[guest post by Dana]
(Hillary’s email scandal is getting messier by the day. With each new revelation, it gets that much harder to keep things straight.)
It’s always tough to keep the thread of a “story” simple and tight. The more people involved, the more complicated it becomes. One loose thread, and the whole thing threatens to unravel. Ari Fleischer points out the difficult position the White House now finds itself in with regard to Hillary’s brewing email scandal:
“It’s an extraordinarily delicate dance they have to do to not throw someone overboard, but not get anyone in the White House in deeper trouble.”
On Friday, Josh Earnest attempted to address when the White House learned about Hillary’s private email account and server:
White House spokesman Josh Earnest, when asked about what the White House knew, said senior officials were emailing Clinton while she was secretary of state and a few noticed she wasn’t using a .gov email address. However, he did not say when they noticed it and whether red flags were raised.
He also said he had no idea when President Obama first found out and claimed he wouldn’t be surprised if Obama only learned about it from “newspapers.”
Par for the course and surprising no one, President Obama confirmed Earnest’s suggestion and claimed that he learned of this scandal – as he has with so many other scandals involving his administration – via the news:
President Obama only learned of Hillary Clinton’s private email address use for official State Department business after a New York Times report, he told CBS News in an interview.
CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante asked Mr. Obama when he learned about her private email system after his Saturday appearance in Selma, Alabama.
“The same time everybody else learned it through news reports,” the president told Plante.
It’s interesting that the president, Josh Earnest and Valerie Jarrett all denied knowing Hillary used a private account maintained by servers at her residence.
“The White House, State Department and Hillary Clinton’s personal office knew in August that House Republicans had received information showing that the former secretary of state conducted official government business through her private email account — and Clinton’s staff made the decision to keep quiet.”
Further, if one of them knew, do you think that individual would sit on the information?
John Cook, the executive editor for investigations at Gawker Media, said in 2013, after emails from Clinton to Sidney Blumenthal, a former aide to President Bill Clinton, leaked, he “alerted” White House press secretary Josh Earnest that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was using a private email account.
Cook said it was “strange,” President Obama said Saturday he learned about Hillary Clinton exclusively emailing all official State Department business using her private email account when she was serving in his administration from the news, because Cook explained, “I alerted his spokesperson in 2013. I saw it coming from the White House. It’s not like we published a story and they missed it. I emailed Josh Earnest, who is now his spokesperson, and said this email address exists. Does it comport with the presidential records act and freedom of information act. I got no response.”
UPDATE BY PATTERICO: “On the news,” eh? That’s also how he found out about the IRS scandal. (Obama said: “I first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this.”)
And the VA scandal. (Jay Carney said: “I believe, we learned about them through reports.”)
This video is an oldie but a goodie, and still relevant today: