Clinton to face tough questions on Benghazi, email scandal with 2016 bid
The days of answering softball questions at paid speaking engagements have ended for former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who will face a slew of tough questions that she has sidestepped for months now that she has formally announced her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.
She will have to wrestle with a broad range of topics — from foreign policy issues, such as how she would handle the Islamic State terrorist army that grew up on her watch as secretary of state, *(Remember how she said that America left Al Qaida in the cold? After America used them to get rid of the Soviet Union from Afghanistan.. here is a picture on how friendly she is with these groups)
to domestic priorities pushed by her Democratic Party’s liberal base, including whether she is willing to crack down on big Wall Street banks that have been major donors to her campaigns.
The former first lady, senator and top diplomat also must field questions on matters of ethics, including being pressed to more fully address an email secrecy scandal and a potential conflict of interest with the Clinton Foundation accepting foreign donations while she served as secretary of state.
Mrs. Clinton has begun taking steps to distance herself from the Clinton Foundation. That likely will not deflect questions about whether donations from wealthy interests in foreign countries influenced her actions at the State Department or even may sway her decisions if she succeeds in her quest for a return trip to the White House.
At a press conference last month, Mrs. Clinton attempted to allay the furor over her exclusive use of a private email account hosted on a private server in her home for conducting official business as secretary of state, a practice that may have violated federal open records laws.
But her explanation that it was simply more convenient for her to mingle personal and government email didn’t settle the controversy, which only deepened when she revealed that she had wiped clean the server, destroying all the emails except those selected by her team to be turned over to the State Department. Also, some of her explanations, such as not wanting to carry multiple devices, rang hollow or proved false upon investigation.
Questions persist about why she didn’t turn over her emails when she left the State Department in early 2013, how she selected the roughly 63,000 emails from her tenure to destroy and why she erased the server memory amid the scandal.
*(Even Nixon did not dare to erase the tapes of Watergate)
Mrs. Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have weathered a lifetime of political scandals. Still, her responses to these ethical issues and how she handles other criticism as she navigates the campaign trail once again will test her character.
“Presidential elections are not just about issues and partisan politics, they are character tests about specific candidates at specific moments in history,” said Democratic campaign strategist Craig Varoga, who previously worked on Mr. Clinton’s 1996 reelection team and for former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who is preparing to challenge Mrs. Clinton for the Democratic nomination.
“Americans are divided down the middle, in a foul mood and think the country’s going to hell in a handbasket. Hillary’s greatest strength is her experience, but every one of her opponents will try to use that experience against her,” said Mr. Varoga. “The candidate who eventually wins in November 2016 will be the one who does the best job of showing that he or she has the experience to be steady and strong, but also has the temperament to take the country in a new direction.”
Indeed, many of the questions swirling around Mrs. Clinton arose from her four years as American’s top diplomat under President Obama.
She remains a key figure in the probe by the House Select Committee on Benghazi, which is investigating the 2012 terrorist attacks on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Libya that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
The attacks, and the Obama administration’s response to them — including initially blaming them on a spontaneous riot over an anti-Islam YouTube video — left an indelible black mark on Mrs. Clinton’s record as secretary of state. She could be called to publicly testify before the Benghazi committee in the middle of the campaign and answer questions about her role in the episode, as well as her secretive handling of emails. *(We know she was involved in the murder of the late Ambassador Stevens and three military men.”)
Mrs. Clinton also will perform a careful balancing act as she defends the actions of the Obama administration that she served, while breaking with Mr. Obama to demonstrate that she’s her own woman and offers voters something new.
She will encounter criticism of her dealings with Russia, symbolized by the embarrassing “reset” policy. But she will also have to offer a new vision for dealing with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who led his country’s takeover of Crimea and continues to sow unrest in eastern Ukraine with disregard for U.S. sanctions and admonishments.
“Now, if this sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the ‘30s,” Mrs. Clinton said last month at a fundraiser in California, comparing Mr. Putin’s moves to those of the Nazi German dictator who started World War II, reported the Long Beach Press-Telegram.
Despite the stinging rhetoric, Mrs. Clinton has yet to offer a strategy to confront Mr. Putin.
On another foreign policy front, Mrs. Clinton likely will have to elaborate on her views of Mr. Obama’s decision to release five terrorist leaders from the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for the Taliban returning captive Sgt. Bowe Berghdal, whom the Army later charged with desertion.
