On July 5, 2016, then-FBI Director James Comey said Hillary Clinton wouldn't be indicted over her email server protocols, but Comey nevertheless said the former secretary of state had been "extremely careless" in the way in which she handled classified information. For Republicans, that criticism was a launching pad.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), for example, almost immediately said
Clinton's "mishandling of classified information was disgraceful and unbecoming of someone who aspires to the presidency. There is simply no excuse.... Her actions were grossly negligent, damaged national security and put lives at risk."
Asked today about Donald Trump sharing highly sensitive secrets with Russia, Rubio said
the president's careless is "less than ideal," but the Florida Republican added, "It is what it is."
Hmm. It's almost as if Rubio has two entirely different standards. [Update
: See below]
Two days after Rubio's Clinton condemnation, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) called for intelligence agencies to deny Clinton intelligence briefings for the rest of the campaign season. The message was straightforward
"It's simple: Individuals who are ‘extremely careless’ [with] classified info should be denied further access to it."
The day before Ryan's declaration, 14 Republican senators introduced legislation
to revoke Clinton's security clearance and demand that anyone in the executive branch who shows "extreme carelessness" in their handling of classified information be denied access to that information.
The same day, then-RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said
those who've mishandled classified information "have had their security clearances revoked, lost their jobs, faced fines, and even been sent to prison." Soon after, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) asked
, "What do I say to the marines in my district when Hillary Clinton handles classified information in a careless way yet has no ramifications?"
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) argued
in the fall that even the possibility of exposing sensitive intelligence to foreign adversaries is "treason."
And then, of course, there's Donald J. Trump. read more