Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has a reputation for being a tough and unscrupulous boss, but a raft of declassified emails shows he might actually have a softer side.
After being unceremoniously booted from Australia’s top job in 2010 by Julia Gillard and her “faceless men”, Mr Rudd was understandably down in the dumps – so much so that he wanted Hillary Clinton to acknowledge it and offer a message of sorrow.
A 2010 email released by the US State Department from Mrs Clinton’s private server shows an aide to Mr Rudd said the former Prime Minister expected a “sympathetic call” from the then secretary of state after he lost the prime ministership.
Former US ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich said in an email dated June 30, 2010 that Mr Rudd had not heard from Mrs Clinton after Mrs Gillard took over as Prime Minister six days earlier.
“Although he did not raise the issue, his aide called Edgard afterward … noted that Rudd had not heard from S [Mrs Clinton] and would have hoped for a sympathetic call,” Mr Bleich wrote.
“I have no strong point of view on this one. He has received such a call from POTUS already. But, I think he and S had a good relationship and he may want to talk to her about his future career goals.”
In another email in the release dated June 27, 2010, Mrs Clinton said she “was sorry about Kevin Rudd”.
On Monday, the US State department released over 4000 emails Mrs Clinton kept on her server, including some 150 other emails that had been retroactively classified.
The emails – some of them banal, some cryptic, some heavily redacted and some potentially enlightening – did not immediately throw up any proof of wrongdoing as reporters began to scan them.
But some do show that Mrs Clinton’s team was deeply interested in media coverage of the secretary and her work – regularly sharing articles both critical and favourable – and that they were in regular touch with outside friends and consultants.
With no smoking gun emerging immediately, controversy could perhaps lie in the emails which officials said had now had their security status upgraded to “classified” or above, implying they should not have been sent.
“I think it’s somewhere around 150,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said of the upgraded emails.
Number of emails reviewed over classification rising
Mr Toner confirmed that the review, being overseen by the Intelligence Community Inspector General, had so far found no mails directly marked “classified”.
But while the material reviewed so far was not marked “classified”, the number of emails containing sensitive information that were now in hindsight thought worthy of classification was on the rise.
Mr Toner added the latest declassification, added to previous such publications, brought the proportion of emails released or redacted as classified to more than 25 per cent.
“The goal is, we do a thorough scrub on whether these need to be redacted before they can be released publicly,” he said.
Mrs Clinton has been criticised for using a private server rather than an official government domain for all her emails during her time at the State Department.
Critics allege that she used the so-called “homebrew server” – physically located at a private internet provider – to avoid political scrutiny of her time as the top US diplomat.
– with ABC