Senator Lankford Discusses National Security and Hillary Clinton on Fox News Sunday
Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today appeared on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace to discuss the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of classified emails and a private server, and whether it has implications for national security. Senator Lankford is the only Senator on both the Intelligence Committee and the Homeland Security Committee.
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Does Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server represent a security threat?
It absolutely represents a security threat. There are about 1340 e-mails that we know of so far that had classified information.
There’s been a lot of conversation about what they call S.A.P., special access program, which is information that’s also included. It’s been referred to as ‘above top secret’. It’s not above “top secret”… it’s a special compartmentalized top secret information that only certain individuals should be able to see this information. So yes, it is a major risk to have this kind of information outside of a government server.
Are the investigations into Clinton’s use of a private server just politics? Are we just talking about a newspaper article?
No, we’re just not talking about a newspaper article… This whole Clinton procedure of trying to attack the messenger, and to say the messenger must be a member of the right-wing vast conspiracy that’s out there trying to instigate something [is wrong]. The Inspector General, who is an Obama appointee, is doing his job. He’s been asked by a committee to keep the committee up-to-day, and keep the committees both in the House and Senate up-to-date. That is his task. The Inspector General is not the one that is designating these as sensitive, classified or top secret. That’s within the IC [intelligence] community or that is within the State Department.
Do the emails contain sensitive intelligence sources and methods?
I’m not going to get into all of that. For national security reasons, for all of us, we need to stay away from this. Both Adam and I stay out of what is in these emails and try not to allude to it. I would just say, that is some of the most sensitive type of information that would be out there, because people’s lives are on the line or sources are on the line, when anything like that is ever uncovered.
…anytime that any information comes out with any human intelligence connected to it or can confirm something that is out there in the public setting that people may wonder about, but they don’t know. But once the conversations starts, [an email hack] confirms it, it tells our adversaries they can get to a private server stored in New York outside the government’s system. Once they get that confirmation, it does do serious damage to our sources and methods.
Is the David Petraeus scandal similar to this Hillary Clinton situation?
I’ll let the FBI determine that. [FBI Director] Jim Comey has been a good leader for the FBI. He’s been nonpartisan in the process. But the real question becomes ‘willfully retained.’ Did the Secretary of State ‘willfully retain’ classified information?
No other cabinet officials had a private server and kept information. This would be completely unacceptable for the D.O.D., for the Secretary of Defense, to be able to have a private server, because you assume conversations that happened with the Secretary of Defense will be classified. You would assume the same for the Secretary of State, that that would be classified. So this issue of ‘willfully retaining’ becomes the questions that Jim Comey and the FBI will have to determine.