Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday vowed to track down and release information regarding tens of thousands of emails former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent and received over a private email server while in office, a day after President Donald Trump lambasted Pompeo for not having done so.
In an interview on Fox News, Pompeo laughed off Trump’s criticism from a day earlier, telling anchor Dana Perino that “we’ve got the emails, we’re getting them out.” He added: “We’ll get all of this information out so the American people can see it.”
Clinton’s private server has long been the target of conservatives, and Trump made it a central argument of his first presidential campaign against her, threatening to jail Clinton and reveling in chants of "lock her up" at campaign events.
Though an FBI investigation into Clinton’s email use resulted in no charges and an internal State Department investigation found last year that there was no widespread effort by her aides or other staffers to mishandle classified information, Trump and his allies have continued to relitigate the subject in the lead-up to November’s election.
Just a day before Pompeo vowed more revelations concerning Clinton’s emails, Trump skewered him during a nearly hour-long interview on Fox Business.
“They are in the State Department but Mike Pompeo has been unable to get them out which is very sad actually,” Trump asserted, adding that “I’m not happy about him for that reason.”
Trump, who has sweeping declassification authority, argued that Pompeo should release the emails, disregarding whether any of them contain classified information.
“Forget about the fact they were classified. Let’s go. Maybe Mike Pompeo finally finds them, OK?” he said.
Trump has focused heavily on Clinton in recent days, while also railing against the Justice Department following the news that U.S. Attorney John Durham would not be unveiling any indictments or disclosures about his probe into the origins of the Russia investigation ahead of Nov. 3.
Earlier this week, the president had channeled his grievances via tweet, demanding in one post that Barr immediately arrest and jail former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, Trump’s Democratic opponent this year, and Clinton.
Moments before Pompeo’s interview, Trump reiterated his position on Clinton during a marathon, two-hour interview with conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, telling Limbaugh that Clinton “should be in jail.”
The renewed attention to issues that helped Trump in 2016 comes as he trails Biden in polls with Election Day less than three weeks away, and as Trump is confined to the White House after his coronavirus diagnosis last week.
The secretary cautioned on Friday that any eventual release of emails would not compromise intelligence sources and methods but slammed Clinton as he promised: “We’re going to get there. We’re going to get this information out so the American people can see it.”
And despite already facing accusations this year of mixing politics with governing, Pompeo did not decline to tie at least some aspect of his pledge to the electoral calendar, saying that “we’re doing it as fast as we can” but predicting that “there will be more to see before the election.”
Asked about Clinton’s emails by Perino, the secretary noted he previously sat on the congressional select committee aimed at investigating the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. embassy compound in Benghazi, Libya, a probe Clinton and her allies allege was politically motivated.
“You’ll know I was close to this even when I was a member of Congress,” Pompeo told Perino.