Read this first to appreciate the horror of an
Huma Clinton presidency.
Politico, by ANNIE KARNI, 7/2/15
Hillary Clinton had just wrapped a campaign event in the warehouse of the Smuttynose Brewery in New Hampshire in May, when the crowd began crushing in, reaching out for selfies and handshakes.
Just a few feet away from Clinton dressed in a classic tweed navy shift, Huma Abedin, 39, moved through the crowd tracking her boss. Abedin, Clinton’s longest-serving aide, chatted breezily with acquaintances. But like a mother monitoring her child on the playground, she never let Clinton drift out of her line of sight, ever vigilant and poised to act.
After decades of rope lines — she started working for Clinton as a 19-year-old intern in the First Lady’s office — the role of body woman comes naturally to Abedin, and her hovering presence there, a few feet away from the candidate, is what normal feels like for Clinton.
Some political observers have expressed surprise that after all these years, Abedin is still at it. In 2013, Abedin briefly took a hiatus from Clinton world to try on a different role: supportive campaign spouse, speaking and appearing with her husband, former Rep. Anthony Weiner, in a video kicking off his New York City mayoral run and campaigning for him in the city. But after Weiner’s bid self-combusted amid sexting revelations, Abedin seemed to pick up right where she left off: gearing up for another tour with Clinton. And another grueling national campaign.
The road is typically a younger staffer’s gig, but there she was on the Chipotle security tape footage, standing next to Clinton as she ordered her now famous burrito bowl on the way to Iowa. When Clinton flew first class from Boston to Washington in April, it was Abedin who sat with the former secretary of state. During a photo shoot with Glamour magazine last summer to promote Clinton’s memoir, “Hard Choices,” Abedin was also on set, making sure the couch was firm enough not to swallow up Clinton, and holding up outfits for her to choose, a source recalled.
Yet Abedin’s early appearances on the trail and book tour fail to capture the larger and growing role she now occupies. Abedin, inside sources said, is weaning herself slowly away from a life on the road to occupy a perch overseeing the campaign operation and serving more often as an independent surrogate for her boss.
When she is on the trail, Abedin has taken on an expansive set of duties. On trips to South Carolina, for instance, which Clinton visited last week to attend the funeral of the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Abedin has held two private meetings with South Carolina state legislators on her boss’s behalf.
When Clinton got stuck in traffic on her way to a meeting with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio — who since the meeting has refused to endorse her campaign — Abedin met with him one-on-one for 45 minutes before Clinton eventually appeared.
It marks a transformative shift for Abedin, from loyal assistant, more often seen than heard, to campaign power center of her own. “For all intents and purposes, she’s No. 3 on the campaign, after [campaign chairman John] Podesta and [campaign manager Robby] Mook,” explained a Clinton campaign aide.
Her elevation comes as longtime top Clinton aides like Cheryl Mills, Maggie Williams and Philippe Reines have receded in influence and are not functioning as part of the current campaign’s inner circle. Instead, Abedin has been elevated to the most senior member of Clinton’s old guard, and the person filling a role Clinton has always valued: the strong, trusted, female adviser.
Clinton and Abedin, according to top officials who worked with them at the State Department, also share a visible bond that comes from having spent the majority of the past two decades side by side.
But part of Abedin’s elevated role in 2016 means giving up some of the proximity to Clinton that for years has been a source of her ever-expanding power in Hillaryland.
In thousands of emails released Tuesday night by the State Department, Abedin’s omnipresent role organizing Clinton’s life was clearly on display: the late diplomat Richard Holbrooke, former Vice President Al Gore, Sen. Chuck Schumer and even former President Bill Clinton all phoned Abedin to reach Clinton. Abedin scheduled Clinton’s hair and medical appointments, knew where Clinton’s physical therapy instructions were to be found, delivered to her the sacred daily briefing book, and enjoyed full access to Clinton, at home or at work.
“Just knock on the door to the bedroom if it’s closed,” Clinton writes to Abedin in one email, when she’s been working and resting at home. Then there’s the instant classic: Abedin coaching an increasingly frustrated Clinton on how to use a fax machine. “Just pick up the phone and hang it up. And leave it hung up,” Abedin commands.
While insiders said that Abedin typically plays just a listening role in policy meetings, the emails show she sometimes weighed in privately on foreign affairs. “I personally think this shows confidence in his position as he’s not worried about an outcry from his fathers’ loyalists,” Abedin wrote to Clinton in 2009, after King Abdullah of Jordan named Prince Hussein the Crown Prince.
But more than any single email, what stood out from the information dump was that Abedin was copied on so much of Clinton’s correspondence.
“At this point, Huma’s role is so important that they are now baking that into the process of the campaign,” said Michael Feldman, a former adviser to Al Gore who has known Abedin for years. “She provides the judgment, perspective and institutional memory that literally can’t be replicated. When you have someone who can be a surrogate not just externally, but internally, that saves a lot of time. It becomes a glue that holds things together.”
- Self-Serving and Illegal – Frank Gaffney interview with Judicial Watch’s Chris Farrell –
FG: Well this is really the crux of the matter and at Judicial Watch, you are all about the law. You are working closely with federal courts to try to ensure compliance with the law. Not just the Freedom of Information Act law, but others that you uncover wrongdoing concerning in the course of your FOIA efforts. And Chris Farrell, let me just again put this to you: We’re told that Huma Abedin—a rather colorful character to say the least, a woman who has been associated by among others, our own organization Center for Security Policy, Andy McCarthy, National Review Online, and so on, with the Muslim Brotherhood—was evidently among those responsible for selecting which of these emails Hillary Clinton gave over to the federal government, some of which you’re now getting access to, and some of which were simply destroyed. Again, Chris, does this constitute in your estimation illegal activity?
CF: It does. Huma Abedin has major, major unresolved counterintelligence issues pertaining to her familial connections, [and] her work arrangements, where she was essentially crescent lighting, or moonlighting, in a very particular special employee arrangement where she left government service as a straight-up employee and became what they call a ‘special’ government employee where there are outside consulting arrangements—while serving as deputy chief of staff for the Secretary of State. This is mindboggling that you would have anybody with these family connections and these outside business interests in the inner circle of the Secretary’s office. I can’t imagine a more conflicted counterintelligence issue with respect to her personally and professionally. It’s a nightmare.