- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 26, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Hillary Clinton has a hard time being honest.

“What I did was allowed by the State Department but it wasn’t the best choice,” Mrs. Clinton said in an October presidential debate, regarding the set-up of her personal email server while serving as secretary of State. “And I’ve been as transparent as I know to be.”

Which, according to the State Department’s inspector general, isn’t very transparent.

Mrs. Clinton and her top staff refused to cooperate with the IG investigation, not even granting them an interview. On Wednesday, the IG concluded Mrs. Clinton failed to seek approval for her use of a private server and violated the department’s record-keeping policies, contrary to Mrs. Clinton’s narrative for the past year.

In another effort to spin, Mrs. Clinton’s team released another half-truth.

“The inspector general documents just how consistent her email practices were with those of other secretaries and senior officials at the State Department who also used personal email,” Brian Fallon, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign spokesman said in a statement.

Which is complete baloney.

No other secretary of State had a private email server set up in their basement.

Then came the right-wing conspiracy.

On Wednesday night, Mr. Fallon appeared on Fox News, saying he’s read some reports that suggest the State IG had ties to Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, suggesting it was all a set-up.

In January, after reports said some emails on Mrs. Clinton’s home-brewed email server weren’t just classified, but were more than top-secret, Mrs. Clinton’s team replied: “It is alarming that the intelligence community [IG], working with Republicans in Congress, continues to selectively leak materials in order to resurface the same allegations and try to hurt Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.”

Playing the victim is signature Clinton.

Which takes us to the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Without getting too into it, after the story broke in early 1998, President Bill Clinton said: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time.”

Both of those claims were proven false.

But adhering to the truth didn’t stop Mrs. Clinton from appearing on NBC’s “Today” show the following day.

“This is — the great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president,” Mrs. Clinton said in the interview. “A few journalists have kind of caught on to it and explained it. But it has not yet been fully revealed to the American public. And actually, you know, in a bizarre sort of way, this may do it.”

In response to reports about a blue dress stained with DNA evidence, the Clinton smear machine responded that the dress was mythical, another creation of the right-wing conspiracy. Brill’s Content, a now defunct left-leaning magazine wrote a cover story to this effect.

Of course, that wasn’t true, the dress did exist.

Mr. Clinton went on to argue in a grand jury testimony that what he said under oath was genuine regarding his relationship to Miss Lewinsky, depending on what your interpretation of the word “is” means.

Classic, Clinton wordplay.

But the lies and the half-truths go back further than 1998.

Regarding the Whitewater real-estate scandal, Mrs. Clinton refused to submit to a subpoena issued by the Justice Department to produce documents related to the case. The Clintons reported the documents were missing. Almost two years later, the subpoenaed billing records of the Rose Law Firm were discovered in the Clintons’ private residence in the White House by a staffer.

Stonewall, delay. Lies.

Running in the 1992 presidential race, the Clintons appeared to be forthcoming about releasing their tax returns. They filed all of their returns going back to 1980. The catch? It was in 1979 when Mrs. Clinton made her commodity, cattle-futures trades, spinning a $1,000 investment into $100,000.

It was a near-miraculous windfall — and heavily investigated after Mr. Clinton won the White House. If it were disclosed before the election, there may have been another outcome.

Another half-truth. Open deception.

Now let’s flashback to the present.

The FBI and State Department are still investigating Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server and whether any classified information was put at risk. She continues to deny any wrongdoing.

In national polls, Mrs. Clinton is being dogged by low trustworthy and likability numbers.

Brash outsider, real-estate mogul Donald Trump has clinched the Republican presidential nomination, giving rise to a new kind of anti-politics which feeds off anger against the establishment and politics as usual.

Is there any wonder why?

Kelly Riddell is a columnist for The Washington Times.

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