#1 Clinton snubbed cybersecurity briefing at State Department by ThirstyMan 29.03.2016 17:07


Hillary Clinton skipped a special 2011 briefing on cybersecurity that members of her staff at the State Department organized specifically for her, according to information revealed Friday.

Julia Frifield, a staffer at the department, divulged the information to Congress last month. A March 3 letter from the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, addressed to Secretary of State John Kerry, described the revelation.

"On February 18, 2016, Ms. Julia Frifield, the Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs, sent us that classified PowerPoint presentation used in the cybersecurity briefing, along with an unclassified cover letter," states the letter authored by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

"The unclassified cover letter noted that 'although the PowerPoint indicated the briefing was for former Secretary Clinton, we understand from the testimony of the briefers, that she was not in attendance,'" Grassley adds.

Grassley's letter demanded that Kerry declassify the information contained in the special briefing, and that Kerry respond to the request by March 17. Grassley's office publicized the exchange on March 25, an apparent indication that Kerry did not respond positively.

A separate report published in the Daily Caller on Friday revealed that Clinton attended just one training session on how to handle classified information, two days after she assumed her position as the nation's top diplomat in 2009. Typically, the mandatory briefings are held at least once each year. However, Clinton did not attend another one before leaving the office in 2013.

"We all have to undergo that, and it's considered mandatory," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on Thursday. "I don't know the specifics of this case. Not so much punishment, but … access to computers, that kind of thing, might be affected."

Clinton's practices may have also trickled down to members of her staff. Responding to a records request from Judicial Watch, the State Department said that it was similarly unable to find any documentation to indicate Clinton's chief of staff Cheryl Mills or deputy chief Huma Abedin had completed required training sessions.

"The State Department can't find any documents that they took this course," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton told Fox News. "So now it's up to Clinton to explain why she didn't take this training and why she thought she was above the law."

Reports over the last year have made it increasingly known that while Clinton and her team were trying evade cybersecurity training and how to handle classified information, the server Clinton kept in her basement was being aggressively targeted by foreign hackers. Some of those included the governments of China, Germany, Russia, and South Korea.

Lone Romanian hacker "Guccifer" first managed to sweep up messages from Clinton's personal email account. He obtained those messages in March 2013 by hacking Clinton adviser Sidney Blumenthal. The Justice Department successfully extradited Guccifer to Virginia earlier this month, something that experts believe is related to the investigation into Clinton.

"I find it highly coincidental that [Guccifer] is in the United States at the same time this [FBI] investigation is coming to a head," cybersecurity expert Morgan Wright told Fox. "It takes a lot to get somebody internationally extradited. They jump through a lot of hoops.

"I go back to what's in common and that's the exposure. It started all with Sidney Blumenthal and the hack of his email that exposed Secretary Clinton's email. That's the nexus," Wright said. "That's where all these other players are coming … There's more than coincidence here."


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