Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) called Hillary Clinton “reckless” on Sunday when referencing her emails from her private server that appear to cite a Iranian nuclear scientist who was executed for treason.
“I’m not going to comment on what he may or may not have done for the United States government, but in the emails that were on Hillary Clinton’s private server, there were conversations among her senior advisers about this gentleman,” Cotton said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“That goes to show just how reckless and careless her decision was to put that kind of highly classified information on a private server and I think her judgment is not suited to keep this country safe,” he added.
His comments come after it was revealed that the Iranian scientist, Shahram Amiri, was hanged for allegedly giving information to the United States about Tehran’s nuclear program. Amiri had defected to the United States, and claimed in a shaky June 2010 video that he was kidnapped by American and Saudi agents and was in Tucson, Arizona. In a contradictory, well-shot video, Amiri said that he wanted to earn a doctorate in the United States and return to Tehran if an “opportunity of safe travel” arose.
Amiri also claimed he had not done anything to harm his country. After the release of the videos he walked into the Iranian-interests section at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington and demanded to be sent back home.
When Amiri returned to Iran in 2010, he received a hero’s welcome, even appearing on talk shows until he mysteriously disappeared. Amiri was hanged the same week Tehran executed a group of militants, a year after Iran’s landmark agreement to limit uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.
Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time, said that Amiri had been in the United States “of his own free will.”
“He is free to go,” she said at the time.
Emails forwarded to Clinton by senior adviser Jake Sullivan on July 5, 2010, 10 days before Amiri returned to Tehran, appears to reference Amiri, although not by his name, according to AP.
“We have a diplomatic, ‘psychological’ issue, not a legal one. Our friend has to be given a way out,” said an email by Richard Morningstar, a former State Department special envoy for Eurasian energy.
“Our person won’t be able to do anything anyway. If he has to leave, so be it,” added Morningstar.
Another email sent by Sullivan on July 12, 2010 appears to reference Amiri hours before his appearance at the Pakistani embassy was known.
“The gentleman … has apparently gone to his country’s interests section because he is unhappy with how much time it has taken to facilitate his departure,” Sullivan wrote in the email.
“This could lead to problematic news stories in the next 24 hours,” he added.