The Note: Inside Hillary Clinton's Inbox

ByABC News
September 1, 2015, 9:14 AM
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks on the campus of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Aug. 27, 2015, during a 'Commit to Vote' grassroots organizing meeting.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks on the campus of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Aug. 27, 2015, during a 'Commit to Vote' grassroots organizing meeting.
David Richard/AP Photo


--WHAT DO THE E MAILS SAY? In by far the largest collection yet, the State Department released more than 4,000 emails, (some 7,000+ pages) held on Hillary Clinton's private email server, 125 of them now deemed classified, ABC'S ELY BROWN and JUSTIN FISHEL report. Some heavily redacted, they range from aides' conversations with leaders like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to notes from meetings with foreign ministers. The emails also provide a glimpse into the person behind the office. Clinton asks her aides for interesting articles, such as the Rolling Stone profile on Gen Stanley McChrystal that upended his military career. Excited to get an iPad, she needs a lesson on how to use it. Aide Philippe Reines praises her for calling out the 'ogrish" males who roll their eyes discussing women's issues. Daughter Chelsea also appears for the first time, offering her "Dad, Mom" sobering thoughts on conditions in Haiti following a trip there after the earthquake in 2010. She also asks that they not forward her messages.

--BLUMENTHAL AND WIKILEAKS: The emails continue to show Sidney Blumenthal sending in his guidance, particularly regarding the 2010 midterm elections. He offers a caustic assessment of Speaker Boehner, saying he was "despised" by younger more conservative Republicans. "They are repelled by his personal behavior...He is louche, alcoholic, lazy and without any commitment to principle." There are several chains of emails regarding how to deal with WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. Former Clinton pollster Mark Penn also advises Clinton that "the administration's response seems weak to me" and suggesting "a full scale review and upgrading of the cyber security of the State Department immediately." There is also a letter to Assange and his lawyer from a State Department legal advisor outlining to them the risk releasing the WikiLeaks documents would pose to national security.

--HELP DESK HELP: One email released demonstrates that at least one member of the State Department's "Help Desk" was unaware that Secretary Clinton was using a private email address, ABC'S JUSTIN FISHEL notes. On Saturday, February 27, 2010 a help desk analyst named Christopher Butzgy sent an email to, unaware that he was communicating with the Secretary of State. He informed her that one of his customers had been "receiving permanent fatal errors from this address." Secretary Clinton forwarded the email to her aide and advisor Huma Abedin asking, "Do you know what this is about?" "Ur email must be back up!!," Huma replied, before explaining that the error messages prompted a staffer to get State Department Help Desk involved. "They had no idea it was YOU, just some random address so they emailed," Abedin wrote.

-- NEARLY 125 EMAILS DEEMED CLASSIFIED: The State Department has now released just over 25 percent of the total amount of her emails in its possession. The agency hopes to have all her emails released by the end of January 2016. Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, maintains she did not handle classified material on that account. Yet among the emails released Monday night, 125 were deemed classified by the State Department after the fact in order to shield them from public view. Those emails were not marked classified at the time they were sent or received on Clinton's server, but following a review for public release the State Department determined those emails needed to be upgraded to a "confidential" status, one of the lowest levels of classification, ABC's JUSTIN FISHEL notes. As a result the 125 emails were heavily redacted before they were published on the State Department's website and marked 'B1', which refers to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemption code. That code states that anything determined to contain "classified information for national defense or foreign policy" is exempt from public release. So far about 188 of Clinton's emails were determined to be "classified" document.

--ABC'S MARTHA RADDATZ has all the details of the e mail release on "GOOD MORNING AMERICA." WATCH:

-- ANALYSIS--ABC's RICK KLEIN: We're now a quarter way in to the public release of Hillary Clinton's State Department emails, time enough for Clinton's search for gefilte fish, "Parks and Recreation" air times, and the scoop on David Petraeus' presidential ambitions to take their exalted places in our collective knowledge base. We now know that Clinton was intensely interested in politics during her early tenure as Secretary of State, and had Sidney Blumenthal at the ready to feed her gossip and advice. Perhaps more significantly, we see around the edges of the emails concerns about cybersecurity. Mark Penn makes a comeback to complain about the response to Wikileaks; the State Department's help desk is unaware of Clinton's real email address; Clinton herself is revealed asking that top aides not forward the message to them that she'd sent, for reasons that aren't clear because of redactions. The story has become, for the Clinton camp, a wearying mix of gossip, redactions, questions about special treatment, and security woes. And three-fourths of the emails are still to be released, of course.

