Clinton maintains lead in key battleground states despite e-mail flap


Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada, August 25, 2016. 

REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

The latest CBS News Battlegroundtracker poll shows Clinton leading Trump by eight points in Pennsylvania and four points in North Carolina.

But the survey of all 13 battleground states finds Trump just two points behind. And, 46 percent of voters we talked to say Clinton’s explanations of her private e-mail servers are getting less believable.

Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine repeated the campaign’s line of defense this weekend after FBI notes showed that a Clinton computer specialist deleted a trove of her e-mails after a Congressional committee had ordered they be preserved, CBS News’ Nancy Cordes reports. 

The FBI notes also revealed Clinton told agents she could not recall receiving “any briefing or training” on how to handle classified information as Secretary of State.

When presented with a confidential e-mail with the marking of “C” next at the top of a paragraph, she speculated it “was marked in alphabetical order.” and she “questioned the classification level.”

“We look at so much material,” Tim Kaine told ABC’s “This Week, “unless it is specifically pulled out and identified, it is difficult to know, sometimes, whether a statement or a paragraph is classified or not. ...

“She’s said it was a mistake, and she’s learned from it,” Kaine said.

Trump was blunt in his rebuttal, which he tweeted: “Lyin’ Hillary Clinton told the FBI that she did not know the “C” markings on documents stood for CLASSIFIED. How can this be happening?”

Turns out, as far as Trump’s criticism of Clinton for her lack of knowledge of classified materials, he got his facts wrong: FBI Director James Comey has stated “C” stands for “confidential,” not “classified.”

The FBI also determined that Clinton used up to 13 different devices to access her e-mail, including 8 Blackberrys, during her tenure. But agents could not examine them because her lawyers were “unable to locate any of these devices.”

On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, referred to Clinton as “the most dishonest candidate for President of the United States since Richard Nixon.”

The FBI notes indicated she wasn’t the only Secretary of State who was wary of their e-mails becoming public record. In a 2009 e-mail, Colin Powell told Clinton “Be very careful. I got around it all by not saying much and not using systems that captured the data.”

That exchange contradicts what Powell told People magazine last month, when he said she was using the private e-mail server for a year before he sent her a memo about it.