CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin apologized on Monday for covering former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server after a probe revealed dozens of people were responsible for hundreds of security violations, which Toobin described as “no big deal.”
A State Department report obtained by Fox News on Friday summarized a review of the handling of classified information relating to Clinton’s private email server. The report reflected only approximately 30,000 emails that the State Department was able to physically review and found 38 individuals were responsible for 91 violations. CNN’s top legal pundit is sorry he ever bothered covering the story.
“Note the mostly buried news that State Dept closed @HillaryClinton email probe with this verdict: no big deal. As a journalist, I regret my role in blowing this story out of proportion,” Toobin wrote on Monday to caption a New York Times report on the findings.
In response, conservative strategist Chris Barron told Fox News that Toobin shouldn’t regret doing what CNN pays him for.
“What Toobin means here is that he is sorry he did his job because it was politically damaging for Democrats. A truly independent and objective media should report the facts without regard for their political implications,” Barron said.
Another 497 violations were also found in the probe of Clinton’s emails, although the report was not able to assign responsibility in those cases, in part because many of those involved had already left the department during the time it took to receive the emails and review them.
Toobin expressed similar thoughts during an appearance on CNN’s “New Day” on Monday.
“This is also a story about the news media, about how much time we spent on [the email scandal], and that’s something that I have felt a great deal of personal responsibility for, because I talked about the emails here at CNN,” he said. I think I paid too much attention to them, and I regret that.”
NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck thinks Toobin’s tweet proves “CNN will go to the ends of the earth to prove its loyalty and assert dominance as the network for the Resistance.”
“This hand-wringing is shameless and totally out-of-touch. Deleting tens of thousands of e-mails that you weren’t supposed to and using personal email to share classified information would still get most anyone fired,” Houck said.
“For Hillary Clinton, its acceptance and pity as they not only circle the wagons on this issue but also refusing to eviscerate her baseless claims about Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. No snark there, either.”
Clinton recently floated a theory that the Russians are “grooming” Gabbard and many observers have pointed out that the media would pounce on President Trump if he made a similar claim without evidence.
Toobin has proven to be a CNN loyalist and recently defended his "colleague and friend,” former FBI deputy and acting director-turned-CNN pundit Andrew McCabe amid an on-going criminal probe related to his 2018 dismissal for a "lack of candor" toward investigators.”
"Andy McCabe is a CNN contributor. He's a colleague and a friend to many of us who work here,” Toobin said last month when the Department of Justice rejected McCabe’s appeal of a probe exploring whether he misled investigators concerning a media leak about the Clinton Foundation just before the 2016 election.
Toobin went on to describe McCabe's actions as "complicated as hell," and said that it's "really difficult to understand even what the lie is here." Toobin then tweaked his own comment, saying "alleged lie."
Fox News’ Catherine Herridge, Joseph A. Wulfsohn and Alex Shaw contributed to this report.