Mrs. Clinton defended Mr. Obama’s decision in June, before the charges were brought but amid widespread speculation that Sgt. Berghdal had abandoned his post and sought out the Taliban.
“It doesn’t matter how they ended up in a prisoner-of-war situation,” Mrs. Clinton told ABC News. “It doesn’t matter. We bring our people home.”
She will have to revisit the issue now that she’s a candidate and Sgt. Berghdal faces a court-martial on charges of desertion and misconduct in the face of the enemy.
Mrs. Clinton must take stands on U.S. spy agencies’ massive domestic surveillance programs and America’s use of drones to kill terrorist suspects — and, sometimes, Americans — overseas.
She has called Mr. Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran a “step in the right direction.” But she will be asked about her plans to deal with Iran in the future, and she will be pressed about how she would restore the U.S. relationship with Israel, which has been badly damaged under Mr. Obama’s tenure.
Some of the most pointed questions will come from her own party, as Democratic activists push Mrs. Clinton to the left and prod her to adopt the populist agenda championed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, including expanding Social Security benefits, creating “debt-free college” and breaking up Wall Street banks.
Mrs. Warren, Massachusetts Democrat, so far has resisted calls to enter the presidential race, but she represents an ominous presence on the sidelines as Mrs. Clinton begins her run.
“Hillary Clinton’s biggest challenge at the outset is reassuring the Democratic grass roots that she can represent them,” said veteran Democratic strategist Joe Trippi. “Look for her to proactively talk about issues like Wall Street, wages and equality as a result.”
Still, he said that any divide within the Democratic Party would quickly repair itself in response to attacks by Republicans, especially on issues that party activists view as partisan, such as Benghazi.
“That will only solidify her base of support in the Democratic Party and make her an even more formidable candidate in November 2016,” said Mr. Trippi.
Mrs. Clinton faces criticism from the left over her cozy relationship with Wall Street. Three of the four top donors throughout Mrs. Clinton’s political career — Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase — are among the same megabanks that liberals want to bust up.
“Hillary Clinton’s campaign launch is an opportunity to make clear to Americans that she will campaign on big, bold, economic populist ideas like debt-free college, expanding Social Security, clean energy jobs and reforming Wall Street,” said Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which is pulling Democratic candidates to the left.
“The battle over the direction of the Democratic Party is coming to an end — the Elizabeth Warren wing has won, and the battle of big versus small ideas is here. Americans are ready for boldness,” he said. “We hope Hillary Clinton thinks big and takes on powerful interests on behalf of everyday working families. Progressives will continue working to put big, bold, economic populist ideas at the center of the national conversation.”
In my opinion who ever votes for Clinton is putting another nail to the coffin of America. America started loosing control from the era of Bush senior showing that the agencies have gone rogue with kidnapping leaders, then came B.Clinton were he completely embarrassed the White House with Lewinsky sex scandal and balkanized Yugoslavia and the beginning of the small groups of terrorists trained of course by the Rogue agencies and Private war companies. Then comes Bush junior dummier than a gold-fish orchestrated with his father & other warlords the collapse of the twin towers so that he could invade Iraq and Afghanistan. Americans seem that they have no memory of the loss of soldiers in the thousands. After the Bushes comes Obama with Hillary Clinton engaging in an illegal wars in LIBYA, SYRIA, UKRAINE both are responsible for the failed state in Libya the cold blood murder of Qaddafi leader of the Libya and the late Ambassador Stevens with three American Soldiers and hiding emails to the fact. I believe America needs a change and has to stop voting between these two parties which are sold out to corporate companies and govern with the corporate agendas.
HILLARY CLINTON’S LATEST SCANDAL ONLY THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG
In an exclusive news report, this reporter described another suspicious link in a chain of events following the Benghazi massacre that cost the lives of four Americans including the U.S. ambassador to Libya. However, with the latest Hillary Clinton firestorm regarding an authorized – possibly illegal – use of a non-State Department email system including a privately installed Internet server, that Examiner story may be part of the latest in a long line of Hillary Clinton’s deceptions.
While still serving as Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s staff were involved in “hanky panky” as part of damage control for their boss prior to her appearance before lawmakers investigating the Benghazi terrorist attack that occurred on Sept. 11, 2012. They were instructed to set aside any documents that would hurt Clinton politically and not turn them over to the Accountability Review Board (ARB) that was investigating the alleged missteps by the Obama administration especially those by the State Department, according a report on Monday by former CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson.
