The State Department on Thursday released 5,500 more pages of Hillary Clinton’s emails, but fell short of meeting a court-ordered target of making 82 percent of the former secretary of state’s messages public by the end of 2015.
The email dump is the latest release from the private server Clinton used during her time as America’s top diplomat. The State Department said it failed to meet the court’s goal because of “the large number of documents involved and the holiday schedule.”
Portions of 275 documents in the batch were upgraded to classified, though they were not classified at the time they were sent to Clinton’s personal email, according to the State Department. In total, 1,274 of her emails were retroactively classified by the government before their release.
Though the email releases have so far come on the last day of the month, the department announced it will release more of Clinton’s messages in early January to help meet the court’s goal.
Clinton’s Republican opponents have harshly criticized her use of a private email account while heading the State Department, saying it compromised the country’s security.
Previous releases have shed light into the day-to-day workings of Clinton’s inner circle, but have provided few insights into the decision-making process of the Democratic presidential frontrunner.
Among the noteworthy correspondence in the latest batch:
- Rolling with Clinton: Clinton's longtime aide Huma Abedin is usually the one who got to ride with Clinton to and from events when she was secretary of state. But things get a little complicated when she’s gone. So to simplify the process, Deputy Assistant Secretary Philippe Reines created a nice and easy flow chart of who gets to roll with Clinton.
- Clinton learns of her Internet stardom: Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills passes along a note informing the secretary of state how a photo of her reading her Blackberry has gone viral. “Why now? That was on way to Libya?” Clinton asks. Mills assures her, “You look cute.” The photo would inspire the “Texts from Hillary” meme.
- Clinton grasps for intel on Obama’s health care plan: Clinton was apparently kept in the dark on parts of Obama’s health care reform push (notable since she lead efforts in 1990s), reaching out to former aide turned Obama health reform adviser Neera Tanden to ask for info. Clinton writes: “Is there a new strategy? I know POTUS will speak on 9/9. Will we hear the specifics of what the Admin wants Congress to do? Let me know if I can help?” It takes Tanden two days to respond, but she says she wishes HRC were more involved and confides: “The President's policy intincts are to do good and decent things, but the rest of the Administration is just, well, beyond complicated. It's a bit too much for email.”
- Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates sends condolences after Benghazi attacks: Clinton responds by saying she hopes they can soon get together for a visit, and “maybe a drink,” in the next few months.
- Bill Clinton lobbied Maryland assemblyman ahead of gay marriage vote: The former president attempted to convince Maryland Assemblyman Sam Arora to support marriage equality legislation in 2012. Hillary Clinton told an aide that her husband’s effort had been “unsuccessful.” (Though the legislation did pass.)
- George Soros regrets supporting Obama, can meet with HRC whenever he wants: Former Clinton aide Neera Tenden emails Clinton to tell her she recently chatted with Democratic mega-donor George Soros at the Democracy Alliance. “I told him I worked for you in the primaries and he said he's been impressed that he can always call/meet with you on an issue of policy and said he hasn't met with the President ever (though I thought he had). He then said he regretted his decision in the primary - he likes to admit mistakes when he makes them and that was one of them.”
- Clinton aide wants to “ram this down” reporter’s throat: Clinton emailed aides saying she was angry about a 2012 Washington Post column from Al Kamen that claims to report the number each of Obama’s Cabinet members have been to the White House. Clinton asked her staff to compile her number of visits to refute the story. Philippe Reines says it is “my mission today to ram this down his throat.”
- Clinton annoyed to be photoshopped out of bin Laden photo: “The Jerusalem Post reported today that a NY Hasidic paper Der Zeitung published the sit room photo w/o me (or Audrey T) photoshopped out perhaps because no woman should be in such a place of power or that I am dressed immodestly!!” Clinton wrote in a email days after Osama bin Laden’s 2011 death.
- Blumenthal to H: Angela Merkel dislikes the “Obama phenomenon:” In a 2009 memo, longtime Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal writes that diplomat John Kornblum suggests she develop her relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “He says she dislikes the atmospherics surrounding the Obama phenomenon, that it's contrary to her whole idea of politics and how to conduct oneself in general,” Blumenthal writes.
Clinton’s personal email use as the country’s top diplomat dogged her campaign earlier this year. She has since apologized for her choice to set up a private server rather than use an official government email. Republicans continue to attack her as more messages become retroactively classified.
"When this scandal first broke, Hillary Clinton assured the American people there was no classified material on her unsecure server, a claim which has since been debunked on a monthly basis with each court-ordered release ... Clinton has shown she lacks the character and judgement to be president during this critical time for our country," the Republican National Committee said in a statement.