Clinton Email Controversy Reignites
U.S. government officials are denying that any deal was proposed between the State Department and the FBI on changing the classification of a Hillary Clinton e-mail in exchange for allowing more of the bureau’s agents to be posted overseas.
“We dispute the assertion that there was any kind of quid pro quo involving the case of upgrading an e-mail in exchange for additional slots for FBI officials in Baghdad,” said deputy spokesman Mark Toner.
During intense questioning by reporters at the department’s daily briefing Monday, Toner called any insinuation of a proposed deal “insulting.”
According to summaries of interviews with FBI officials released earlier in the day, a bureau official told investigators that Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy pressured the FBI to declassify information in one of the emails from the private server of Clinton from the time she served as secretary of state.
Downgrading the email's classification level for archiving would have allowed it – as Kennedy is quoted as saying -- “never to be seen again.” The particular email related to the 2012 attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. Four Americans died in the siege, including then-Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Since the incident, conservative critics of Clinton have fiercely attacked her for allegedly ignoring security warnings and engaging in a cover-up.
Her main opponent, Republic Party nominee Donald Trump, on the social media platform Twitter Monday, characterized the newly released documents as “unbelievable” and evidence of “corruption confirmed.”
Iraqi, Kurdish Fighters Report Early Success in Battle to Retake Mosul from Islamic State
Iraqi and Kurdish forces say they have retaken a number of villages outside the northern city of Mosul, as they press an offensive to reclaim control of the area from Islamic State militants.
The operation, backed by airstrikes from a U.S.-led coalition and involving Sunni tribal forces and Shi'ite militias, went on for its second day Tuesday with the fighting still located outside of Mosul itself.
Kurdish President Masoud Barzani said the first day of fighting freed 200 square kilometers. He declared "Mosul will be liberated," and added that his fighters are doing their best to keep the city from becoming like war-battered Aleppo, Syria.
This is the largest military operation in Iraq since U.S. combat forces left five years ago, but it is raising concerns about the safety of hundreds of thousands of civilians in the area.
Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said Monday that Iraqi and Kurdish forces are "ahead of schedule so far." He said U.S. troops are on the outskirts of Mosul in a support role, but that "Iraqis are in the lead."