--CARSON TIED FOR LEAD WITH TRUMP IN IOWA, POLL FINDS. Neurosurgeon Ben Carson has surged into the spotlight. A new poll released Monday shows Ben Carson tied with Donald Trump for the lead in Iowa with 23 percent support, marking the first time since mid-July that an Iowa poll has shown Trump not alone in the lead. The Monmouth University poll shows the surgeon's support has unexpectedly increased by 15 points since the organization's previous poll in mid-July. Meanwhile, former Iowa frontrunner Scott Walker has dropped 15 points to fifth place now. Businesswoman Carly Fiorina holds third place in the new poll with 10 percent support, although criteria for the debate on CNN among the top 10 candidates threatens her ability to grab a podium, according to ABC's RYAN STRUYK. The three candidates in the Republican field who have never held elected office now fill the top three spots in Iowa. Carson's favorability rating is the strongest in the field: eight in 10 Republican voters see him favorably; only 6 percent don't. But his spike in the polls comes despite campaigning in Iowa only four days since the first Republican debate on Aug. 6, one of which was his Iowa State Fair appearance.

--ABC'S JONATHAN KARL explains the Carson surge on "GOOD MORNING AMERICA." WATCH:

--TODAY ON THE TRAIL with ABC's RYAN STRUYK: The race for the White House turns the page into September today, with frontrunners Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton missing from the trail for another day. Clinton is still on vacation in the Hamptons, and Jeb Bush has a town hall back home in Miami this morning. Several Republican contenders are in early states: Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and Bobby Jindal are in Iowa today. Rand Paul is in New Hampshire, and John Kasich will be joining him there after an event in Michigan. Meanwhile Lindsey Graham is home to file his paperwork for the primary in South Carolina.


AN ADVENTUROUS DAY: The president will travel to the Seward area today, where he will hike to Exit Glacier, participate in a boat tour of Kenai Fjords National Park and have the opportunity to view the effects of climate change firsthand, according to the White House, ABC'S JOHN PARKINSON notes. President Obama has taken over the @whitehouse Instagram account during his trip to Alaska. This is the first ever POTUS takeover, according to Instagram, and all posted photos will be taken by President Obama himself. So far he's just posted a shot Monday from Air Force One overlooking the Alaskan landscape:

PRESIDENT OBAMA: DON'T CONDEMN OUR CHILDREN TO A PLANET BEYOND REPAIR. President Obama issued a stark warning on climate change Monday, stating that future generations will face harsh consequences if we don't fix the issue soon, ABC'S SERENA MARSHALL reports. "Climate change is no longer some far-off problem. It is happening here. It is happening now," he warned the representatives of more than 20 countries attending the Conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement and Resilience, or GLACIER. "The time to heed the cynics and critics and the deniers has passed. The time to plead ignorance has surely passed," Obama said. "Those who want to ignore the science, they are increasingly alone. They are on their own shrinking island." "Any so-called leader who doesn't take this issue seriously or treats it like a joke is not fit to lead," he said. "On this issue, of all issues, there is such a thing as being too late, and that moment is almost upon us."

3 ISSUES OBAMA SHOULD DISCUSS, BESIDES CLIMATE CHANGE, AS HE HEADS TO THE ARCTIC. President Obama headed north Monday to highlight the issue of climate change against the backdrop of receding glaciers in Alaska. While visiting the 49th state, he toured Seward's Exit glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park, which has receded more than 1.25 miles since records have been kept, visit fishing villages and head to the Arctic Circle, all to highlight the dire need for action on climate change. The White House says the Arctic has warmed twice as fast as the world as a whole. And while the issue of climate change is important, ABC's SERENA MARSHALL notes the three other issues the president may have wanted to address on his trip north.

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S DENALI RENAMING GETS MIXED REACTIONS IN CONGRESS. The Obama administration's decision to rename North America's highest summit from Mount McKinley to its traditional Native American name, Denali, has divided lawmakers along geographical lines. Many lawmakers from McKinley's home state of Ohio were furious with the announcement Sunday, while Alaskan legislators welcomed the decision, which reverts the mountain back to its original name before Congress changed it in 1917 to honor the assassinated president, William McKinley. ABC's ALI WEINBERG has more.



