By Bronte Price, PoliticKING
New emails have been released showing that Hillary Clinton’s 2009 request for a secure government smartphone was denied by the NSA. The emails were made public on Wednesday and were obtained by a conservative legal advocacy group called Judicial Watch. The group has filed multiple lawsuits seeking the release of federal documents related to Clinton's time as Secretary of State.
Clinton's desire for a secure "BlackBerry-like" phone, similar to the one President Obama had, is recounted in a series of emails from February 2009. The emails show exchanges between high level officials at the State Department and NSA. Clinton was sworn in as Secretary of State the month before these emails were sent. According to the emails, Clinton had become "hooked" on reading and answering emails on a BlackBerry she used during the 2008 presidential race.
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) March 17, 2016
"We began examining options for [Secretary Clinton] with respect to secure 'BlackBerry-like' communications," wrote Donald R. Reid, the department's assistant director for security infrastructure. "The current state of the art is not too user friendly, has no infrastructure at State, and is very expensive."
Reid explained that each time they had asked the NSA which phone solution they had come up with for President Obama, "we were politely told to shut up and color."
Emails: NSA turned down State Dep't request to give Hillary Clinton an ultra-secure gov't smartphone: https://t.co/i5ss69GqFn
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) March 16, 2016
According to the NSA, smartphones are not allowed into areas designated as “approved for the handling of classified information.” Hillary Clinton’s State Department office was one of those areas. Clinton’s then chief of staff Cheryl Mills reportedly said that that was inconvenient, because they had to leave their offices and retrieve their phones to check messages.
It was also reported that Mills asked about waivers that were provided to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during the Bush administration, in order for Clinton's staff to use BlackBerrys in their secure offices.. But the NSA said they had phased out those waivers due to security concerns.
Here’s what Joel Benenson has to say about Hillary Clinton and her “trust issues”:
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.