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Obama White House Helped Fledgling Clinton Campaign Handle The Fallout From Email Fiasco


The Obama administration seemed to be somewhat worried about Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized and unsecure email server, as they communicated with the fledgeling Clinton campaign over the fallout from The New York Times’ story that revealed the former first lady's email arrangement. The story was published on March 2, 2015. Byron Tau of The Wall Street Journal reported last night that a recent trove of emails released by the Republican National Committee who obtained them via a FOIA request shows then-White House Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri emailing then-State Department Spokesperson Jennifer Psaki about shielding Secretary of State John Kerry about any questions relating to the emails for future media interviews:

Newly disclosed emails show top Obama administration officials were in close contact with Hillary Clinton’s nascent presidential campaign in early 2015 about the potential fallout from revelations that the former secretary of state used a private email server.

Their discussion included a request from the White House communications director to her counterpart at the State Department to see if it was possible to arrange for Secretary of State John Kerry to avoid questions during media appearances about Mrs. Clinton’s email arrangement.

In another instance, a top State Department official assured an attorney for Mrs. Clinton that, contrary to media reports, a department official hadn’t told Congress that Mrs. Clinton erred in using a private email account.


Ten days after the story broke, White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri emailed State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki to ask, “between us on the shows…think we can get this done so he is not asked about email.” That apparently referred to Mr. Kerry, who appeared in an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation” three days later.

Ms. Palmieri had previously announced she would be leaving the administration to join Mrs. Clinton’s campaign in mid-2015, but was still at the White House when she sent the email. Other emails show Ms. Palmieri helped arrange for Ms. Psaki to move from the State Department to the White House communications job Ms. Palmieri was vacating. “Agree completely and working to crush on my end,” wrote back Ms. Psaki, who would move to the White House weeks later.


Now, there isn’t necessarily anything illegal about these exchanges since the White House can engage in some political activity, though it seems unseemly given the fact that President Obama said he was unaware of the emails server until he read about it in the papers. A claim that subject to scrutiny since he reportedly emailed Clinton through her private server under a pseudonym. Now, it seems as if his top aides knew about the pending fallout as well, though I’m sure most wouldn’t have dreamed that this story would plagued Clinton’s campaign to the extent that’s we’ve seen throughout this election cycle. Also, it showed that key players actually thought this was a problem unlike the blasé attitude Clinton has taken regarding her email system that could have potentially exposed state secrets.


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