Bill Clinton says the assertions that wife and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton lied about mishandling classified emails while secretary of state is “the biggest load of bull I ever heard.”
The former president made the comment Friday while responding to a question from the audience member about his wife’s trustworthiness, during an event in Las Vegas.
On Saturday, Republicans were quick to criticize President Clinton’s characterization of the email scandal, with Wisconsin Rep. Sean Duffy telling Fox News’ “Fox and Friends”: “He’s just trying to spin Hillary out of trouble, and it doesn’t work.”
Hillary Clinton has repeatedly said the emails, at the time, included no classified material, even after the FBI said parts of three emails were indeed marked as classified.
Voter trust in Hillary Clinton has arguable been her biggest campaign challenge, in large part because she used a private server system to send and receive government information while secretary of state, which led to a Justice Department investigation.
Bill Clinton also argued at the event Friday that FBI Director James Comey, before his congressional testimony this summer, had to amend his previous day's statement that Hillary Clinton had never received any emails that were classified.
“They saw two little notes with a ‘C’ on it -- this is the biggest load of bull I ever heard -- that were about telephone calls that she needed to make and the State Department typically puts a little ‘C’ on it to discourage people from discussing it in public in the event the secretary of state, whoever it is, doesn’t make a phone call,” Bill Clinton said.
He also dismissed Comey’s statement that Hillary Clinton was “extremely careless” with the emails and told the questioner that the federal government’s agency-by-agency rules for dealing with classified material is “too complicated to explain.”
Clinton also argued that his wife’s widespread support from former U.S. military and national security officials -- including Bush administration National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft -- proves his wife, if elected president, could be trusted with the government’s utmost secret information.
Clinton’s White House challenger, GOP nominee Donald Trump, has said since the close of the Justice Department case that rival nations potentially have U.S. secrets as a result of Clinton using a private server, which should disqualifies her from running for president.
"The final jury will be the American people, and they will issue the verdict on her corruption, incompetence, and bad judgment on November 8th," Election Day,” Trump also warned.
On Saturday, Duffy argued that Clinton’s comments the day before is not the first time the ex-president has tried to squash the email issue, pointing to him button-holing Attorney General Loretta Lynch amid the then-ongoing FBI investigation.
“For Bill Clinton to come out now and say that this is a bunch of ‘bull’, why then did he have this secret meeting with Loretta Lynch on the tarmac in Arizona to make sure he could tap down any kind of prosecution that comes from the DOJ,” Duffy said. “If he wasn’t concerned about Hillary Clinton and her scandal about the email he wouldn’t have had to have that secret meeting.”