Spokesperson John Kirby took heat from reporters over the 60 emails provided to the Benghazi committee by Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal that were not previously disclosed by Hillary Clinton or the State Department.
When asked why the State Department did not fully disclose all the emails they were supposed to send to Rep. Trey Gowdy’s (R., S.C.) committee, Kirby stammered that the team in Foggy Bottom was still reviewing the emails. Kirby’s follow up answer, however, is what may land Clinton in hot water.
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Kirby, under pressure from reporters because of the department’s slow pace to turn over documents, appeared to have placed the blame on the former Secretary of State and Democratic candidate for president.
"We do believe that some of them were already provided by the State Department, having been provided by former Secretary Clinton to us," Kirby said. "So we know that there is some overlap but we are still going through them and I don’t have an update on how many (missing emails) that it would be."
In this statement, Kirby asserts that the State Department only had a portion of the emails Blumenthal handed over to the committee. He cited Clinton as the source of all the emails the department possessed. Because Clinton used a personal email address and private server to keep her communications from potential oversight, she left Americans with only one option: trust her.
Gowdy released the emails on Monday and challenged the State Department to answer whether they already possessed the memos Blumenthal was sending Clinton.
How Kirby answered the question determined who should bare responsibility for the failure to provide the committee all the information they were entitled to. By dropping Clinton’s name, Kirby shifted the focus to the former secretary for not providing the department with all of her relevant emails, even though she promised the American public that she did.
Kirby did not outright say Clinton is to blame, however. To the ire of reporters, the spokesperson reiterated that the department was still "going through" the emails to determine what went wrong.
"There wasn’t that many emails. It was maybe 60 or so. How long does it take this building–I went through them pretty fast," one agitated reporter said. "Maybe I’m faster than the entire State Department. Is that what you're suggesting, that every reporter in this town can go through them faster than the entire weight of this department?"
Kirby, in another possible slight to Clinton, maintained that he still believed the State Department delivered the committee every Benghazi related email that they possessed, therefore meeting the mandate given to them.