CHRISTIE WANTS A LIP SYNC BATTLE: Chris Christie made his first appearance as a presidential candidate tonight on NBC's "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon." Christie came out fired up, saying he was ready to lip sync battle, ABC's ADAM DESIDERIO notes. Fallon denied the stunt, but Christie kept going on. "Jimmy, when I say we're going to lip sync, we're going to lip sync," Christie said. Christie jumped up and started mouthing the opening lines of Bruce Springsteen's "Born In The U.S.A.," but Fallon cut him short and the interview continued. Fallon said he's been expecting Christie to be the guy "to go out and yell and say stuff," but instead Trump is doing a better job at that than he is. Christie went on to say that he's not worried about Trump and the other candidates. "It's a long way away, there's a lot of work to do, that's what campaigns are all about, campaigns are to go out and convince people. I'm not worried about Donald or anybody else. I got to worry about me. I got to be myself, I got to do what I do, and then we'll see what happens." Fallon finished by talking about Christie's quiet performance in the last debate. To which Christie responded, "Stay tuned for September 16th, I may be changing tactics. If I go 15 (questions) in a row, they're going to go, uh oh, he's going to go nuclear now."

WALKER ON THE TWELVE STATES: As a presidential candidate, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is running to be president of all 50 states. But he is making the case that the presidential election won't ultimately be determined by all 50 states --; but just 12, notes ABC's Jordyn Phelps. "The nation as a whole is not going to elect the next president, 12 states are," Walker told CNBC's John Harwood when asked if it's a challenge for him nationally that --; like Ronald Reagan in 1980 --; he is the governor of a state that is overwhelming white. Walker's comments came during an interview conducted over a ham-and-cheese sandwiches --; one of his favorite foods --; in a New Hampshire restaurant.

WHAT CANADA THINKS ABOUT SCOTT WALKER CALLING BORDER WALL A 'LEGITIMATE ISSUE.' Scott Walker said in an NBC interview published Sunday that the idea of building a wall along the U.S. border with Canada is a "legitimate issue" worth reviewing, when asked about the potential risk of terrorists using unpatrolled borders to cross into the United States undetected. So we wondered, ABC's JORDYN PHELPS writes, what does Canada think of the idea of constructing a wall along the longest shared land border in the world? A spokesperson for the Canadian Embassy responded to ABC News with this fact: "No terrorists have been successful in attacking the United States coming through the Canadian border." Christine Constantin, the spokesperson for embassy, points out that "all the terrorists responsible for 9/11 were in the United States with visas issued by the U.S. government."

BERNIE SANDERS APPLIED FOR 'CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR' STATUS DURING VIETNAM, CAMPAIGN CONFIRMS. Bernie Sanders applied for conscientious objector status during the Vietnam War, his campaign confirmed to ABC News. "As a college student in the 1960s he was a pacifist," Michael Briggs, campaign spokesman added in an email. "[He] isn't now." Last week, the Des Moines Register ran a column from a Hillary Clinton supporter and Vietnam veteran, titled, "How can Sanders be commander in chief?" "My question as a Vietnam veteran is: How on earth could a person claiming to be a conscientious objector become the commander in chief of the most powerful military in the world?" questioned the column author Steve Wikert. According to a profile from the Vermont Senator's hometown newspaper, the Burlington Free Press, his conscientious objector status application was eventually rejected, but by then Sanders was too old to be drafted. ABC's MARYALICE PARKS has more.

WHAT THE WHITE HOUSE THINKS ABOUT A KANYE WEST PRESIDENTIAL BID IN 2020. Rapper Kanye West sent a jolt through the political and entertainment world on Sunday night when he announced he would run for president in 2020. Now, the White House has responded. Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One Monday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest jokingly welcomed a potential presidential bid from the 38-year-old rapper, saying he looks "forward to seeing what slogan he chooses to embroider on his campaign hat." If the rapper-turned-presidential-aspirant does decide to mount a 2020 run, West shouldn't expect a glowing endorsement from President Obama. After all, the president has called him a "jack---" twice -- first in 2009 after West interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at the VMAs, then again in a 2012 interview with The Atlantic, ABC's ARLETTE SAENZ notes. "He is a jack---," Obama told the Atlantic in 2012. "But he's talented."


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