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State Department Releases Largest Batch Yet of Clinton Emails

The State Department on Monday released 7,800 more pages of Hillary Clinton’s emails from her time as secretary of state.
Image: Hillary Clinton appears before the House Select Committee on Benghazi
Former Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton appears before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, USA, 22 October 2015. Clinton faces scrutiny over her response to the the 11 September 2012 attack on the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and her use of a private email server while holding the position of Secretary of State. EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDSMICHAEL REYNOLDS / EPA

The State Department on Monday released 7,800 more pages of Hillary Clinton’s emails from her time as secretary of state, shedding additional light on the government’s initial response following the 2012 Benghazi attacks, her own political ambitions, and even her struggle to find what channel “Homeland” is on.

It is the largest release to date of Clinton emails from her private server and spans mostly from 2012 and 2013. The release meets a court ordered requirement that 66 percent of the 52,000 pages of emails Clinton turned over from her private server be made public by November 30.

Here is a look at some of the highlights from the latest trove:

  • The day after the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, Clinton was sent a declassified update that says an Islamic militia group is believed to have been behind the attacks and that the events “were set in motion by a statement made by a Muslim Cleric in Egypt saying that the internet film was going to be shown across the United States on September 11 in an effort to insult Muslims.” Citing an anti-Islam film as a catalyst for the attack proved to be one of the most contentious issues surrounding the government’s response to Benghazi.
  • On September 15, 2012, revised talking points are sent around that say the Benghazi demonstrations were “spontaneously inspired” by protests at the US Embassy in Cairo, Egypt. However, it is noted that the position “may change as additional information is collected and analyzed.”
  • Chelsea Clinton expressed her sympathies to her mother on the day of the Benghazi attacks. “I am so sorry about the State Department officer killed in Libya and the ongoing precariousness in Egypt and Libya. Such anathema to us as Americans - and a painful reminder or how long it took modernism to take root in the US, after the Enlightenment, the 14th, 15th, 16th 19th amendments, removal of censorship norms and laws, etc,” she writes.
  • In a display that shows Clinton’s team was aware of the sensitivity of sending classified documents to a private email address, an aide notes in a message to Clinton, “It was classified so we could not email you.”
  • Mittens v. Grinch: Clinton seems to refer to Mitt Romney as “Mittens” and Newt Gingrich as “Grinch” in an email from January 22, 2012 prior to the Florida primary. She emailed longtime aide Sid Blumenthal: “If Mittens can't beat Grinch in Florida, there will be pressure on state Republican parties to reopen or liberalize ballot access especially in the caucuses, which as we know are creatures of the parties' extremes.”
  • Displaying the complicated nature of a marriage between a secretary of state and former president, Hillary Clinton emails aides asking “what are the rules” about her flying with Bill Clinton to California for a Democratic party fundraiser and charitable fundraiser he is doing.
  • Dorothea, presumably the wife of Jon Bon Jovi, writes to Chelsea Clinton: “Dear Chelsea, Jon and I have been thinking about your family since we heard about your Mom's health issues.” She forwards to her mom with the note “so nice from the Bon Jovis.” Clinton directs an aide “Pls respond to Bon Jovis.”
  • And in keeping with the theme of technological troubles that have played out in past email dumps, this latest batch revealed Clinton had trouble navigating her TV. She asks aide Philippe Reines “Do you know what channel on the TV in DC is the program listing? And, specifically, what channel number is Showtime?” She follows up: “Because I want to watch “Homeland.”’ Reines: “If you have Comcast, it's channel 339 or 340 (one is HD and one isn't)” Hillary’s response? “You won't be surprised to hear I'm not sure.”

Though the email releases have yet to reveal any startling revelations about Clinton’s time at the State Department, her political opponents say the amount of redacted information in them shows that she put the country at risk by using a private server.

“With the number of emails containing classified information now numbering nearly one thousand, this latest court-ordered release underscores the degree to which Hillary Clinton jeopardized our national security and has tried to mislead the American people,” Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus said in a statement.

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