News and Commentary

Tim Kaine Says ‘I Don’t Know’ When Asked if Obama Lied About His Knowledge of Hillary’s Private Email

Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Democratic vice presidential candidate Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) was asked by anchor Bret Baier if Obama lied regarding his knowledge of Hillary’s private email:

Before speaking to Kaine, Baier played two clips in which President Obama claims he had no knowledge of Clinton using a private email for official business while acting as Secretary of State. In the first clip, the president said that he learned about the email “at the same time everybody else learned it, through news reports.” In the second, when asked the more simple: “Did you know about Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was Secretary of Sate?” Obama replied: “No.”

BAIER: “At the same time, Senator, he [Obama] was using a pseudonym, and an email address to communicate with Secretary Clinton. And there is communication, and there are emails from staff that suggest they wanted to hold that back, and were talking about what to do. Did the president lie there?”

KAINE: “Well, I don’t know, because if–I actually do not know. If he’s communicating by email with Hillary, does he know that it’s a private server? I don’t exactly know that if I send somebody an email, exactly what their set-up is. I don’t really think about that much, and I can’t imagine that the president, with all that’s on his mind, would either.”

Kaine’ response here is interesting in that it contradicts the question being asked.

Kaine says that with everything the president has on his plate, wondering about a private email probably wouldn’t cross his mind. However, if that were the case, why would Obama have used a pseudonym? Did he have the presence of mind to disguise his name, but not also the presence of mind to question Clinton’s lack of a .gov email address?

Uncovered in the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton was an email allegedly sent to the former Secretary of State by President Obama using a pseudonym. The State Department won’t release the June 28, 2012, email, saying it’s protected under “presidential communications privilege.”

However, when the FBI interviewed Clinton aide Huma Abedin on April 5, 2016, and showed her the email, she reportedly said: “How is this not classified?” The FBI report notes that Abedin “expressed her amazement at the president’s use of a pseudonym and asked if she could have a copy of the email.”

This situation brings with it several questions.

If Obama had no knowledge of Clinton’s private email, why did he use a pseudonym when communicating with her? Why can’t the June 28, 2012, email be released–even in redacted form? What’s being kept secret under “presidential communications privilege?”

Given Abedin’s reaction during her interview, wondering how it was possible that such an email wasn’t classified, it’s possible that President Obama, using a pseudonym for undisclosed reasons, participated in Clinton’s “extreme carelessness.”