Hillary’s Hellman factor

In her sit-down with a friendly CNN interviewer Brianna Keilar yesterday (transcript here, story here), Madam Hillary challenged the late Lillian Hellman’s ability to convey falsity in every word spoken. As Mary McCarthy said of Hellman, “every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.'” You can’t beat perfect falsity, but you can go for the tie. That’s what Clinton does here:

KEILAR: One of the issues that has eroded some trust that we’ve seen is the issue of your email practices while you were secretary of state. I think there’s a lot of people who don’t understand what your thought process was on that.
Can you tell me the story of how you decided to delete 33,000 emails and how that deletion was executed?

CLINTON: Well, let’s start from the beginning.

CLINTON: Everything I did was permitted. There was no law. There was no regulation. There was nothing that did not give me the full authority to decide how I was going to communicate. Previous secretaries of state have said they did the same thing. And people across the government knew that I used one device – maybe it was because I am not the most technically capable person and wanted to make it as easy as possible.

KEILAR: But you said they – that they did the same thing, that they used a personal server and –

KEILAR: – subpoena deleted emails from them?

CLINTON: You know, you’re starting with so many assumptions that are – I’ve never had a subpoena. There is – again, let’s take a deep breath here. Everything I did was permitted by law and regulation. I had one device. When I mailed anybody in the government, it would go into the government system.

Now I didn’t have to turn over anything. I chose to turn over 55,000 pages because I wanted to go above and beyond what was expected of me because I knew the vast majority of everything that was official already was in the State Department system.

And now I think it’s kind of fun. People get a real-time behind-the-scenes look at what I was emailing about and what I was communicating about.

This is astonishing on its face. Clinton purports to believe, for example, that she is the sole proprietor of the email traffic she generated as Secretary of State, or that she had no duty to leave her email in the department’s custody so long as it was available on the department’s internal email system. How kind of her to compile and turn over her self-designated official email to the department. Did she take a tax deduction for this incredible act of charity?

It’s a shame that Keilar doesn’t keep up with the news. She might have been able to ask a follow-up question or two.

Rep. Trey Gowdy has followed up on his own, releasing a copy of one of the subpoenas that has been served on Madam Hillary. National Journal has posted it here along with a brief story.

Let it be noted that Madam Hillary proceeds on the not unreasonable belief we’re really, really stupid. However, she may lack the charm to get away with making her belief in our stupidity so utterly transparent.