When debate moderators get tired of asking Donald Trump about Barack Obama’s birth certificate or the Miss Universe pageant, they might want to pose a question to Hillary Clinton that is actually worth asking.
Namely: “Why did you fail to take any of the mandatory training courses on how to handle classified material — required to keep your security clearance — while you were Secretary of State?”
The fact that Clinton didn’t get this training has now been firmly established, thanks to the dogged work of the Daily Caller, which has been suing the State Department for documents what would indicate if Clinton had.
The latest document dump shows that Clinton never took “the highest level of security training mandated by the Department of State for the proper handling of the government’s most secret documents,” the Daily Caller reports.
Clinton’s two top aides — Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin — took the required training course on how to handle “Special Compartmented Information,” which covers how to handle top secret information from satellite, singles intelligence and human intelligence. But Clinton herself didn’t.
A previous Freedom of Information Act request by the Daily Caller asking for evidence that Clinton had completed other security training classes turned up nothing, which according to the State Department itself meant “the courses were not completed.”
Clinton admitted as much to the FBI. In its interview notes, the FBI says Clinton told agents that, while she knew she had been granted “original classification authority,” she “could not recall … any training or guidance provided by State.”
This isn’t a minor oversight.
As Secretary of State, Clinton was one of few officials granted “original classification authority,” meaning she could decide what information is classified.
The security training courses Clinton skipped out on were required for her to keep her security clearance, a fact laid out in great detail in an executive order from President Obama signed early in his first term.
The Obama executive order explains that Clinton had to “receive training in proper classification … at least once a calendar year,” and that the training “must include instruction on the proper safeguarding of classified information.”
Failure to do so, Obama warned, meant having “classification authority suspended … until such training has taken place.”
Ever since the email scandal erupted, Clinton has claimed that she knew all about classification rules.
“I’m certainly well aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material,” she said when the scandal first broke in March 2015.
When asked about her lack of training by a reporter after the FBI interview notes were released, Clinton brushed it off saying, “I went into the State Department understanding classification.”
But it’s painfully obvious that she didn’t understand it at all. As the FBI discovered, Clinton “could not give an example of how classification of a document was determined,” she didn’t know what a “C” mark meant on a document, and she repeatedly told the FBI that she relied on others — not her own knowledge — to know how to properly handle classified material.
Before Hillary Clinton is allowed access to any more high-level national security secrets, she should be made to answer for these lies — preferably at the next presidential debate when millions of Americans will be watching.