Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (among many others) has been very critical of his opponent, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Especially, in her handling of emails during her time as Secretary of State.
Classified or Confidential?
On Sunday, September 4, Trump questioned why Clinton didn’t know what the “C label” meant on state department emails. The trouble is, Donald Trump doesn’t seem to know what it means either. Here’s what he said in a tweet on Sunday:
Lyin' Hillary Clinton told the FBI that she did not know the "C" markings on documents stood for CLASSIFIED. How can this be happening?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2016
Clinton has said to the FBI that she:
“…Could not recall any briefing or training by the State related to the retention of federal records or handling classified information.”
The FBI notes suggest Clinton told investigators she either did not “recall” or “remember” at least 39 times. These responses were to questions regarding process, potential training or the content of specific emails.
The fact is this is a complex issue that no one seems to be able to fully explain including Clinton herself.
What’s important to note is that the State department seems to be unclear as to how they classify emails. We found a source not associated with the government to explain what the “C” label means.
Explaining the Complexities
We found Jim Wright, a retired U.S. Navy Chief Warrant Officer and freelance writer with a popular blog to answer the question of the C label. Wright has written a long and well shared post on the topic explaining exactly what the “C” references – and it’s not what Trump thinks.
Below is an excerpt:
“C does not mean Classified. Classified government documents are not marked Classified.
Classified doesn’t mean anything other than as a general statement regarding controlled information. Classified documents are marked at one to three levels:
- Top Secret“
Wright explains that those three classification levels may be further restricted to specify various levels of classification.
He then goes on to say:
“Classified documents are not marked with a C. The C is a paragraph marking for Confidential. The lowest level for controlled or classified information.
Confidential is not Secret (S) or Top Secret (TS). Confidential material is typically not classified in and of itself.”
Watch the video on the FBI’s release of their report on Hillary’s emails:
Featured Image: Screenshot Via YouTube Video.