Hillary Clinton seemed to debut a new defense at NBC’s Commander-In-Chief Forum Wednesday evening for how she handled classified information as secretary of state.
For months, the Democratic presidential nominee claimed that emails which traversed through her home email server were not marked classified.
That defense, however, fell apart when FBI Director James Comey said some of her emails, in fact, bore classified “C” markers. An FBI report last week revealed that Clinton told investigators she was unaware the “C” markings meant the information was confidential, a form of classification.
On Wednesday evening, Clinton appeared to offer a slightly revamped defense, telling NBC anchor Matt Lauer that “there were no headers” on any of her emails indicating the information was classified.
“I have a lot of experience dealing with classified material,” Clinton said. “[C]lassified material has a header which says ‘top secret,’ ‘secret,’ ‘confidential.'”
She added: “Nothing – and I will repeat this and this is verified in the report by the Department of Justice – none of the emails sent or received by me had such a header.”
The modified defense, which Clinton continued to use throughout the Commander-In-Chief forum, was first noticed by The Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross:
No classified emails –> Emails not classified at time they were sent –> Emails not marked classified –> no classification headers
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) September 8, 2016
Clinton’s handling of classified information has dogged her campaign since it was first revealed that she used a private email server to conduct business as secretary of state. While she was not charged by the Department of Justice, Comey characterized the way she dealt with such information as “extremely careless.”