A new set of State Department documents released Thursday by the watchdog group Judicial Watch reveal then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the choice not to use a secure phone line amid a technical problem and acknowledged the risk of using a private Blackberry phone.
The documents contain a Feb. 22, 2009, email exchange between Clinton and her then-Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills attempting to communicate over a secure line after Clinton returned from an overseas trip.
When there were issues setting up a secure communication, Clinton wrote to Mills, “I called ops and they gave me your ‘secure’ cells… but only got a high-pitched whining sound.”
Mills then suggested that Clinton try the secure line again, but the former secretary wrote back, “I give up. Call me on my home #.”
Clinton’s choice not to use a secure phone line is similar to a previous June, 17, 2011 email exchange with then-State Department deputy chief of staff Jake Sullivan, where she directed him to strip the classification markings of sensitive talking points and send through non-secure fax.