While Hillary Clinton and her husband Bill were hobnobbing with Democrats in Iowa, a former Clinton assistant, Ray Maxwell revealed to reporters that State Department cronies beholding to Secretary Clinton were instructed to sift through documents in a “secret” operation conducted in the headquarters’ basement. The goal was to exclude anything that might point to Clinton’s mismanagement of embassy security especially in nations that were involved in conflicts with radical Muslims such as Egypt, Iraq and Libya.
During Clinton’s tenure, Maxwell was a high-ranking deputy in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA), which was ordered to collect any and all documents regarding the Benghazi terrorist attack.
According to Maxwell, Hillary Clinton’s top assistant was allegedly present during the after-hours document review. But Maxwell wasn’t assigned to help in the hanky panky occurring in the Sunday document caper, he said. Maxwell’s description of what he saw — boxes full of government documents — reminds many observers of Hillary Clinton’s days as a First Lady during the Whitewater investigation. That incident in 1996 created a controversy that was quickly dismissed by the news media that all but covered up the story.
Did Hillary Clinton aides withhold damaging Benghazi documents? During a Monday morning appearance on Fox News Channel, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, identified the Hillary Clinton confidants who were allegedly present during the basement hanky panky. He named Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff, who was President Bill Clinton’s attorney during his impeachment ordeal. Rep. Chaffetz also named Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan, who actually worked for both Hillary Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns.
According to documents obtained by former Justice Department prosecutor Larry Klayman, Secretary Clinton and her closest staff members were the likely source of the security leaks to New York Times reporter David Sanger. Klayman also said the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents show that those leaks were coordinated with the Obama White House’s national security team, which included Susan “Benghazi” Rice and Iranian-born Valerie Jarrett.
“What should outrage Americans is the fact that not only is there a concerted effort to minimize the seriousness of Clinton’s email scandal, but this woman is running a campaign to become the Commander in Chief of the U.S. military forces, intelligence agencies and law enforcement departments,” said former Marine intelligence operative and police detective Michael Snopes. “If a CIA or FBI operative ever did half of what Hillary has been accused of, they would be suspended pending an intense investigation and probably fired or worse – they’d be locked up in prison,” Snopes added.
The media feeding frenzy over the alleged unlawful use by Hillary Clinton of a non-government email system is having an impact on other allegations against the presidential wannabe. On Tuesday, a former Department of Justice prosecuting attorney said that he believes then-Secretary of State Clinton — probably using her unofficial and illegal email system — was complicit in the leaking of classified intelligence regarding military operation plans formulated by Prime Minister Banjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) to destroy Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
In a Washington Post front page news story on March 2, 2015, reporter Anne Gearan intimated that the likely reason for the release of Israel’s plans to a New York Times reporter was intended to hurt the Israeli’s war plans, since President Barack Obama and his staff — including his top advisor Valerie Jarrett, herself born in Iran — believed Israel was willing and had the technical and strategic expertise to launch a preemptive sneak attack on Iran in order to eliminate their nuclear threat.
Ms. Gearan wrote: “Hillary Rodham Clinton used a private e-mail account for her official government business when she was secretary of state and did not routinely preserve and turn over those e-mails for government records collection, the State Department said Monday.” She also wrote: “It was not clear why Clinton, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, created the private account. But the practice appears to bolster long-standing criticism that Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, have not been transparent.”
Hillary bloodied Bill Clinton, forcing him to get stitches after learning of Monica Lewinsky affair
By: Dave Boyer
Just as Hillary Rodham Clinton is preparing to launch her presidential campaign, a new behind-the-scenes book about life at the White House is providing a fresh look at her bitter fights with husband-President Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky affair, including a bloody clash in the first couple’s bedroom.
“There was blood all over the president and first lady’s bed,” writes former White House reporter Kate Anderson Brower. “A member of the residence staff got a frantic call from the maid who found the mess. Someone needed to come quickly and inspect the damage. The blood was Bill Clinton‘s. The president had to get several stitches to his head.”
“The Residence: Inside the Private World of The White House,” is due out Tuesday from publisher Harper, but excerpts began making the rounds Monday. Ms. Brower is a former reporter for Bloomberg News.
Stories circulated after the 1998 fight in the White House that Mrs. Clinton had brained her husband with a lamp in a fury over the revelations of his sexual affair with Miss Lewinsky, a White House intern. But according to the book, White House staff surmised that Mrs. Clinton hit her husband with one of the dozens of books that she kept on her bedside table.
