Hillary Clinton’s lost decade: 2012 concussion destroy’s candidate’s memory
The Democratic candidate for president blamed a 2012 concussion for her inability to remember what is and is not classified information, and how classified information should be handled, despite a decade of training on congressional committees and at the State Department.
On Friday, the FBI released some notes from their interviews with Hillary Clinton. These notes may shed light on the surprising decision by the candidate to avoid press conferences since December 5, 2015.
When the FBI asked the former Secretary of State why she allowed classified information on an insecure server, Mrs. Clinton argued that a 2012 concussion caused her to forget how to handle sensitive information.
Mrs. Clinton said that she had lost all of her memory “from 2003 until… what year is this?”
The concussion, she implied, erased not just her years as Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, but also the years she served on the Senate Armed Services Committee from 2003 to 2009, which “routinely handles classified information”.
She claimed that she had since forgotten what classified markings mean and that future military operations needed to be kept secret to ensure success. For example, the Democratic nominee told the FBI she did not know that information about an upcoming drone strike was classified, and therefore should have been kept off of her insecure home server.
Clinton produced a 2013 email from Huma Abedin, her deputy chief of staff as Secretary of State and current campaign vice chair, describing the candidate as “often confused”.
According to the FBI, Mrs. Clinton misplaced thirteen different mobile devices, mostly Blackberry mobiles, during and after her tenure as Secretary of State. Clinton told the FBI that she “did not recall” what happened to them. Abedin noted that “the whereabouts of Clinton’s devices would frequently become unknown.”
One of the interviewing agents reported that Clinton seemed unable to comprehend how a phone’s owner can locate lost devices using such features as “Find my Blackberry” and “Find my iPhone”.
“All that computer-whiz stuff just goes right over my gray hairs, young man,” the agent quoted Mrs. Clinton as saying. While the agent remained unidentified, he noted parenthetically that he was 51 years old at the time of the interview.
Clinton added that “I don’t really know where I am most of the time, let alone where my phones are, or even what day it is. Have I really not had a press conference since December? Remind me why I’m talking to you again?”
She also claimed that she did not know that the letter “C” in front of paragraphs in classified documents denoted confidential information. “I could only speculate that the paragraphs were marked in alphabetical order,” said the former Secretary of State. “ABCDEF… ABC… DE… F… what comes after F, again?”
FBI director James Comey noted with satisfaction that the interview notes “clearly showed that I was right when I told the nation that she did not have the mental capacity to stand trial for her crimes.”
The Presidential candidate added that she never engaged in executive decision-making while Secretary of State, and that this should prepare her for continuing the current President’s legacy.