An anonymous White House aide took a shot at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s sluggish response to her email controversy with a quip that appeared in the New York Times on Wednesday.
The aide, who was identified only as an “administration official,” brought up Clinton when asked about the Iranian government’s speedy reactions to Republican opposition to the country’s ongoing nuclear negotiations with the US.
“The Iranians have better rapid response than Hillary,” the official said.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) tweeted a letter Monday on behalf of 47 Senate Republicans to Iran’s president and foreign minister. It highlighted their opposition to any nuclear deal and warned a future president could “revoke” any agreement Iran makes with the White House. Within hours, the Iranian foreign minister tweeted a reply to Cotton and dismissed the Senate communique as a “propaganda ploy.”
By comparison, it took Clinton eight days before she faced the press to answer questions about her use of a personal email address during her time leading the State Department. Hillary’s team kept fairly quiet as questions mounted following a New York Times report published March 2 that highlighted her private email usage.
The aide’s comment comparing Clinton’s team unfavorably to the Iranians isn’t the first rumbling indicating some in the White House are frustrated she isn’t employing a more aggressive media strategy.
Though the public only learned of Clinton’s exclusive use of the private email address this month, Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere reported that the White House knew last August that Clinton’s personal address could be scrutinized as House Republicans investigate her response to the 2012 attack on the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. Some in the White House were reportedly concerned revelations about her email could damage Clinton as she moves towards a potential 2016 presidential bid, but they “deferred” to her team.
“Sources familiar with the discussions say key people in the Obama administration and on Clinton’s staff were aware that the revelation could be explosive for the all-but-announced candidate for president. But those involved deferred to Clinton’s aides, and they decided not to respond,” Dovere wrote.
Dovere went on to say Clinton’s failure to “get out ahead” of the issue when it was flagged by the White House left some experts baffled.
“Clinton’s slow-off-the-block defence has left many political strategists and observers confused,” he wrote.
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