August 2, 2016

Fact Checkers Obliterate Clinton Email Lies

Secretary Clinton has found herself in hot water over a clearly false claim she made during an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace. At issue, unsurprisingly, is Clinton’s use of a private email server and her mishandling of classified material. For about 18 months, Clinton has struggled to come up with an adequate answer for this controversial topic (as did her campaign manager on “Morning Joe” on Monday). Here’s how things went down on Fox News Sunday:

On the July 31 edition of Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace played a video montage of several times Clinton said something like: “I am confident that I never sent nor received any information that was classified at the time.”

Wallace remarked, “After a long investigation, FBI director James Comey said none of those things that you told the American public were true.”

That’s not what Clinton heard Comey say, she responded.

“Director Comey said my answers were truthful, and what I’ve said is consistent with what I have told the American people, that there were decisions discussed and made to classify retroactively certain of the emails,” she said.

What followed was a harsh rebuke from fact checkers. “Clinton appears to have selective hearing,” wrote Politifact’s Lauren Carroll. Giving Clinton Politifact’s worst rating, Carroll added:

A reasonable person would interpret Clinton’s statement to mean that Comey has endorsed her public remarks about her email. This is not the case.

Clinton repeatedly said she did not have any classified information whatsoever in her email, marked or unmarked. After the FBI investigation, including the interview with Clinton, Comey said she unequivocally did.

We rate her claim Pants on Fire.

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker blog took a similar ax to Clinton’s bogus claims:

As we have seen repeatedly in Clinton’s explanations of the email controversy, she relies on excessively technical and legalistic answers to explain her actions. While Comey did say there was no evidence she lied to the FBI, that is not the same as saying she told the truth to the American public — which was the point of Wallace’s question. Comey has repeatedly not taken a stand on her public statements.

And although Comey did say many emails were retroactively classified, he also said that there were some emails that were already classified that should not have been sent on an unclassified, private server. That’s the uncomfortable truth that Clinton has trouble admitting.

And CBS News piled on with another close examination of Clinton’s remark:

Clinton has publicly insisted that she did not send material classified at the time it was sent, but Comey’s testimony in July indicates that was not true.