Hillary Clinton sent emails on everything from a gefilte fish ‘mission’ to masks and ‘top secrets’

The U.S. State Department released its biggest trove yet of emails sent or received by former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton late Monday. The emails are the latest in a rolling review of material that passed through an unorthodox private email system the Democratic presidential candidate has said she now regrets. The more than 7,000 pages of emails, dating from 2009 and 2010, contain a heavy dose of mundane bureaucratic back-and-forth and more than a little gossip. Here a few:

Gefilte fish

A seemingly non-political, but potentially controversial message was sent to both Jake Sullivan, one of her top advisers, and Richard Verma, the former assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs. The subject line says only: “Gefilte fish.” The email is five words long: “Where are we on this?” Gefilte fish is a Jewish dish. A large shipment of frozen fish had been held on its way from Illinois to Israel and was going to be hit with a 120 per cent import duty unless an exception was made. Clinton, it seems, had been contacted by then-Illinois Rep. Don Manzullo. “Sounds to me like one of those issues that should rise to the highest levels of our government,” she wrote. “I will take that mission on.”

Peter J. Thompson/National PostPeter J. Thompson/National PostGefilte fish is a Jewish dish.

This is top secret?

Clinton expressed frustration with the State Department’s treatment of certain ordinary documents as classified. After an aide noted a draft of innocuous remarks about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was on the State Department’s classified messaging system, she responded, “It’s a public statement! Just email it.” Sent a moment later, the statement merely said that U.S. and British officials would work together to promote peace. “Well that is certainly worthy of being top secret,” Clinton responded sarcastically.

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Mom, Dad

Chelsea Clinton warned her parents that international relief efforts in Haiti were a disaster and that major changes were needed : “To say I was profoundly disturbed by what I saw — and didn’t see — would be an understatement,” she wrote in a memo addressed to “Dad, Mom” and attached to an email she sent while her mother was secretary of state and her father was leading relief efforts for the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. “The incompetence is mind numbing.”

Just Mom

“To my favorite secretary of state — i have a complaint about the website i cant see video of your talks or q&a sessions — only the text!” Chelsea Clinton, writing under the code name “Diane Reynolds,” told her mother.

On Boehner

The messages contain insights into Clinton’s circle in those days, especially missives from Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime adviser who provided sometimes blunt comments. In one, Blumenthal offered a caustic assessment of Speaker John A. Boehner, who he said was “despised” by younger, more conservative Republicans. “They are repelled by his personal behavior,” Blumenthal wrote. “He is louche, alcoholic, lazy, and without any commitment to any principle.”

Dropping the mask

When her aide, Cheryl D. Mills, sent her a news story about someone robbing a Virginia bank wearing a Hillary Clinton mask, the real Clinton responded: “Should I be flattered? Even a little bit?” Her lawyer, David E. Kendall, copied on the email chain, added that he had done research and other robbers had used masks of Richard M. Nixon, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. “We appear to be the first Democrat, however,” he wrote.

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