- President Donald Trump falsely claimed that BleachBit, a computer software used to delete thousands of Hillary Clinton’s emails, was a “very expensive process.”
- “And almost nobody does it because it is so expensive,” Trump said during an interview with Fox News opinion host Sean Hannity on Wednesday night. “That’s the way you really get rid of it. So she deleted 33,000 emails. Can you imagine if I did that?”
- But BleachBit, which its creators say is “easily misunderstood,” is anything but expensive. Anyone can download and use it, free of charge.
President Donald Trump revived a controversial talking point during an interview with Fox News opinion host Sean Hannity on Wednesday night.
Trump brought up the private email server Hillary Clinton used during her time as secretary of state, and talked about the computer software called BleachBit, which bills itself as a tool designed to help free up hard drive space.
Trump gave a false description of BleachBit, which securely deleted Clinton’s private-server data.
“Look, she lost, they deleted 33,000 emails,” Trump said. “And they were BleachBit, that’s a big deal, and it’s a very expensive process,” Trump said.
But BleachBit‘s creators say the software is “easily misunderstood.”
It’s also free.
“BleachBit has always been free of charge for all users, including personal, governmental, commercial, and educational. All computer types, including desktops, laptops, and servers,” the company said on its website.
Trump continued to suggest that the software was inherently suspicious because its price was a major factor.
“And almost nobody does it because it is so expensive,” Trump said. “That’s the way you really get rid of it. So she deleted 33,000 emails. Can you imagine if I did that?”
“BleachBit is ‘free as in beer,’ so there is no licensing cost,” the company’s website said. “BleachBit is also ‘free as in speech’ meaning the source code (software blueprints) are available to all users to audit, learn from, and improve on.”
Trump has also referred to the process of deleting emails as “acid-washing” in the past, despite the company saying that its software is “neither a chemical nor a physical device.”
Republicans and Trump allies have scrutinised BleachBit in light of the Clinton email scandal. During a Fox News interview in 2016, Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina claimed Clinton’s staffers had deleted the emails “where even God can’t read them.”
“They were using something called BleachBit,” Gowdy said. “You don’t use BleachBit for yoga emails or bridesmaids emails. When you’re using BleachBit, it is something you really do not want the world to see.”
The employee who deleted some of Clinton’s emails told investigators that he did so after discovering he had not complied with a previous order to delete emails that are at least 60 days old.
Clinton maintains the emails that were deleted were of a “personal” nature and not government-related.
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