Late Monday night, the State Department released more than 7,000 pages of previously unseen emails from Hillary Clinton and her staff during her years as secretary of state.
What did we learn from them? Mostly that Clinton and her aides conduct mundane email conversations much like any other people in a work setting. There was some evidence of longtime Clinton confidante Sydney Blumenthal giving her, as Politico pointed out, unvarnished advice on a host of foreign and domestic issues. Many anecdotes dug up in the email trove, however, are rather amusing — she remarks on a Hillary Clinton mask allegedly used in a bank robbery and apparently doesn’t like movies with too much cursing in the dialogue.
In addition, Clinton and her staff appear in their correspondences as being well aware that sensitive information needs to be handled with care, which is a positive for Clinton. The issue of her use of a private email server has been a growing problem for her as political rivals — mostly Donald Trump — have criticized her for using it to send and receive official State Department emails.
It’s a sentiment that has hurt Clinton’s reputation with likely voters. A new poll released over the weekend showed that 61 percent of those surveyed believe Clinton is not honest and trustworthy.
But so far, no such evidence has turned up that shows Clinton used the server to send and receive classified material. In fact, an Associated Press report published on Monday just before the State Department released the new batch of emails suggested that Clinton is on solid legal footing. The AP talked to several legal experts who saw “almost no possibility of criminal action against Hillary Clinton or her top aides in connection with now-classified information sent over unsecure email while she was secretary of state.” The State Department is still reviewing emails from Clinton’s private server that she has turned over.
Below, take a look at five highlights from the latest email dump.
1. Take the money and run:
Clinton may be aiming to become the first woman to be elected president in the U.S., but in 2010 she achieved a whole other type of first. TIME notes that in one email exchange, her attorney, David Kendall, alerted her to the fact that an alleged bank robber used a Hillary Clinton mask as a disguise during the attempted heist. Republicans were popular disguises with would-be bank robbers, Kendal reported, adding that Richard Nixon “perhaps not surprisingly” seemed to be the hands-down choice of thieves. Hers was the first mask fashioned after a Democrat to be used as a disguise in a bank robbery, Kendall wrote. Clinton wondered if she “should be flattered” by the (mis)use of her likeness.
2. Leslie Knope would be so proud:
For anyone wondering about Clinton’s TV-viewing habits, one email exchange from 2010 offers a clue, Slate notes. Clinton praises State Department aide Monica Hanley for being “a life saver,” and then asks, “Can you give me times for two TV shows: Parks and Recreation and The Good Wife?” Leslie Knope, portrayed on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, you may recall, kept a framed photo of Clinton in her office.
3. Start the waterworks:
What does the Clinton camp think of House Speaker John Boehner? A lengthy 2010 email from longtime Clinton adviser Sydney Blumenthal paints a rather blunt portrait. “He is louche, alcoholic, lazy, and without any commitment to any principle,” Blumenthal wrote to Clinton, referring to how he believed Boehner was perceived by colleagues on Capitol Hill. There haven’t yet been any reports of whether Boehner, who’s known for getting emotional and shedding a tear, assumed the fetal position and cried over the harsh assessment.
One longtime allegation turns out to be true, according to the email dump. Hollywood bigwigs are certainly in cahoots with Democrat party elites. Well, at least, they have the email address of a State Department staffer who has access to Clinton. In 2010, TIME reports, movie mogul Harvey Weinstein sent an email trying to persuade Clinton to watch The King’s Speech, a film he produced that was based on King George VI’s struggles with a speech impediment. He thought Clinton would like it, an email revealed, “because it’s PG-13 with not too many swear words.”
5. Frozen fish flap:
And perhaps the email that triggered the biggest laughs on social media was one that was marked with a simple subject line that read “Gefilte fish.” It’s content was almost just as brief: “Where are we on this?” Clinton asked in a 2010 email. She wasn’t inquiring about the traditional Jewish food that’s typically served at Passover, it turns out. As The Washington Post reports, Clinton was checking on the status of a shipment of frozen carp that, due to international politics, was held up on its way from fish farm in Illinois to its destination in Israel. The shipment in question eventually made it to its destination with Clinton’s help, but the story behind why she had to intervene in the matter is as interesting as it is amusing.