Newly released emails from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit by Citizens United show how Hillary Clinton's Chief of Staff, Cheryl Mills, had a prolific Clinton Foundation and political donor placed on a sensitive national security and intelligence board. The appointee, Rajiv Fernando, who had no known national security qualifications, quickly resigned within days of media inquiries. Not surprisingly…he's raising money for Clinton's 2016 campaign.
The newly released emails reveal that after ABC News started asking questions in August 2011, a State Department official who worked with the advisory board couldn't immediately come up with a justification for Fernando serving on the panel. His and other emails make repeated references to "S"; ABC News has been told this is a common way to refer to the Secretary of State.
"The true answer is simply that S staff (Cheryl Mills) added him," wrote Wade Boese, who was Chief of Staff for the Office of the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, in an email to Mannina, the press aide. "Raj was not on the list sent to S; he was added at their insistence."
The emails further reveal how, after inquiries from ABC News, the Clinton staff sought to "protect the name" of the Secretary, "stall" the ABC News reporter and ultimately accept the resignation of the donor just two days later.
A prolific fundraiser for Democratic candidates and contributor to the Clinton Foundation, who later traveled with Bill Clinton on a trip to Africa, Rajiv K. Fernando's only known qualification for a seat on the International Security Advisory Board (ISAB) was his technological know-how.
The Chicago securities trader, who specialized in electronic investing, sat alongside an august collection of nuclear scientists, former cabinet secretaries and members of Congress to advise Hillary Clinton on the use of tactical nuclear weapons and on other crucial arms control issues.
"We had no idea who he was," one board member told ABC News … "The true answer is simply that S staff (Cheryl Mills) added him," wrote Wade Boese, who was Chief of Staff for the Office of the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, in an email to Mannina, the press aide. "Raj was not on the list sent to S; he was added at their insistence."
ANOTHER HILLARY SCANDAL:
Emails "at the center of a criminal probe involving Hillary Clinton's handling of classified information" involved drone strikes in Pakistan, a reminder that her reckless server put U.S. national security at risk.
The Wall Street Journal reports: At the center of a criminal probe involving Hillary Clinton's handling of classified information is a series of emails between American diplomats in Islamabad and their superiors in Washington about whether to challenge specific drone strikes in Pakistan.
Some of the emails were then forwarded by Mrs. Clinton's aides to her personal email account, which routed them to a server she kept at her home in suburban New York when she was secretary of state, the officials said. Investigators have raised concerns that Mrs. Clinton's personal server was less secure than State Department systems. The vaguely worded messages didn't mention the "CIA," "drones" or details about the militant targets, officials said. The still-secret emails are a key part of the FBI investigation that has long dogged Mrs. Clinton's campaign, these officials said.
MORE BAD NEWS FOR HILLARY:
The White House admitted that the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton's illicit email server was "criminal" in nature.
The Washington Examiner reports: White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Thursday referred to the probe into Hillary Clinton's private email system as a possible "criminal investigation," which Republicans quickly seized on as a critical slip just moments after President Obama endorsed Clinton for president.
Earnest was asked whether the FBI might be pressured to go easy on Clinton in the investigation in light of Obama's endorsement, and used the term "criminal investigation" in his answer.
"That's why the president, when discussing this issue in each stage, has reiterated his commitment to this principle that any criminal investigation should be conducted independent of any sort of political interference and that people should be treated the same way before the law regardless of their political influence, regardless of their political party, regardless of their political stature and regardless of what political figure has endorsed them," he said.
Clinton has tried to downplay the investigation as a "security review," but Republicans jumped at Earnest's formulation as a sign it may be much worst for Clinton.
The Republican National Committee sent out an email arguing that Earnest "lets slip that the FBI probe into her emails is criminal in nature."
DONALD TRUMP LEADS HILLARY ON THE ECONOMY:
Businessman Donald Trump continues to lead Hillary Clinton on economic issues, which voters cite as the most important in the upcoming election.
Gallup finds: Donald Trump won by a modest margin — 52% to 45% — when we recently asked Americans whether he or Hillary Clinton would do a better job handling jobs and employment. He won by a slightly larger margin (53% to 43%) on the economy more generally.
Trump's campaign materials place a direct focus on jobs, and he claims that he would be the "jobs president," telling various audiences without much in the way of specifics that he would bring back lost jobs in their region (e.g., coal mining jobs).
His initiatives for building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and rescinding trade treaties — both unpopular in and of themselves, based on our data — are ultimately aimed at creating more jobs.
Clinton's economic focus is more of an effort to change access to jobs, except for her interest in spending more money on infrastructure and scientific research. She also focuses on compensation attached to jobs with her support for labor unions. But she is not as direct in putting forth the idea of creating jobs as is Trump.
Hillary Clinton is still struggling to excite young women.
CNN reports: When Hillary Clinton became the first woman to clinch the nomination of a major political party, she marked the moment as a milestone.
But many of the millennial women supporting Bernie Sanders weren't celebrating this week.
"To every little girl who dreams big: Yes, you can be anything you want—even president. Tonight is for you. --H," the candidate tweeted Tuesday evening.
But a number of young women who attended Sanders' election night rally in Santa Monica didn't even bother to listen to her speech.
One of Clinton's most fascinating challenges during her primary campaign has been her struggle to excite young women, particularly millennials. Taking a look back at the primary campaign in its totality, that generational divide is huge.