HH: I begin this hour as I do on Thursdays when I’m lucky with the Columnist of the World, Mark Steyn, the author of a brand new book, A Disgrace to the Profession: The World’s Scientists in Their Own Words on Michael Mann, his “Hockey Stick,” and their Damage to Science which is available on SteynOnline.Com, better book stores at Amazon.com. Mark, welcome back. It’s always great to talk to you.
MS: Hey, good to be with you.
HH: Mark, I have a proposition. No other politician in the western world in any democracy – whether our’s, Canada, Great Britain, Australia – could survive the conduct that Hilary Clinton has engaged in whose last name was not Clinton. Agree or disagree?
MS: Yeah, I think that’s true, and it’s one of these situations where people think “Oh well, that’s just Bill and Hilary. That’s just what they do. And usually it’s just something that is a personal benefit to them that they – going back to when they used to claim Bill’s used underwear as tax-deductible charitable donations back in the early ‘90s in Arkansas – but the idea that the entire chief foreign policy official of the United States can keep the most confidential business with the United States and its relations with the world powers on a server in some guy’s bathroom in an apartment in Colorado and you can only read about that because a British newspaper – the Daily Mail – thought it was kind of newsworthy, but the New York Times and the Washington Post and the LA Times didn’t – that tells you that this woman thinks none of it matters and she’s got a couple of speed bumps on the path to her coronation, but her carriage is still going to make it.
HH: Now Mark, you were the first to hint at this, and I think you’ve been very cautious, but I think the question has to be raised – you hinted at what would be the consequences of the opponents of the United States reading in real-time the Secretary of State’s internet traffic, and you hinted that would have been very bad. Increasingly people realize that was in fact happening. We don’t know which enemies at what time, but increasingly – whether it’s Mike Morell on this show or other NSA folks or Bob Baer on CNN this week. They had it because it is not even a grade school exercise for cyber-espionage experts to break into a private server like this.
MS: No, and as I said when I first mentioned that, I don’t like to seem like a conspiracy guy, but I think it’s clear that once it was known that this the Secretary of State’s email address, that the Russians, the Chinese, and other major sophisticated nations would’ve no problem getting into it. The question then is, who do they share it with? But it was interesting to me all around that period around Benghazi how well-informed America’s enemies were. I mean, for example, just those guys in Benghazi knew the ambassador was not going to be in Tripoli but was going to be in Benghazi, where he was going to be in Benghazi that very night, and you have to operate on the assumption that Mrs. Clinton prioritized keeping her conversation with Sid Blumenthal private over the risk of keeping her conversations with senior American officials around the planet private and out of the hands of Americans enemies.
HH: Because the question that hasn’t been answered yet – because it’s a highly-technical question is once you have a gateway in – and here you have the Secretary of State’s server not protected – you have a gateway in the State Department’s communication, how many tunnels can you go down? Can you go into the classified material and the actually encrypted material. Once the door’s open – the front door – can you get to the basement? And I don’t know the answer to that, Mark Steyn.
MS: Well, I think when you use these words like “encrypted” and “classified,” everyone thinks that they mean more than they do. They mean as much as the person who is privy to that information wants them to mean. So for example, Michael Mukasey wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal a couple of days ago explaining how very seriously he took all this stuff and certain confidential documents with certain markings – he didn’t get out and look at until he was in the Maxwell Smart “Cone of Silence” or whatever it was called (laughs) and they begathered around there in the top secret bunker and looking at it. But Mrs. Clinton was being emailed on the kind of thing that Mrs. Scoggin on 27 B. Elm Street has on her emails and she didn’t mind that. And if you look at any American embassy around the world, they all have these little top secret bunkers somewhere in the heart of the thing with concrete walls so nobody can hear what they’re talking about, the communication is super-encoded. But none of it means anything if the head of the entire apparatus is just keeping in some guy’s toilet in Colorado.
HH: Agreed. Now twenty years ago – nineteen to be specific – a different Republican candidate was talking about a different Clinton saying “Where’s the outrage?” They ought to run that Bob Dole tape now because I don’t see any outrage. In fact, when Hilary Clinton engaged with the press, here’s the heart of her back-and-forth with Ed Henry.
