Andrea Mitchell Debunks Bogus “Quid Pro Quo” Claim Between FBI And State Department

Mitchell: “There Was No Quid Pro Quo, There Was No Linkage ... There Was Nothing At All Nefarious”

From the October 17 edition of MSNBC's Meet The Press Daily:

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KRISTEN WELKER (HOST): The Clinton campaign is being forced to respond today to newly released documents from the FBI's investigation into her use of a private email server when she was Secretary of State. The documents, called 302s, are shorthand notes taken by FBI agents during an investigation. They were released because of a Freedom Of Information Act request. Now Republicans are seizing, in particular, on a note outlining discussions between a now-retired FBI agent whose name has been redacted, and Patrick Kennedy, the Undersecretary of State.

An agent writes in the note, quote, "(redacted name) indicated he had been contacted by Patrick Kennedy, Undersecretary of State, who had asked his assistants in altering the email's classification in an exchange for 'quid pro quo.'" Another redacted name advised that in exchange for marking the email classified, State would reciprocate by allowing the FBI to place more agents in the countries where they are presently forbidden.

The Clinton campaign, the FBI and the State Department are denying that this happened. It was the FBI agent who first brought up how many agents are placed abroad. The FBI officials tell NBC News the matter resulted in a serious internal investigation into that agent.


You have been following this story, Andrea, all day long. What are the other take-aways here that we need to know about?

ANDREA MITCHELL: What you've got here is the FBI and the State Department, who have been fighting for a year and a half over the classifications of these e-mails, the FBI and the intelligence communities saying they should be more classified, and retroactively re-classifying some that had had not been, and the State Department saying “No, this is the way we do business, this is not something that should be classified, it's simply mentioning a name here and a name there,” and the FBI basically winning all of these the arguments.

So, the fact that there was this debate, this negotiation, is not anything unusual. We've been, in fact, told every day at the State Department “Hey, this is happening, we're pushing back, well we lost this one, well, we lost another one.” This is an ongoing negotiation.

What is unusual is this note from the FBI official saying that the agent saying that this happened, and in fact we were told it was exactly the opposite, that an FBI official brought up placing agents in Iraq, a country where they had not been able to get in, as an add-on to another conversation with Patrick Kennedy. He said “Now I've got you on your phone -- on the phone, basically, we finally nailed you down here to talk about this, let me bring this up.”

And so they brought it up from the FBI's standpoint, it wasn't Patrick Kennedy, there was no quid pro quo, there was no linkage, they were really separate issues, and that there was nothing at all nefarious. But that doesn't mean that there won't be attacks, and in fact we are told Donald Trump in his speech tonight is going to be jumping all over this.


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