secret' is unambiguously and patently "born classified." No markings required. And yet the mendacious spin never ceases.