The likely Republican presidential contenders have been more than willing to pile onto Hillary Clinton’s email controversy.
In the wake of Monday’s New York Times report that Clinton exclusively used a personal email account as secretary of state, former Gov. Jeb Bush (R), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina all weighed in.
On Fox News and on Twitter, these White House hopefuls criticised Clinton. Many accused her of intentionally circumventing federal regulations to avoid disclosing her communications. And at least one potential Clinton foe said Clinton put vital state secrets at risk by using an unsecured email server.
The potential Democratic contenders have apparently been far less eager to weigh in.
Business Insider rounded up the Republicans’ reactions below:
Bush was the first among the field of presumed GOP candidates to pounce on Clinton after news broke of the email scandal late Monday.
Bush’s tweet was a reference to his newly-launched website where he released thousands of his emails from his two terms as Florida’s governor. The website only includes messages that relate to official state business — such as emails to state officials, constituents, and reporters. It does not contain emails about campaign activity or communication with Bush’s family and friends.
“Gov. Bush does not have a plan to release his personal emails not related to state business, like where he was planning to have dinner or when his tee times were,” Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told the Washington Post on Tuesday.
Rubio told Fox News on Tuesday that Clinton’s use of a personal email server jeopardized state secrets and “clearly violated” federal rules for archiving official communication.
“Using a private server outside the government system is extremely vulnerable to hackers and all sorts of foreign countries that can hack in and get secrets. The secretary of state potentially transacting national business on an unsecured server or a private server and that leaves our secrets and not only just that, but our strategies, exposed to the Chinese and the Russians and other intelligence agencies,” Rubio told Fox anchor Megyn Kelly.
“The State Department has a rule because the diplomatic discourse and so forth is part of the archives of the United States,” he added. “So that rule was clearly violated.”
Paul told Fox News on Wednesday that Clinton will have to explain herself after “directly flouting the law.” He also said authorities may have to look into another issue, Clinton’s family foundation’s acceptance of foreign contributions while she was at the State Department.
“Not only is it the emails and directly flouting the law, I think there’s going to be a constitutional question of whether or not she was receiving foreign gifts while in office,” he said. “The constitution explicitly says that as a senator or as a secretary of state you’re not allowed to receive gifts from foreign countries. They have been receiving millions of dollars in their foundation. Now, they’re going to say, ‘That’s not us, me directly.’ But do they profit any way from their foundation, does it pay for their travel, does it pay for any of their expenses? She’s got a lot of questions she’s going to have to answer.”
Also on Fox News, Perry argued Clinton’s email scandal is just the latest in a pattern of stonewalling by the former Secretary of State.
“When you think of the dollars that she took, there’s an ethical issue with the foreign dollars for the foundation. There’s a pattern here and I think that’s what got most of the people really concerned,” he said Tuesday.
Perry further predicted that populist Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) and other liberal critics will begin to question Clinton on the matter.
“There’s a pattern here of non-transparency I guess is the real concern for most people. It’s an ethical problem that she’s gonna have to address. It continues to be building here. I’m thinking that Sen. Warren is probably gonna jump on this, along with some other folks and continue to cause real questions about is Hillary gonna be the right candidate or not from the standpoint of transparency and openness with the American people.”
As far as his own email usage in state government, Perry said he “followed all the statutes in the state of Texas as relative to our email acquisitions.”
Fiorina, who has never held public office, similarly questioned Clinton’s actions in a Fox News interview Wednesday. Fiorina connected the private email account to Clinton’s other “disturbing” controversies, including her foundation’s foreign contributions.
“How many ways can we count that she’s been hypocritical?” Fiorina asked. “Not only does Hillary Clinton obviously believe that people should do as she says not as she does, not only does she obviously believe that the rules don’t apply to her, but it’s yet another example of something that clearly looks like a problem, clearly looks like a conflict just as the Clinton Foundation taking donations from foreign governments while she’s secretary of state. Honestly, I think it’s a pattern she doesn’t think the rules apply to her and that’s very disturbing.”
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