Mr. Clinton “insisted that he’d hurt himself running into the bathroom door in the middle of the night,” Ms. Brower writes. “But not everyone was convinced. ‘We’re pretty sure she clocked him with a book,’ one worker said. … The incident came shortly after the president’s affair with a White House intern became public knowledge … And there were at least twenty books on the bedside table … including the Bible.”
A spokesman for Mrs. Clinton didn’t respond to a request for comment.
In another passage of the book, White House florist Ronn Payne recalled witnessing a bitter argument between the first couple.
“He was coming up the service elevator … as the Clintons argued viciously with each other. … [H]e heard the first lady bellow ‘goddamn bastard!’ at the president – and then he heard someone throw a heavy object across the room,” Ms. Brower wrote. “The rumor among the staff was that she threw a lamp. The butlers, Payne said, were told to clean up the mess. In an interview with Barbara Walters, Mrs. Clinton made light of the story … ‘I have a pretty good arm … If I’d thrown a lamp at somebody, I think you would have known about it.’ … ‘You heard so much foul language’ in the Clinton White House, [Payne] said. …”
Mrs. Clinton would console herself about her husband’s affair by ordering White House pastry chef Roland Mesnier to bake her favorite mocha cakes.
Miss Lewinsky said she had sexual relations with Mr. Clinton from November 1995 to March 1997. But the affair was no surprise to White House staff, who saw the president alone with the intern so often that they began gossiping when they had a “Lewinsky sighting.”
Mr. Clinton was punished by his wife in other ways.
“For three or four months in 1998,” Ms. Brower writes, “the president slept on a sofa in a private study attached to their bedroom on the second floor. Most of the women on the residence staff thought he got what he deserved.”
And long before the controversy about Mrs. Clinton’s private email server during her tenure as secretary of state, the book says that the Clintons were obsessed with secrecy. The Clintons had the White House phone system’s circuitry rewired so they wouldn’t have to call each other through a switchboard.
“The Clintons’ preoccupation with secrecy made relations with the staff ‘chaotic’ for their entire eight years in office, [retired White House Usher Skip] Allen said,” Ms. Brower writes. “At least one residence worker, Florist Wendy Elsasser, attributes their anxiety to parental concerns: ‘I think protecting Chelsea may have had a lot to do with, for lack of a better term, their standoffishness with the staff.’”
In researching the book, Ms. Brower interviewed more than 100 workers at the White House residence, as well as presidential aides and first family members.
Mrs. Clinton is expected to announce her 2016 presidential bid later this month. She is adding to the press team for the anticipated campaign, selecting Karen Finney to serve as strategic communications adviser and senior spokeswoman, and Oren Shur as director of paid media, CNN reported Monday.
Ms. Finney served as deputy press secretary to Mrs. Clinton when she was first lady, and also worked on Mrs. Clinton’s campaign for the Senate in 2000. She has been a host on MSNBC.
The Clintons aren’t the only first family examined in the book. Ms. Brower writes about John F. Kennedy’s well-known infidelities at the White House, including swimming naked in the pool with female staffers.
President Jimmy Carter’s three adult sons were known for smoking marijuana from bongs at the White House. Staff said Mr. Carter and his family wept for two weeks straight after he lost his bid for re-election in 1980.
A White House usher, Nelson Pierce, recalls witnessing Nancy Reagan berate President Reagan as he stood in their room because she was angry that he was watching the 11 p.m. news instead of going to bed.
President George H.W. Bush and first lady Barbara Bush are remembered by the White House employees as their favorite first couple. Staffers said the Bushes treated them like family and encouraged them to go home early.
And White House employees say President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have had a relatively distant relationship with the staff.
Usher Worthington White recalls bringing papers to their room on Mr. Obama’s first night in office, and hearing he new president say, “I got this, I got this. I got the inside on this now.” Then, “the music picked up, and it was Mary J. Blige.”
The Obamas — the first lady wore sweat pants and a T-shirt — were dancing to Blige’s hit, “Real Love.”
“‘I bet you haven’t seen anything like this in this house, have you?” Mr. Obama said as they danced.
“‘I can honestly say I’ve never heard any Mary J. Blige being played on this floor,’ Mr. White replied,” according to the book.
A Democratic Muslim Brotherhood Is A Deadly Mirage
by Richard Galustian