Hillary Clinton's Email Address Was a Hot Commodity
A new batch of State Department emails shows that some powerful Washingtonians quickly got Clinton's private email address—and others were eager to get it.
A new batch of Hillary Clinton's emails released by the State Department make one thing clear—lots of people wanted Hillary Clinton's email.
More specifically, they wanted her email address—a nongovernmental address that, as is widely known now, was hosted on a private server she controlled. Following a court order, the State Department on Tuesday released more than 3,000 pages of emails that Clinton had turned over from her server, with several more batches of messages due before January 2016.
The newest tranche of messages, all of them from 2009, show that many top officials and powerful figures inside and outside the administration had Clinton's address, but some didn't.
In one exchange from June 8, 2009, Clinton's chief of staff Cheryl Mills emails with a note saying, "axelrod wants your email -- remind me to discuss with you if i forget," referring to then-senior White House adviser David Axelrod. Clinton replies, "can you send it to him or do you want me to?" They resolve that Mills will take care of it.
Then a September 5 thread notes that Clinton and Obama's then chief of staff Rahm Emanuel were slated to speak and that she had asked him to email her. Mills emailed Clinton asking, "do you want him to have your email?" Clinton replied: "Yes."
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell had it, as was made clear in his June 19, 2009, email asking, after her mid-June 2009 elbow fracture: "Hillary, Is it true [Richard] Holbrooke tripped you? Just kidding, get better fast, we need you running around."
Lanny Davis, a prominent lawyer and longtime adviser to both Clintons, also had it. And so did Brian Greenspun, the publisher, CEO, and editor of the Las Vegas Sun—and major donor to Clinton's 2008 presidential bid—who emailed Clinton at one point to let her know that "word has it the Israeli ambassador has been trying to meet with you to no avail." Clinton also received emails on the account from Neera Tanden, a top adviser to her 2008 campaign, and John Podesta, now her campaign chairman. ("Tried you a couple days ago, but email bounced back. Neera says this is the right one," Podesta wrote.)
Powell wasn't the only person to email about her injury. There's a June 23, 2009, message from Axelrod to Clinton urging her to rest and recover, adding: "You are an all-star player, and we need you for the long run!" Clinton thanked him a couple days later with a message that says, it's an "honor" to serve Obama with Axelrod and that she and Axelrod should spend some time together comparing notes and catching up soon.
When former President Jimmy Carter emailed Clinton in July 2009, he did so via one of her aides—Lauren Jiloty. The subject was "N. Korea" and apparently concerned his efforts to get two detained female American journalists back from the country.
And not everyone preferred to use email to contact Clinton. "[Al] Gore just called saying he hasn't heard from you. he's expecting to hear from you tonite. I'm sorry," read a May 18, 2009, message from senior aide Huma Abedin to Clinton.
Elsewhere, the messages show various correspondence with longtime confidant Sidney Blumenthal, who, as previous releases from State and the House Select Committee on Benghazi show, emailed with Clinton repeatedly about Libyan security and intelligence issues in 2011 and 2012.
The newly released tranche show 2009 messages between Blumenthal and Clinton on issues including U.K. politics, Iranian politics, and more, with Blumenthal offering advice on various topics.
In one November 2009 exchange, Blumenthal recalls bumping into Charlie Rose and they discussed an upcoming interview with Clinton. "He said he wanted to focus a lot on China. That he will be in Berlin will help focus him, too, on the transatlantic relationship, which I would also bring up if he doesn't." Blumenthal reached out to Clinton at all hours of the day: One email from June 2009, at just after 10 p.m., asked Clinton to call him. "Hillary: if you're up, give me a call," he wrote in the subject line.
The Clinton emails also reveal just how rapidly America's foreign policy allies have shifted through the Obama presidency. In an email dated December 13, 2009, Clinton gave approval for a condolence cable for Bashar al-Assad, who had just lost his brother.
Clinton's email correspondence suggests that she and her staff frequently interacted about meetings at the White House—or lack thereof. One day, Clinton asked aides Abedin and Lona Valmoro about a Cabinet meeting she wasn't aware of: "I heard on the radio that there is a Cabinet mtg this am," she wrote. "Is there? Can I go?" At another point Clinton emailed aides to complain that she had shown up at the White House for a meeting that had already been canceled, without her knowing.
She was also concerned about the amount of face time she got with President Obama. "In thinking about the Kissinger interview, the only issue I think that might be raised is that I see POTUS at least once a week while K saw Nixon every day," she wrote to communications aide Philippe Reines. "Of course, if I were dealing w that POTUS I'd probably camp in his office to prevent him from doing something problematic. Do you see this as a problem?"
The messages capture some of Clinton's interaction with Capitol Hill in the early days of the administration. On August 25, 2009, Abedin wrote that then-Sen. Joe Lieberman wanted to meet with Clinton about his trip to Iraq and Afghanistan with Sen. John McCain. Clinton replies Lieberman wanted to come see her with McCain, Graham, and Collins about Afghanistan, presumably a reference to Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, lawmakers active in military policy.
Clinton clearly remained close with some members on Capitol Hill, including Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski—a mentor to many women senators. In an exchange, Mikulski confided in Clinton that health care was in danger.
"Am so glad to hear frm you/Hi knew this was painful combined with logistics of being a woman--know. How streddful this must be----the other night the. Senate. Women had dinner anyway---all sent good words. And encouragement," Mikulski wrote. "To a woman theyb all said. Oh my imagine just getting dressed and the. Hair thing. Get your therapy. Get better. The senate is slogging along health care is starting to sag. --- some days it feels like we are doing the public option off backof envelope. Call when you can."
Clinton's emails occasionally delved into nonwork topics—like interior-design ideas she picked up during a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao. "Can you contact your protocol friend in China and ask him if I could get photos of the carpets of the rooms I met in w POTUS during the recent trip?" she asked protocol chief Capricia Marshall. "I loved their designs and the way they appeared carved. Any chance we can get this?"