On Wednesday, the State Department released another round of emails from Hillary Clinton's server, and just as previous emails have shown, the latest batch reveals the former secretary of state dealing with some intense and often stressful situations. But America has never seen the Democratic candidate tackle anything like this... until now. Among the 6,300 new pages is a chain of emails that show that Hillary Clinton followed Anthony Weiner's Weinergate scandal closely, whether she wanted to or not. In fact, she was practically bombarded with updates on Weiner's penis and the trouble it caused. It might have been the least comfortable conflict Clinton had to deal with as secretary of state.
In June 2011, it was revealed that former Democratic Rep. Weiner of New York had sent a pic of his penis, as well as other sexually suggestive texts, to various women while he was married. Like a joke that wrote itself, the scandal became known as Weinergate, which led to Weiner apologizing to the public and resigning from Congress. Because the controversy was steeped in meme-worthy humor and offered a cornucopia of innuendos, it transcended the political sphere and made headlines in tabloids and beyond.
Normally, an important figure like Madame Secretary Clinton would have briefly chuckled at such buffoonery or perhaps glossed over it with slight bemusement. However, in this case, Clinton was kept abreast of the situation by her chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, who sent regular updates on the status of Weiner's member.
Why? Because Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, was (and still is) Clinton's longtime aide and friend, and you know the two of them had a few cocktails over that whole situation. As any woman would when her close girl friend's husband exposes himself to random women around the nation, Clinton fulfilled her friend duty by reading every last cringeworthy detail of the scandal as it unfolded. Here's how Clinton followed along.
June 8, 2011: "Pressure Ramps Up On Anthony Weiner To Resign"
One of the first articles Clinton saw on Weinergate was this Washington Post story, which emphasizes the fact that Abedin was pregnant when the scandal broke.
June 8, 2011: "Report: Weiner's Wife Sought Advice From Hillary Clinton"
Well, of course she did. When you're close friends with Hillary Clinton, you're going to ask her for advice.
June 9, 2011: "Dems Start Bailing On Weiner"
A week before his resignation, Weiner was still holding out even as top Democrats called for him to step down. Clinton was most certainly shaking her head as she read this.
June 11, 2011: "Pelosi"
Nancy Pelosi issues a statement in which she calls on Weiner to resign. In short, she says, "Look, man, we're all here for you, but you need to step down and get help."
June 13, 2011: "POLITICO Breaking News"
On this day Mills forwarded Clinton President Obama's comment on Weiner, which was "I would resign [if I were him]."
June 14, 2011: "Slaughter On Anthony"
At first I thought this was a report on the intensifying witch hunt of Weiner, but it was a CNN report by international politics expert Anne-Marie Slaughter on why he shouldn't resign.
June 14, 2011: "Weiner's Circle Of Friends, Though 'Appalled' By Behavior, Remains Loyal"
By this point, Clinton was probably feeling pretty overwhelmed by all the Weiner talk.
June 15, 2011: "Only Ones Not Giggling Are Therapists"
Mills forwarded Clinton an in-depth article on the actual psychological context of Weiner's behavior, which therapists regarded as a form of "sexual compulsivity."
June 17, 2011: "The Backstory: Weiner's Final Undoing"
After Weiner finally resigned, Mills forwarded Clinton a piece on his demise. It no doubt stirred some emotions in her, the most resounding one perhaps being relief that she wouldn't be receiving any more updates.
Images: U.S. State Department