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Clinton says she was unaware she was sending classified material on email server

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Hillary Clinton repeated on Friday that she did not realize she was transmitting highly classified government secrets through her private email server while U.S. secretary of state in her first remarks since a federal investigation found this happened at least 110 times.

Clinton, the presumptive Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, shifted the blame onto her former colleagues at the State Department, saying in television interviews she followed their lead on whether or not information was classified.

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“They, I believe, did not believe they were sending any material that was classified, they were pursuing their responsibilities,” she said in an interview with MSNBC.

She did not address the findings by the Federal Bureau of Investigation revealed this week that she herself sent information on topics classified as ‘top secret’, the highest level of classification, through the unauthorized private server she kept in her home.

The U.S. Department of Justice accepted the FBI’s recommendation on Tuesday to not file criminal charges against Clinton or her staff for her use of an unauthorized, unsecure private server for her work as U.S. secretary of state.

It is a crime to mishandle classified information, and while FBI director James Comey said on Tuesday there was evidence Clinton or her aides may have broken these laws, there was not enough evidence of criminal intent for a prosecution.

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While clearing Clinton of criminal wrongdoing, Comey said in a scathing statement that she and her staff were “extremely careless” in their handling of government secrets. He said her server was so poorly secured the FBI could not rule out the possibility its contents had not been hacked by the country’s enemies.

Asked if she agreed that she was “extremely careless”, Clinton declined to respond directly, repeatedly saying Comey had “clarified” his remarks in interviews with MSNBC and CNN. It was unclear what clarification Clinton was referring to.

In lengthier remarks before lawmakers on Thursday, Comey repeated his belief that Clinton and her staff had been extremely careless, and added that he would also describe her conduct as “real sloppiness” and cast doubt on her ability to understand the classified information system.

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“I don’t think that our investigation established she was actually particularly sophisticated with respect to classified information and the levels and treatment,” Comey said while under oath to lawmakers.

(Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Bernard Orr)


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Elections 2016

Intelligence official directly contradicts Trump administration’s excuses for suppressing whistleblower

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A top official in the intelligence community has disputed the factual basis for the Trump administration’s suppression of a whistleblower complaint believed to regard the potential misconduct of the president himself, a new letter released Thursday revealed.

The letter was made public by House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA). He is locked into a fierce and potentially explosive dispute with an array of forces within the administration to obtain the complaint, which was made through proper channels by an intelligence official last month to the community’s inspector general. Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson determined that the complaint was “credible” and “urgent,” and subsequent reporting from the Washington Post found that it concerns a “promise” made by Trump in communication with a foreign leader.

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Longtime GOP strategist explains why his party is getting crushed in the war of ideas

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Republican strategist Stuart Stevens on Wednesday warned the GOP that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) might not be a pushover candidate against President Donald Trump in 2020.

Writing on Twitter, Stevens admitted that he had "no idea" if Warren would beat Trump next year, but he did say that "Trump and supporters are destroying [the] credibility of any center-right argument" thanks to Trump's "corrupt and unstable" governance.

When one of Stevens' followers said that Warren would not be able to fulfill her promises just by taxing the wealthy, he countered that this idea is still more popular than anything Republicans are championing.

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Elections 2016

Japan wants to dump Fukushima radioactive water into ocean

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Japan's top government spokesman slapped down the environment minister on Tuesday after he said there was "no other option" but to release radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean.

"It is not true that we have decided on the disposal method," Chief Cabinet Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters after Environment Minister Yoshiaki Harada's comments earlier in the day.

The operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), is storing more than one million tonnes of contaminated water in tanks at the site of Fukushima Daiichi Plant that was wrecked by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown.

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