An Associated Press review of the official calendar Hillary Clinton kept as secretary of state identified at least 75 meetings with long time political donors, loyalists, Clinton Foundation contributors and corporate and other outside interests that were not recorded or were listed without the names of those she met.
The missing entries raise new questions about how Clinton and her inner circle handled government records documenting her State Department tenure – in this case, why the official chronology of her four-year term does not closely mirror other more detailed records of her daily meetings.
At a time when Clinton’s private e-mail system is under scrutiny by an FBI criminal investigation, the calendar omissions reinforce concerns that she sought to eliminate the “risk of the personal being accessible” – as she wrote in an e-mail exchange that she failed to turn over to the Obama administration, but was subsequently uncovered in a top aide’s inbox.
The AP found the calendar omissions by comparing the 1 500-page historical record of Clinton’s daily activities as secretary of state with separate planning schedules often supplied to Clinton by aides in advance of each day’s events. The AP obtained the planning schedules as part of its federal lawsuit against the State Department. At least 114 outsiders who met with Clinton were not listed in her calendar, the AP’s review found.
No known federal laws were violated and some omissions could be blamed on Clinton’s highly fluid schedule, which sometimes forced cancellations at the last minute. But only seven meetings found in Clinton’s planning schedules were replaced by substitute events listed on her calendar. More than 60 other events listed in Clinton’s planners were omitted entirely in her calendar, tersely noted or described only as “private meetings” – all without naming those who met with her.
Clinton campaign spokesperson, Nick Merrill, said on Thursday night that the multiple discrepancies between her State Department calendar and her planning schedules “simply reflect a more detailed version in one version as compared to another, all maintained by her staff”.
Merrill said that Clinton “has always made an effort to be transparent since entering public life, whether it be the release of over 30 years of tax returns, years of financial disclosure forms, or asking that 55 000 pages of work e-mails from her time as secretary of state be turned over to the public.