Hillary Clinton's team was so concerned about her email scandal that the campaign wanted to shift the focus onto the 2012 terror attacks in Benghazi, Libya instead.
The Daily Caller reports that leaked emails reveal that after The New York Times initially reported on Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, the Clinton team was clearly wringing their hands over it. They answered questions from the Times for a subsequent article by pivoting from the emails to Benghazi:
While exchanging emails with other staffers including current campaign chairman John Podesta, Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill noted “a few tweaks” he and others had made to the statement.
“Specifically, we added some straight-forward language in the third paragraph that aims to do two things: give this guy some simple context for the emails he references, and nudge this ever-closer to putting it in the Benghazi box,” Merrill said.
The NYT’s story ran with the headline, “In Clinton Emails on Benghazi, a Rare Glimpse at Her Concerns.” Clinton’s team considered that a job well done.
“Nick,” Podesta emailed Merrill about the story, “Great job in fighting this to more or less of a draw.” He added, “this story is smoke without even the warmth of a fire.”
In fact, Podesta even wrote that he wanted "the fight to be about Benghazi, not about servers in her basement." Oren Shur, Clinton's director of paid media, emailed Clinton staffers about how the goal was "to connect Benghazi to emails in a way that’s credible," although he wasn't sure how exactly they would be able to do that in an effective manner.
The leaked emails are quite telling about just how terrified Clinton's team was about the controversy surrounding her private email server. To recap, the Benghazi terror attack involved Clinton's State Department rebuking request to beef up security at the Benghazi consulate despite knowing that they were in need of extra manpower, and then when the consulate was under attack dragging their feet on sending help due to concerns over the political optics. The result: four brave Americans dead followed by days of Clinton and President Barack Obama falsely blaming the attack over a video.
To this day, people still don't know what Obama and Clinton were doing that night.
Somehow, Clinton's team thought this was far less worse politically then her use of a private email server, which clearly violated the Espionage Act and was done to cover up the quid pro quo and pay-to-play that went on at the Clinton Foundation to enrich the Clintons and their cronies.
"Give this guy some simple context for the emails he references, and nudge this ever-closer to putting it in the Benghazi box."
Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill
It appeared that the re-opening of the FBI investigation into the email server may have been enough to sink her campaign, but Comey told Congress on Sunday that the FBI will still not recommend indictment charges against her, and Clinton appears poised to defeat Donald Trump on election night.