HC: I have no idea. That’s why we turn it over–
EH: But you were in charge of it. You were the official in charge, did you wipe the server?
HC: Well, wipe with a cloth or something?
EH: Digitally, did you try to wipe the whole server?
HC: I don’t know how it works digitally at all. I do not have any–
EH: You do not have what?
HH: And so then she walked away and said “Nobody cares about this except you guys.” There should be universal condemnation of this Mark Steyn.
MC: Yeah, but she’s wrong on that. The media are protecting her. The media are protecting. The people understand that actually in some basic way this isn’t about the Clintons, this is about America, and that was a very – at the time when Bill was dallying with Monica, that was a harder argument to make because people kept saying “Oh well, everybody does it and we all are about sex and all of us shouldn’t and people didn’t want to hear about it. This is different. This isn’t her business, this is your business, Hugh. This is your listeners’ business. This is the business of the American people. And she exposed America to grave peril. I mean, this is quite astonishing to me. It always amazes me when you read thrillers. You like reading thrillers.
MS: You have Daniel Silva and people on and they go to immense lengths to concoct a plausible scenario as to how the security’s breached. None of the further writers you interviews–
MS: . . . Brad Shaw, Daniel Silva — none of them would think of anything so obvious as the Secretary of State of a major global power keeping the important business of that nation on a server in some guy’s toilet in Colorado.
HH: Yeah, Alex Barensen, Chuck Box, the late Vince Flynn – they’d all have that sent back from the editor saying “No one’s going to be buy that. That’s not going to work.”
MS: Yeah, I know, this is ridiculous. It’s ridiculous.
HH: (laughs) Now I’m one of the few people in America who’s seen [the] Man from U.N.C.L.E. – and I’m sorry that I did – but before I had, there was a preview for the new Michael Bay movie Thirteen Hours and it’s gripping, Mark Steyn, the Benghazi real story of what happened. I think Hilary is going to be forced from this race. I used to think she was inevitable. I wrote the book the Queen because of it. But I now believe she’s going to be forced from this race as people’s awareness of what she has done dawns on folks. What do you think?
MS: Yes, I think that’s true and I think that’s evident that people just want a non-Hilary and right now, Bernie Sanders is quite good. Democrats want a non-Hilary. But once we get nearer the general election – Benghazi is a problem for her and again she says “Nobody cares about Benghazi. Who cares about that?” But in the broader sense, she was in total charge of Libya, and Libya is the reason why Italy is now being destabilized by thousands and thousands of refugees landing on its shores because all those ports on the Libyan coast are now in the hands of ISIS and other jihadists and they’re running all these people into Italy and destabilizing Italy. I don’t believe anything. I don’t believe did as Hilary Clinton did as Secretary of State both operationally in terms of emails, but also in policy terms will be able to stand up to the slightest scrutiny were she to be candidate in the general election.
HH: And a last quick question – Donald Trump continues to gather momentum. The polls out today showing him now winning in many states where he was behind Hilary before in head-to-head match-ups. Is there a ceiling for Donald Trump?
MS: I’m not so sure that there is because the ceiling keeps getting higher. Now at some point everyone bumps up against the ceiling, but it is going higher. And I think the way to look on it, Hugh, is like this – you’ve been quite critical of him. You can say “Oh, this guy is an out-of-control lunatic buffoon” but actually–
HH: I never said that. Let the record be clear.
MS: No, no, no. I know you’ve never said that, but a lot of people, but what he’s saying is actually quite sane, where if you think of the so-called sane candidates like Jeb Bush when he talks about illegal immigration as an “act of love” – he may be a sane man, but what he’s saying is far loonier than what Donald Trump is saying. If you got a loony with the sane position versus a sane man with a loony position that other loony with a sane position.
HH: Mark Steyn, always a pleasure. I just had to correct the record. I have no favorites and no opponents in the race. I’m going to be a very fair debate moderator. Mark Steyn, always a pleasure. SteynOnline.Com to get your copy of a Disgrace to the Professon, America, it’s available now. I’ll be right back with Rick Perry on the Hugh Hewitt Show