Fox's Bret Baier Devotes 8 Town Hall Questions To Clinton's Email

From the March 7 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier Democratic Presidential Town Hall:

Video file

BRET BAIER (HOST): Secretary Clinton, I know you have said you're not worried at all about what you call the security review of your private server and the personal emails during your time as secretary. But the FBI investigation is still hanging over your campaign, and there are Democrats who are worried about another shoe dropping, potentially with the word that there's immunity for your former IT staffer Bryan Pagliano. You were asked a question about it at the debate last night. You chose not to answer the email part. So I'd like to ask you just a few quick questions on this before we take audience questions on specific policy. I've heard others say that neither you nor your lawyers have been apprised that you are a target of the investigation. Is that true? 

HILLARY CLINTON: Absolutely true. 

BAIER: Have you or your lawyers been apprised that any members of your current or former staff are targets of the investigation? 

CLINTON: Absolutely not. 

BAIER: At the time you and your staff deleted nearly 32,000 emails, about half of the total volume, were you aware that the server was going to be sought as evidence by federal authorities? 

CLINTON: No, but let me clarify this, because there's much misinformation going on around here. And let me just start with the basic facts. I have said, it wasn't the best choice to use a personal email. It was a mistake, however, I am not alone in that. Many people in the government, past and current, have on occasion or as a practice done the same. Nothing I sent was marked classified or that I received was marked classified. And specifically, with respect to your question, every government official, and this is a legal theory, not just a theory, it's a legal rule, gets to choose what is personal and what is official. What we turned over were more than 30,000 emails that I assumed were already in the government system, Bret. Because they were sent to addresses. 

BAIER: Sure, but there were some that were just recently discovered and turned over -- 

CLINTON: No, that was in the State Department, not in me. I have turned over everything.

BAIER: Let me just clarify. The State Department has redacted and declared 2101 of your work emails classified, at least at the confidential level, 44 classified as secret, 22 classified as top secret. So you said at a March press conference in 2015, quote I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material. So can we say definitively that that statement's not accurate? 

CLINTON: No, you can't. Here's what happens, the State Department has a process for determining what is or isn't classified. If they determine it is, they mark it as classified. 

BAIER: Who decides?

CLINTON: The State Department decides. 

BAIER: What about you when you're typing an e-mail. 

CLINTON: No, the State Department decides what is -- And let me go a step further here. I will reiterate, because it's a fact, nothing I sent or received was marked classified. Now, what happens when you ask or when you are asked to make information public, is that it's reviewed and different agencies come in with their opinions. As you know, just recently, Colin Powell's emails were retroactively classified from more than ten years ago. As he said, that was an absurdity. I could not agree more. 

BAIER: So your contention now is the 2,101 emails contained information that should be classified at any time. They should be, now or then -- you're just saying, it's not -- it shouldn't have been classified.

CLINTON: Well what I'm saying is, it wasn't at the time. Now if you -- let's take Mary Smith who has some information in the government, and she is FOIAed, Freedom of Information Act. Give us your information, your memos, your emails, whatever it might have been. That then goes through a process, so even though the agency she works in, has said none of this is classified, others start to have a chance to weigh in. So others might say, you know, that wasn't at the time, but now with circumstances, we don't want to release it, so, therefore, we have to classify it. I've asked, and I echo Colin Powell in this, release it, and once the American people see it, they will know how absurd this is. So Colin Powell and I are exactly on the same page.


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