Hillary Clinton on Tuesday addressed a New York Times report that she exchanged emails about Libya with Bill Clinton’s longtime ally, Sidney Blumenthal, while she was secretary of state.
After an event in Iowa, a reporter asked Clinton to explain her relationship with Blumenthal.
“I have many, many old friends, and I always think that it’s important when you get into politics to have friends you had before you were in politics, and to understand what’s on their minds,” Clinton said. “He’s been a friend of mine for a long time.”
“He sent me unsolicited e-mails which I passed on in some instances, and I see that that’s just part of the give and take,” she continued. “When you’re in the public eye and when you’re in an official position, I think you do have to work to make sure you’re not caught in a bubble and you only hear from a certain, small group of people. I’m going to keep talking to my old friends whoever they are.”
The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Blumenthal sent emails to Clinton about events in Libya before and after the death of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. According to the Times, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and the House Benghazi committee plan to interview Blumenthal about his correspondence with Clinton.
According to the Times, Clinton “took Mr. Blumenthal’s advice seriously, forwarding his memos to senior diplomatic officials in Libya and Washington and at times asking them to respond.”
The Times reported that some of the “intelligence that Mr. Blumenthal passed on to Mrs. Clinton appears to have come from a group of business associates he was advising as they sought to win contracts from the Libyan transitional government.” The venture was ultimately unsuccessful, according to the Times.