News 88.9 KNPR
Classical 89.7 KCNV

member station

It's All Politics

From FUBAR To Russian Phishing: The Latest From Hillary Clinton's Emails


Nice to meet you, Madam Secretary.
State Department
Nice to meet you, Madam Secretary.

This post was updated at 12:48 p.m.

The latest release of more than 3,800 emails totaling more than 6,000 pages from Hillary Clinton's time at the State Department contained revelations into both the security of her controversial personal server, her dealings with her aides and top officials, and, of course, some humorous insights into the now-Democratic candidate for president.

While Clinton maintains she never used the personal server to send or receive classified information, a number have been deemed classified retroactively in the new bunch. According to Politico, the latest release brings the number of classified emails up to 400, while the new bunch contains three of the newly classified 215 marked "SECRET," the midlevel classified designation.

Here are the most consequential — and humorous — revelations in the latest monthly release of emails:

Clinton gets phishing spam, too — from Russian hackers

In August 2011, Clinton received five emails notifying her she had received a "uniform traffic ticket" from the New York department of motor vehicles. Clinton, of course, hasn't driven herself since the 1990s, and these emails ended up being a phishing attempt — the kind of hoax emails we've all gotten saying you've won a lot of money, and if you click here, you can receive it. Of course, once you click, hackers can access all your computer data.

Support comes from

These emails appeared to be phishing attempts from Russian hackers, according to the Associated Press. Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said: "We have no evidence to suggest she replied to this email or that she opened the attachment. As we have said before, there is no evidence that the system was ever breached. All these emails show is that, like millions of other Americans, she received spam."

Security concerns about State Department computers

One email appears to bolster Clinton's explanation for why she used a personal server — because the ones at the State Department were so outdated. After a Google hacking, aide Anne-Marie Slaughter emailed saying this could be an opening to ask Congress for more money to update their systems, and that the current ones were so slow that many employees did work on their personal emails. Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills wrote back that she, too, had been the victim of an attempted hacker, but expressed concerns about admitting how much work was done off the government servers so as to not encourage more hacking attempts. In a later email, Clinton suggested writing an op-ed publicizing their security concerns.

No, this isn't a prank call

One of the funniest exchanges may be when Clinton recounts how she tried to place a call to the White House, only to have one of the operators refuse to believe it was indeed her. Much frustration ensues, and it's a situation you could imagine President Selina Meyer on HBO's Veep finding herself in as well.

The tables have turned

Although another email between her staffers throws cold water on rumors rampant before the 2012 election that Clinton was preparing a primary challenge to President Obama, Clinton received this email about a story showing her rising approval had prompted some "buyer's remorse" over the current occupant of the White House.

NPR has an app for that!

In one exchange, Clinton emails her aides frustrated that they haven't responded to her questions about what the NPR station is in Long Island after she lost the feed from WNYC. For future reference, it's member station WPPB, but you can access your local NPR station at any time on the NPR News app or listen to NPR content specialized to your tastes with the NPR One app. We'd be frustrated, too, if we couldn't find our local NPR station.

Clinton apparently wasn't making it work

After Project Runway host Tim Gunn made comments that Clinton's wardrobe made it look like she was "confused about her gender," Mills sent Clinton several articles defending her outfit choices and panning Gunn's comments.

Explaining FUBAR

In one email, Clinton emails Mills asking what "fubar" meant, and she responds saying it's "unprintable on civil email." In case you didn't know, it means F***** up beyond recognition.


Here was aide Jake Sullivan's one word response to the news that Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan was planning a visit to the Gaza Strip.

Shop till you drop

Here's lots of recommendations for Hong Kong shopping, if you find yourself out that way.

Just in case ...

Another email sent Clinton talking points about HIV/AIDS research, just in case she ran into talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.

Rising approval

And you thought politicians did those fluffy profiles for fun.

Gender-neutral walk-back

Clinton expressed frustration after a decision — without her approval — was made to shift how overseas births were reported. Instead of asking to list the mother and father, forms would ask for parent 1 and parent 2. Clinton said she wasn't defending this decision and predicted it would lead to a firestorm from social conservatives. The State Department eventually decided to list both terms on forms.

Some senators do look alike ...

Delaware Democratic Sen. Chris Coons' feelings were hurt a bit when Clinton didn't recognize him among some other senators — he helpfully noted he was the one who had beaten "the witch," aka Christine O'Donnell in the 2010 elections. Coons, now, has said he would back his predecessor, Vice President Biden, for president over Clinton if he runs.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

You won’t find a paywall here. Come as often as you like — we’re not counting. You’ve found a like-minded tribe that cherishes what a free press stands for.  If you can spend another couple of minutes making a pledge of as little as $5, you’ll feel like a superhero defending democracy for less than the cost of a month of Netflix.