- The Washington Times
Friday, October 21, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s secret email account caused her to miss a call, apparently to the French foreign minister, according to newly released emails that showed the then-secretary of state frustrated by the system she had established.

Top personal aide Huma Abedin was trying to set up a call with someone identified as Kouchner — seemingly Bernard Kouchner, the top French diplomat at the time — but Mrs. Clinton’s OK for the call didn’t get to Ms. Abedin in time.

“You are having email delays,” Ms. Abedin told her boss, sparking a back-and-forth over the system Mrs. Clinton had set up.

“We should talk about putting you on state email or releasing your email address to the department so you are not going to spam,” Ms. Abedin said in the Nov. 13, 2010, exchange.

Mrs. Clinton, in the email exchange, didn’t address that suggestion.

The six emails back and forth, which deal with Mrs. Clinton’s official business schedule, were curiously left out of the 30,000 messages she belatedly turned over to the State Department in late 2014 as her work-related emails.

The FBI recovered it during agents’ criminal investigation into her mishandling of classified information, and the State Department, acting under court order, made the messages public Friday as part of a rolling production of all the FBI-recovered messages.

Some 112 messages were released Friday, including one classified message that had never been released before.

That Jan. 26, 2010, message was sent by Ms. Abedin to Mrs. Clinton relaying a conversation someone named “Jeff” had with the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates.

All of the information is redacted in the message, and is classified as “confidential” — the lowest level of secrecy. It was flagged because it contains information gleaned from foreign sources and about U.S. foreign policy operations.

“There is one new document that has been upgraded to confidential,” the department acknowledged in a statement.

Mrs. Clinton had insisted she didn’t send or receive classified messages on her secret server, which she kept at her home in New York and lacked sophisticated protections against hacking attempts. But more than 2,500 of the messages released to date are now deemed to have secrets so sensitive they have to be redacted from public view.

None of the messages were marked classified at the time, though the lack of a marking doesn’t mean the information wasn’t secret at the time anyway, security officials say.

Mrs. Clinton said she set up her system because it was more convenient for her, and has denied it was to shield her communications from the public.

The Republican National Committee said the exchange between Ms. Abedin and Mrs. Clinton over her email delays pokes a hole in that explanation.

“Given that more than half of Clinton’s nongovernmental meetings were with Clinton Foundation donors, it’s clear the server was always about covering up pay-to-play corruption at her State Department,” said RNC spokesman Michael Short.

Mr. Kouchner, the French diplomat who seems to have been the subject of the missed call, was ousted in a Cabinet shakeup on the November 2010 day Mrs. Clinton was trying to call him.

The next two batches of emails are due to be released by the State Department on Nov. 3 and Nov. 4, just days before the presidential election, for which Mrs. Clinton is the Democratic nominee.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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