Clinton campaign accuses GOP of ‘coordinated leak’ in email scandal – Politico
Hillary Clinton’s campaign is accusing the Intelligence Community Inspector General and congressional Republicans of coordinating against its candidate to damage her electoral chances, in the latest flare-up of the nearly yearlong scandal over her use of a private server while secretary of state.
Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon, asked on CNN’s “New Day” whether the email reports were taking a toll on Clinton, responded, “No, I think that Republicans are continuing to try to trumpet up and resurface these allegations for the purposes of hurting her campaign.”
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Fox News reported early Tuesday that Intelligence Community Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III, in a Jan. 14 correspondence to the Senate Intelligence and Foreign Relations committees, said agencies had found messages related to “special access programs” — an even more restricted classification category than “top secret.”
“But the inspector general isn’t a Republican,” anchor Alisyn Camerota interrupted.
“Actually, I think this was a very coordinated leak yesterday,” Fallon responded. “Because two months ago, there was a political report that directly challenged the finding of this inspector general, and I don’t think he liked that very much. So I think that he put two Republican senators up to sending him a letter so that he would have an excuse to resurface the same allegations he made back in the summer that have been discredited.”
Fallon’s allegations come after the email scandal cooled in late fall, following comments by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy boasting that a congressional investigation into Clinton’s email arrangement had damaged her standing in the polls. But the former secretary of state is still facing numerous probes in Congress and an FBI investigation into the unusual email setup.
Fallon on Wednesday morning also referenced POLITICO’s report Tuesday night in which a U.S. official said that classified information that has been leaked to outlets like WikiLeaks or The New York Times is still considered classified. Government employees, thus, are discouraged from accessing those articles, based on that logic.
“But interestingly, there was a very important report last night by POLITICO that suggested that what’s at issue here is just a forwarding of a New York Times article on the drone program that was being conducted in Pakistan,” Fallon said. “I think most Americans, if they saw the actual emails, would agree that it is a fabrication to suggest that the forwarding of a news article should be treated as a mishandling of classified information.”
The poll numbers, Fallon continued, “are a testament to the fact that she has been through the wringer in terms of Republicans targeting her. We have not just been attacked by the other Democrats that are running against us in the primary.”
Fallon also remarked upon the tightening of the polls as a test for Clinton’s closest rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. “Quite frankly, he’s gone through the last several months of the campaign without any scrutiny being applied. I think that’s starting to change now, based on the tightening of the polls, and as that happens, you actually see some of the details of his health care plan being questioned,” he added.
The latest comments about Sanders follow others by Clinton supporter David Brock, who used the s-word to go after the senator on Tuesday.
Sanders, Brock told Bloomberg’s John Heilemann, is “a socialist” and “not a Democrat,” remarking upon his “30-year history of associating with some wackadoodle” ideas.