WASHINGTON — Neither of the two emails sent to Hillary Rodham Clinton now labeled by intelligence agencies as "top secret" contained information that would jump out to experts as particularly sensitive, the Associated Press reported on Friday, citing several unnamed government officials.
One email included a discussion of a U.S. drone strike, part of a covert program that is widely known and discussed. A second conversation could have improperly referred to highly classified material, but it also could have reflected information collected independently, U.S. officials who have reviewed the correspondence told the AP.
Still, it's looking increasingly likely the issue of whether Clinton mishandled classified information on her private email server will have significant political implications in the 2016 presidential campaign.
Clinton agreed this week to turn over to the FBI the private server she used as secretary of state. Republicans in Congress have seized on the involvement of federal law enforcement in the matter as a sign she was negligent in handling the nation's secrets.
On Monday, the inspector general for the 17 spy agencies that make up what is known as the intelligence community told Congress that two of 40 emails, in a random sample of 30,000 messages that Clinton gave the State Department for review, contained information deemed "top secret," one of the government's highest levels of classification.
While neither of the emails was marked classified when they were sent, they have since been slapped with a "TK" marking, for "Talent Keyhole," suggesting material obtained by spy satellites. They also were marked "NOFORN," meaning information that can only be shared with Americans with security clearances.
The two emails got those markings after consultations with the CIA and other agencies where the material originated, officials said. Some officials said they believed the designations were a stretch.
The officials who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity work in intelligence and other agencies. They wouldn't detail the full contents of the emails because of ongoing questions about classification level.