President Obama has provoked even greater concern regarding Hillary Clinton’s far-reaching email scandal with revelations that he used an undisclosed pseudonym in email communications that were routed through her private email server. The email dates back to 2012 during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state and information relating to it was disclosed by the FBI as the agency released its second batch of documents in connection with its investigation of Clinton’s alleged inappropriate handling of government emails and possible security breaches.
During the course of the Bureau’s interview with Huma Abedin, one of Clinton’s closest advisors, investigators showed her the email. A shocked Abedin then asked, “How is that not classified?” according to the FBI report. She then asked if she could keep a copy of the email but it is not known whether the FBI assented to her request.
The word “congratulations” was written in the email’s subject heading. Aside from that and the president’s use of an undisclosed pseudonym, little is known about the about the substance of the mysterious 2012 email and White House lawyers have refused to disclose it citing the “presidential communications privilege” but Abedin’s reaction to it provides some clues.
The use of a pseudonym by a president when communicating with his secretary of state is highly irregular and may suggest a deliberate attempt by Obama to conceal his identity. Why he would do that is anyone’s guess but it bodes well neither for Obama nor Clinton.
The disquieting revelation also puts the lie to the claim by Obama that he was unaware of Clinton’s use of a private email server to conduct official government business and only came to learn about it through published sources. The administration has yet to offer an explanation for the glaring inconsistency and a satisfactory one will likely never be forthcoming given the Obama administration’s notoriety for lack of transparency.
Perhaps most disturbing is Abedin’s reaction to the email which provides some clues as to the sensitive and confidential nature of its contents. When the email scandal first came to light, Clinton claimed that the emails were all of a personal nature. That assertion turned out to be bald-faced lie. She then changed her story and claimed that none of the emails were classified, which turned out to be the second lie. She then modified her tale a third time claiming that none of the emails sent or received were “marked classified,” which turned out to be the third lie.
Some paragraphs within the emails were labeled with a so-called “C” marking, which stands for “Confidential” while other paragraphs were labeled SBU, which stands for “sensitive but unclassified.” Clinton claimed that she did not know what “C” meant but speculated that the paragraphs within the email were categorized alphabetically. That explanation doesn’t hold water because aside from C and SBU, there were no other alphabetical markings, such as “A” or “B.” But the FBI bought her story or rather chose to ignore the far-fetched nature of her vapid explanation.
The partial contents of another email released by the FBI and authored by a Clinton IT staffer at Platte River Networks, makes reference to “Hilary [sic] coverup [sic] operation.” FBI investigators asked the staffer about the comment and he said the comment “was probably due to the requested change to a 60 day email retention policy and the comment was a joke.” The email was sent a few days after Clinton transferred 30,000 emails from her private bathroom server to the State Department for review.
The new revelations come at a sensitive time for Clinton who has witnessed rapidly declining polling numbers as her opponent, Donald Trump, continues to surge. A Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted over the weekend suggests that the race is a statistical dead heat while Rasmussen gives Trump a 5 point lead.
Even more disturbing for Clinton are recent developments in Pennsylvania and Michigan, two states that are considered “must wins,” for the Democrats. In Pennsylvania, Clinton’s lead over Trump has crumbled to two, this according to a Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll. While in Michigan, recent polling numbers suggest that the rivals are in a virtual statistical tie. That standoff may change in Trump’s favor in light of Ford’s recent announcement to shut down its small-car manufacturing operations in Michigan and relocate to Mexico. Loss of American manufacturing jobs due to overseas corporate relocation has been one of Trump’s major campaign themes and has drawn significant numbers of blue collar Democrats to the Republican camp.
While the polling numbers have been seesawing and it still may be an uphill battle for the GOP nominee, it is clear that the momentum has shifted in dramatic fashion in Trump’s favor. States that were previously written off as unwinnable by the pundits are now very much in play. Swing states like Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Florida have drifted into the Republican camp.
The gaffes committed by Trump in early August have given way to a more measured, statesman-like candidate. But Clinton has done herself no favors with her abject dishonesty and serial lying. She is widely viewed as untrustworthy by the electorate and the latest FBI disclosure further cements the widely held belief that she prevaricated about receiving and sending classified information and is an unrepentant liar.