"Misunderstanding": FBI, State Dept. say no quid pro quo on Clinton emails

Donald Trump is using FBI documents to launch a new attack on Hillary Clinton. The bureau released interview notes and summaries from its investigation of Clinton’s private email servers.

The files show a top State Department official asked the FBI to declassify a single message. That item was left unchanged.

The Clinton campaign tried to distance itself from the controversy Monday. Aides said they were not aware of this conversation between an undersecretary and an FBI official. But it will be harder for Clinton to distance herself from some of the other details just released by the FBI, reports CBS News correspondent Nancy Cordes.

As part of their investigation into Clinton’s email servers, FBI agents interviewed a former diplomatic security agent who “served briefly” on “Clinton’s protective detail.”

This one agent described a “stark difference” between Clinton and her predecessor, Condoleezza Rice. 

Clinton, the agent said, “frequently and ‘blatantly’ disregarded protocol.”

On overseas trips, the agent said Clinton often chose to ride in an armored limousine with her top aide, Huma Abedin, instead of with local U.S. ambassadors, “which frequently resulted in complaints by ambassadors who were insulted and embarrassed by this breach of protocol.”

The agent added that Clinton’s treatment of “agents on her protective detail was so contemptuous that many of them sought reassignment.”

By the end of Clinton’s tenure, “it was difficult to find senior agents willing to work for her.”

“This is worse than Watergate,” Trump said at a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin Monday night.

Trump focused Monday on another FBI interview with an FBI employee, who said he felt “pressured” to “change a classified email from Clinton’s server to “unclassified” as part of a “quid pro quo” between an FBI official and Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy.  

The employee said in exchange for the reduced classification, he was told “State would reciprocate by allowing the FBI to place more agents in countries where they are presently forbidden.”

“This is felony corruption by any standards,” Trump said. “This is one of the great miscarriages of justice in the history of this country.”

Both the FBI and State Department insist there was no quid pro quo. One spokesman called it a “misunderstanding.”

“Any really assertion that this was somehow tit for tat or quid pro quo or exchange in that manner really frankly is insulting,” said State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner.

In a little bit of good news for Clinton, FBI was releasing its notes in four batches, and this is the last batch. But the bad news is congressional Republicans said they think the supposed quid pro quo between the State Department and FBI was a violation of the law and they’re rallying to hold more hearings.