Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s paranoia about Republicans permeates her emails, where even a common error message on an undelivered email prompted her to speculated — presumably jokingly — that the “neocons” must be reading her mail.
The jabs at the Republicans were just part of the more than 4,000 new messages released Friday in the latest dump from Mrs. Clinton’s four years at the State Department, when her unique email arrangement shielded some of her communications from public view.
Now those messages are being released monthly in response to a court order.
The latest batch contained another 266 messages now deemed classified, bringing to 666 the total number of messages so far. That means about 4 percent of messages she sent or received contained information the government now says should be classified — though Mrs. Clinton says none of it was marked as such at the time she was emailing.
One of the messages, sent by a State Department staffer, even labeled itself “confidential” in the subject line to Mrs. Clinton, despite her insistence that none of the information should have been secret at the time. The email contained what the staffer called “a good report” from a top German official who’d met with then-Serbian President Boris Tadic.
All information gleaned from foreign governments is deemed classified.
At least 66 of the new messages involved Sidney Blumenthal, a Clinton confidant who has fueled Mrs. Clinton’s belief that she was the focus of a “vast right-wing conspiracy” out for her and her husband, former President Clinton.
Trying to email Mr. Blumenthal on Christmas morning in 2011, Mrs. Clinton seemed perplexed that her emails weren’t going through.
She said she tried to reply to a message three times and failed. Then she seemed to figure it out, but noted: “my reply was deemed ‘undeliverable’. Could that be linked to neocon monitoring? I was asking that you send me whatever Rachel Abrams said about genocide. Funny, huh?”
Mr. Blumenthal also gave advice on how President Obama should have been running his 2012 re-election campaign, criticizing top White House political adviser David Axelrod for mishandling the GOP primary in 2011.
Mrs. Clinton also seemed to mock one of the GOP’s candidates in that primary, former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain, in a message to Mr. Blumenthal: “Cheers from Dushanbe w nary a Godfather’s pizza in sight.”
In another message she disparaged the entire Republican Party, saying “AL” — shorthand for Abraham Lincoln — “may have been the first and last cogent R.”
For his part Mr. Blumenthal was a withering critic of the Obama administration, saying in 2009 that German officials and Americans who’d met with them were saying they had no faith in the Obama administration’s diplomatic outreach, and “don’t expect to deal seriously with Obama’s ambassadorial appointment.”
The emails about Republicans came just a week after Mrs. Clinton, at the first Democratic presidential debate, declared the GOP one of the “enemies” she’s most proud of.
“If she is making offhand comments about Republicans, I don’t think anybody can blame her. I certainly can’t,” said Thomas Mills, a Democratic political consultant in North Carolina, which was a swing state in recent presidential elections.
“If anybody has a reason to think that the Republicans are out to get her, it’s her,” he said. “She or her husband has been under attack almost nonstop since 1992, you know, with stuff that turns up nothing.”
The State Department has now released about half of the more than 30,000 emails from the email account Mrs. Clinton used exclusively for official business during her time as secretary.
She took the messages with her, only returning them in December after she was prodded by the investigation into the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack.
The scandal surrounding Mrs. Clinton’s unusual email setup, including her use of a private email server in her home and her decision about which emails to turn over and which to destroy, has dogged her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.
She remains the front-runner in the race and the odds-on favorite to win the nomination.
However, the email scandal has continued to grow and now includes questions about her handling of classified material and a FBI investigation that conceivably could lead to criminal charges.
Mrs. Clinton has said she did her classified work offline, often through paper documents. She has said she never intended to exchange secret information through her email account, which was maintained on a server she kept at her home in New York.
“There was nothing marked classified on my emails, either sent or received,” she testified to Congress last week.
That server is now in the custody of the Justice Department, and the FBI is investigating to see whether secret information was properly protected.
The content of the emails with complete or partial redactions are being closely scrutinized by Mrs. Clinton’s critics.