I have been trying for weeks to grasp the significance of the e-mail controversy that keeps swirling around Hillary Rodham Clinton’s quest for the presidency.
Her one-time Democratic presidential primary opponent Bernie Sanders said he was tired of “hearing about your damn e-mails.” Me, too, senator.
But … here they come again, courtesy of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and — more than likely — the former head of the Soviet KGB spy agency and current president of Russia, Vladimir Putin.
They’re leaking these e-mails near the end of a bitter and ugly presidential campaign between Clinton and Republican nominee Donald J. Trump.
Their intent clearly and without equivocation is to embarrass and undermine Clinton’s bid to become president of the United States. They contain communication on a whole array of issues, from her speeches to well-heeled groups and backers, the LGBT response to Clinton’s reaction to the death of former first lady Nancy Reagan and her thoughts on how U.S. policy should deal with the crisis in Syria.
I get the intent, which is my clearest takeaway from it all. Indeed, Clinton hasn’t been very forthcoming on explaining many of these issues raised by the e-mails.
She and Trump are squaring off this week for the third and final (thank God in heaven) joint appearance. I’d bet real American money that moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News is going to ask her some tough questions about the e-mail dump and what it all means about the way she would govern as president.
I’m also willing to bet some serious greenbacks she’ll be ready to respond. Trump? Well, time tell us very soon how he intends to respond to her response.
Perhaps a follow-up question for Trump from Wallace might go something like this: Mr. Trump? You all but invited the Russian government to deliver us the content of those “missing” e-mails. Is this what you had in mind?
Oh, and another one could go this way: You’ve been critical of our intelligence operation and our military. Intelligence officials now seem to believe that President Putin — about whom you’ve spoken quite highly and who has returned the compliment — is responsible for the e-mail dump in these waning days of the campaign. Are they wrong, sir?