5 Of The Biggest Political Scandals In 2016
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Politics and Activism

5 Of The Biggest Political Scandals In 2016

We all mess up sometimes, but we don't all compromise national security.

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5 Of The Biggest Political Scandals In 2016
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Anyone who has seen the TV series Scandal can tell you that there will always be a multitude of political scandals during an election year. 2016 was, of course, no different. Many people argue that 2016 was the worst year ever (more on that here), and they might be right if they're referring to all of the times politics went rogue this year. Here is a bit of a cheat sheet to help you keep track of five of the biggest scandals of 2016, and what ever happened to them.

1. Clinton's Deleted Emails

Hillary Clinton, now infamously, deleted over 31,000 emails which were sent from her private email account. As we all know, these deletions were a problem because Clinton was under investigation for using her private email to discuss matters of national security, namely the American embassy in Benghazi, which was attacked. What we know is that Clinton's emails were deleted several weeks after she received a subpoena for them, while it does appear to be true that Clinton asked that they be deleted before the subpoena was issued. We also know that Clinton claimed those with whom she was corresponding knew she was using a private email, when in fact they did not know. Shortly before the presidential election, the FBI announced that they would be reopening their investigation into the emails. Then, they closed the investigation again. Of course, it is likely that this chain of events is part of the reason she was not elected. It is still unclear to the public whether or not her emails contained sensitive information about Benghazi. More information can be found here.

2. Anthony Weiner's Sexting

This was not the first time former U.S. representative Anthony Weiner was publicly called out for sending inappropriate messages while married. His first sexting scandal, which came to light in 2011, essentially ruined his political career. However, the 2016 scandal took a much more personal toll: the explicit photos which he sent via social media were taken next to his four-year-old son, who was sleeping. This caused his wife, Clinton advisor Huma Abedin, to separate from him. There is more information about the scandal here.

3. Trump's Comments About Women

Less than a month away from the presidential election, videos from 2005 emerged of Donald Trump saying that he had touched women in the past without consent. Allegations of sexual assault began to fly at this point, and many people called for Trump to drop out of the election. Republicans and Democrats alike condemned his actions; most notably, House Speaker Paul Ryan refused to defend Trump after the scandal. Trump apologized for the comments, claiming they were simply "locker room banter." While many people believed the scandal would ruin his reputation with female voters, if not completely sink his campaign. Clearly, however, the scandal did not prevent him from winning the election. More details can be found here.

4. Gary Johnson's Confusion About Aleppo

Gary Johnson ran for president this year as a libertarian, and while being a third party candidate is hard enough, he made it a little harder on himself when he didn't understand an interview question about Aleppo, Syria. When asked what he would do about the city, which is central to the Syrian refugee crisis, Johnson asked what Aleppo is. Johnson attempted to downplay the incident, saying he just drew a blank at that moment, and that he does in fact understand the significance of Aleppo. However, there was still significant fallout for Johnson after that, with important figures such as Paul Ryan arguing that he is an isolationist who is not well versed in foreign policy. Read more about this scandal here.

5. Obama's Ransom Payment

Early in the year, the Obama administration sent $400 million to Iran to complete what they said was a 37-year-old arms deal. However, when it was found that several American hostages were released from Tehran the same day, and that those hostages were not permitted to board their plane and leave the country until a different plane from America had landed, and that the $400 million was transported by plane... it looked a lot more like Obama had paid a ransom. While the president and his administration maintained that it was not a ransom payment, and while it is true that paying a ransom is not illegal, the situation just does not strike many people as acceptable foreign policy. For more information, check this out.

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