Hillary Worries About “Dissing” Mexicans in G20 Shirt Gaffe, Tells Huma “I’m Sick of People Deciding What I Should Know”
As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton whined to trusted adviser, Huma Abedin, about aides keeping her out of the loop, spending “hours talking about every issue to each other and you rather than asking me anything.” Clinton fumes that she’s frustrated and worried. “I am sick of people deciding what I should know rather than giving me the info so I can make a decision,” the Secretary of State writes in an amusing electronic mail exchange with her longtime confidant. “This really annoys me…” The emails are part of the latest batch of records obtained by Judicial Watch from Clinton’s secret—and illegal—private server during her tenure as head of the State Department.
While this snippet may not qualify as newsworthy, it’s definitely entertaining. The tirade was inspired by two embarrassing incidents during a trip abroad, one involving fashion and the other a podium step. Titled “I’m venting,” the exchange was provoked by an embarrassing gaffe at a 2012 G20 meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico. The event included ministers of foreign affairs from the world’s 19 wealthiest nations and the European Union to declare unity in the resolve to promote growth and jobs and support economic stabilization and global recovery. Using her illegal private server with the handle [email protected], the Secretary of State first complains about a fashion blunder during the official group picture. “So, here I sit in the meeting surrounded by every other person dressed in a white shirt provided by the Mexicans,” Clinton writes to Abedin. Referring to Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Patricia Espinosa, Clinton continues: “Patricia is not wearing the exact style that all others are but her own white shirt. But, since no one ever told me about this, and instead assumed I didn’t need to know, I had no idea about any of this until I just walked into the large meeting in front of the entire press corps and am wearing a green top. So, what’s my answer when asked why I think I’m different than all my colleagues and why I’m dissing our hosts? I am sick of people deciding what I should know rather than giving me the info so I can make a decision. This really annoys me and I told Monica (Hanley) I just didn’t understand what she/they were doing. But, when we do the family photo, I will be the only person not in white.”
The media took note of the blooper, but Clinton played it off as no big deal even though her emails to Abedin indicate she was upset. A leading global publication called it a “strange mix-up” in which 30 foreign secretaries and ministers wore crisp white shirts while Clinton sported a lime green blouse. “While the fashion faux pas may have left others feeling out of place, Clinton did not seem to mind,” the article states. “She is pictured smiling and laughing in the middle of the family photo alongside ministers from Mexico, South Africa, Germany, Canada and other G20 nations.” Another news report said Clinton stuck out like a sore green thumb in the picture. “She laughed off the apparent miscue, however, and was smiling during the photos,” the article says. “Asked about the fashion choice, a senior aide to Clinton said with a smile ‘she’s a rugged individualist, what can I tell you.’”
Pointing out another instance in which aides kept her in the dark, Clinton moans about a step adjacent to the podium where she delivered a speech at the Los Cabos powwow. “Another example: I did not know they talked to the Mexicans about not having a step in front of the podium. When I spoke this morning after Espinosa but before Calderone, the step was there and because no one gave me a headsup, I assumed it was there or them and used it even tho it felt awkward. I saw our team staring at me thruout the entire speech and when I asked Caroline why, she told me about the podium step and how upset they were I was standing on it. If I had known any of this, I would have pushed it away, but since I didn’t, I assumed it was there for a reason. Why won’t they talk to me instead of making assumptions? So far. They’ve been minor, but I worry about what might be next.”
Throughout the exchange Abedin agrees with her boss and mentor and apologizes for the mishaps. Responding to the shirt gaffe, Abedin writes “this is awful. I’m so sorry,” but reveals that she knew all the other G20 ministers would wear white shirts. “We didn’t find out about the need to wear shirt till you got to mexico. They sent me a picture and I said I hoped you didn’t wear it cause it looked quite unattractive! but assumed they would discuss it with you. I should have confirmed they did. I will take responsibility and I am so so sorry. We will move forward with people knowing to tell you everything!” Abedin also writes that she usually doesn’t know what’s going on till much later. “I only find out after something didn’t go right,” she writes to Clinton, adding that she didn’t know anything about the controversial podium step.