Why Hillary Clinton Using Colin Powell As Her Email Server Fall Guy Plays Into “Dishonest” Narrative

August 22, 2016  |  

Hillary Clinton Colin Powell


In her most recent attempts to appease those who are less than happy with her explanation for using a private email server and personal email address while secretary of state to handle classified information, Hillary Clinton has, as of late, been pointing the finger at Colin Powell. She told the FBI that after she knew he used a private email address (but mind you, not a private server), Powell allegedly recommended that she do so as well. A conversation swapping email ideas allegedly also happened during a dinner at a party held by Madeline Albright around the early stages of Clinton’s run as secretary of state. This supposed conversation was brought to light by writer Joe Conason from his upcoming biography, Man of the World: The Further Endeavors of Bill Clinton.

However, Powell has started to push back at such claims. He did so, at first, softly. Via a spokesman on Friday:

“General Powell has no recollection of the dinner conversation. He did write former Secretary Clinton an email memo describing his use of his personal AOL email account for unclassified messages and how it vastly improved communications within the State Department. At the time there was no equivalent system within the Department. He used a secure State [Department] computer on his desk to manage classified information.”

And then once more, with People, Powell responded a little less diplomatically:

“Her people have been trying to pin it on me,” Powell said at a Hamptons event over the weekend when speaking on her private email server scandal. “The truth is, she was using [the private email server] for a year before I sent her a memo telling her what I did.”

When asked why he thought she would try and pin her choice to use a completely separate server to keep up with her emails on him, which Powell didn’t do, he said, “Why do you think?”

Powell added, “It doesn’t bother me. But it’s okay; I’m free.”

As pointed out by The Washington Post, his actions as far as his private email, and her use of both a private email and server, are nowhere near one and the same. “In addition to how the rules governing electronic communication were significantly tightened between when Powell left office and when Clinton arrived, Powell neither exclusively used his personal email account nor did he establish his own private email server. Clinton did both.”

Therefore, painting him as the “Well, he encouraged me to do this so that’s why I did it” fall guy? A terrible idea. And if Ryan Lochte has taught us anything, it’s that pinning our bad decisions on others (specifically, people of color), only makes a bad situation much, much worse. It also makes one look incredibly dishonest. And it makes me even more uncomfortable voting for her.

But I will. I mean, between a racist Donald Trump and Clinton, what choice do I really have?

Still, these sort of instances are a major issue people have with Clinton; the belief that she will say and do whatever to get ahead. Hence, the reason she’s been given the label of dishonest — at least, according to voters.

In a poll taken earlier this year, according to The New York Times, “The share of voters who have negative feelings toward her has soared from 25 percent in early 2013 to 56 percent today, and a reason for that is that they distrust her. Only a bit more than one-third of American voters regard Clinton as ‘honest and trustworthy.'”

This email server situation is a major reason some people have, as of late, started to feel so negatively and jump on the “dishonest” label train when it comes to her. There is a belief that she won’t take full responsibility for her mistakes in this situation, and has, instead, been reaching with all her might for the right excuse to set her free from the controversy, which has become fixed to her campaign for president.

And while I do believe some people dislike her for petty, and sometimes sexist reasons, with moves like this, anyone could see how she brings a good amount of criticism aimed at her, on herself. Granted, definitely possibly losing the support of Powell likely won’t hold her back now that Trump, doing the absolute most to change his image at the last second, is behind in the polls. (Though I believe Powell, a Republican, is more influential than most believe after he publicly supported President Obama in 2008 and 2012.) However, in the grand scheme of things, being labeled as “dishonest” to the point that you would throw an old friend under the bus to save your own a– is the last label one should feel comfortable moving forward with. But if the shoe fits…

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