Hillary Clinton has often been depicted as an enemy of government transparency in the long-running controversy over her use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State. It took several lawsuits under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), a law that gives the public access to government documents and data, to pry her emails loose from the State Department.
But during a talk today at Code Con, Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta said he helped the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee use the very same law to request transparency on an issue she’s interested in — UFOs. Podesta claimed that he helped Clinton file a FOIA request for documents related to a possible UFO incident.
Clinton and Podesta have been vocal about their interest in extraterrestrial life. During a March appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Clinton said she would fight for the release of government documents related to UFOs if elected president. Podesta, who was formerly President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff, has also championed government transparency about UFOs.
Podesta didn’t offer many details on the incident that led to their FOIA request, saying simply that it involved a crash of what he described as a possible UFO or Soviet device.
“I worked with her and filed an FOIA case on it,” Podesta said, adding, “The files had disappeared but it was clear there’d been some investigation by the Air Force.”
The frustration of seeking documents under FOIA only to be rejected is probably a familiar one for the journalists who worked to make Clinton’s emails public, and Podesta acknowledged that Clinton’s use of a private email server had damaged her as a presidential candidate. “I think it’s definitely hurt her,” he said.
“The decision at the outset to use a private email system was, in retrospect, the wrong one. She did it out of convenience but it’s been anything but,” Podesta continued. However, he said the contents of Clinton’s emails spoke to her capability as a candidate.
“What you see is someone working hard, doing the job that the President entrusted to her,” Podesta said.
Podesta also discussed Clinton’s California campaign and her relationship with Silicon Valley. He said that support for Clinton is building in the tech industry and suggested that the campaign would soon release a list of her Silicon Valley supporters. “We’ll probably roll out a group of technology leaders who support her before the election and I think that will be an impressive list,” Podesta said.