Newly released State Department emails shed light on top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s close dealings with Clinton Foundation matters while she was working at the State Department – as well as aides’ frustration with their boss’s email practices.
Emails obtained by Fox News show how Abedin used her State Department email address to deal with issues relating to a Clinton Global Initiative event. In an email dated Sept. 16, 2009, Abedin was forwarded an email chain about how campaign donor Geri Shapiro first accepted an invitation to an event, but then declined when she discovered that her husband was not allowed to attend.
Abedin responded from her State Department email: “Why was she invited in the first place?”
The emails, first obtained by Citizens United, come as new questions are being raised about the relationship between the Clinton Foundation and State Department when Clinton was secretary of state. Critics say recent email dumps show donors who gave significant amounts to the Clinton Foundation calling in favors and being given preferential treatment by the State Department, with Abedin frequently acting as point person. Abedin had a special arrangement allowing her to work for the foundation while at State.
Although Clinton has claimed there was “no connection” between the foundation and her work at the department, Republican critics have jumped on the recent revelations, with Donald Trump accusing Clinton of having engaged in “pay for play” activities.
The New York Times editorial board on Tuesday called for the Clintons to cut ties to the foundation if Hillary wins. While Bill Clinton has said he will resign from the board if his wife wins, and the foundation will no longer accept foreign and corporate donations, the board called for the end to such donations immediately, and said the Clintons may need to do more.
“If Mrs. Clinton wins, Bill and Chelsea Clinton should both end their operational involvement in the foundation and its affiliates for the duration of her presidency, relinquishing any control over spending, hiring and board appointments,” the editorial board said.
Meanwhile, more information is coming to light about how Clinton’s own staff viewed her personal email habits.
Emails seen by The Daily Caller show Abedin and Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills discussing how somebody had emailed the secretary about a job. “Personally, I think it’s outrageous that staff go straight to her on this stuff,” Abedin wrote in the April 2009 exchange, according to The Daily Caller.
Mills responded: “This is unbelievable, and she also should not be giving her email to everyone – b/c she will get stuff like this.”
Abedin explained that emails were being automatically forwarded from Clinton’s old Senate account and IT would have to “fix” it. However, she complained that Clinton would take her unsecure BlackBerry everywhere, even the “shower.”
Clinton has been frequently criticized for what critics say was a dismissiveness of serious security concerns surrounding the use of her private email server while the nation’s top diplomat. In July, FBI Director James Comey described Clinton as “extremely careless” in her handling of sensitive material, but did not recommend charges against her.
The emails obtained by Fox News also show concerns about email security, on a trip to Moscow in December 2009. Abedin wrote that they would be leaving their BlackBerry phones on the plane.
“Want to make sure DC is aware that those of us in the Russia traveling party will be leaving blackberries on the airplane once we tough down in moscow tonite [sic],” Abedin wrote.
When an aide noted that her clintonemail.com address should work if Russian officials are taking their BlackBerrys away, Abedin responded: “Its for security reasons. I don’t want to use that one either.”