MSNBC’s Chuck Todd grilled Hillary Clinton over the scathing inspector general’s report released on Wednesday that determined she “did not comply” with State Department rules in using a personal email address to conduct government business.
The report “seemed to contradict many of the things you’ve said about the emails,” Todd said, before asking Clinton if she accepts everything the report said as fact.
Clinton argued that the report made clear that personal email use was allowed under State Department rules, though she acknowledged she realized people have “concerns.” Indeed, the report acknowledges that Clinton did not do anything illegal, citing “longstanding, systemic weaknesses” related to communications that preceded Clinton’s appointment as secretary of state.
But in its report, the State Department singled out Clinton’s “more serious” failures, including her reluctance to use government email even when aides raised concerns about her account being subject to hacking attempts. The report also criticized Clinton for not surrendering all of her emails dealing with department business before leaving the government in 2013.
“Because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act,” the report read, referring to the act that requires government communications to be captured on department servers.
Clinton first admitted to exclusively using a private email account to send and receive work-related emails while she served as secretary of state in March 2015. The controversy compelled her to hand over roughly 30,000 work-related emails to the State Department, which have been released in batches since last year.
But she deleted about 30,000 additional messages from her server that she says were “personal” in nature before handing it over to the FBI in August, five months after handing over individual emails to the State Department.
The existence of at least three previously undisclosed email correspondences between Clinton and four of her former top aides at the State Department – which appear to have been found among the aides’ electronic files – indicates that Clinton did not hand over every work-related email in her inbox to the State Department in March 2015.
Todd confronted Clinton over one of those emails, in which Clinton wrote that she didn’t want a government email address because she didn’t “want any risk of the personal being accessible.”
“What were you concerned about? FOIA requests? Congressional requests?” Todd asked. “What were you worried about being accessible?”
Clinton responded that “nobody wants their personal emails made public,” noting that “it was a mistake” to use a personal email account while at State.