If, after reading that last story I posted, you were thinking to yourself, “but Emily, how is it possible that the President had no idea that Hillary Clinton was using a private email address when the President and the Secretary of State are typically in close communication?” you were not alone. It seems that the President’s own staff is also confused.
This afternoon, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest noted that, yes, the President did exchange emails with then-Secretary Clinton using her private email address, and yes, it appears that those emails went through Clinton’s private server. Which, yes, means that America’s top-level foreign policy discussions were probably open to any hacker who cared to take initiative.
President Barack Obama communicated via email with Hillary Clinton while she used her personal email, according to the White House.
In a press briefing on Monday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that Obama did correspond with his secretary of state via her private email address.
“The president, as I think many people expected, did over the course of his first several years in office trade emails with his secretary of state,” Earnest said. “I would not describe the number of emails as large, but they did have the occasion to email each other.”
Earnest went on to say that Obama’s comments, that he read about Clinton’s email problems in the New York Times should not be read to mean that he was, in any way, aware that that was the only email service she was using. But whether he knew anything about Clinton’s grand plan depends on how many emails they happened to exchange, right?
If they only exchanged, say, ten emails over the course of her tenure, and then, only exchanged the emails sporadically (say, once every few months), and instead had staff at lower levels communicate with each other, then sure, it’s plausible that the President thought she was using the private email in addition to her work email – or, at least, it’s sort of plausible; the President should have known if every email she ever sent came from a private address that something was strange. After all, how many people email the President from their home – and not their official – account. If, however, they exchanged emails once a day, or even once a week or once a month, it’s hard to believe that the President never caught on to the scheme. Perhaps he lacks the power of observation, perhaps he was fine with his conversations with Clinton being off the official record and not subject to FOIA request. Perhaps he just doesn’t pay much attention. But no matter what the excuse, he can’t have possibly been living in the dark, completely.
What would be even weirder is if he thought that Clinton was using the private email but was planning on cooperating with Federal reporting. To think that, he’d literally have to ignore almost 20 years of Clinton shenanigans.