Colin Powell has broken his silence about his alleged involvement in the Hillary Clinton email scandal, saying her team is falsely trying to blame him.
When asked by the FBI about her email use at the State Department, Clinton reportedly told investigators that former Secretary of State Powell had advised her to use a personal email account at a private dinner.
But Powell, who had said last week in a statement that he had no recollection of the conversation, told Page Six at Saturday’s Apollo in the Hamptons event, “The truth is she was using it (her personal email) for a year before I sent her a memo telling her what I did [during my term as Secretary of State].
“Her people have been trying to pin it on me.”
When asked why Clinton’s team were attempting to blame him, he responded, “Why do you think?”
Despite appearing angered by the situation, he added, “It doesn’t bother me. It’s okay, I’m free.”
The story about Powell advising Clinton to use personal email was included in FBI notes of their interview with the Democratic nominee handed to Congress on Tuesday. James B. Comey, the bureau’s director, decided not to pursue criminal charges against her.
Journalist Joe Conason reported a conversation between Clinton and Powell took place at a dinner party hosted by Madeleine Albright at her home in Washington in his upcoming book, “Man of the World: The Further Endeavors of Bill Clinton,” according to the Times.
“Powell told her to use her own email, as he had done, except for classified communications, which he had sent and received via a State Department computer,” Conason wrote, “Saying that his use of personal email had been transformative for the department,” Powell “thus confirmed a decision she had made months earlier — to keep her personal account and use it for most messages.”
But Powell did not have a server at his house nor use outside contractors, as Clinton did, the Times reported. Plus the rules governing electronic communication got more strict between Powell’s time in office and Clinton’s.
Powell’s office said in a statement released Thursday night that he had no recollection of the dinner conversation. He did write Clinton an email memo describing his use of personal email for unclassified messages “and how it vastly improved communications within the State Department,” the statement said.
Powell was among the guests at the star-studded Apollo in the Hamptons ‘Night of Legends’ bash, hosted by billionaire Ron Perelman Patriots owner Bob Kraft, Jon Bon Jovi and Dick Parsons in East Hampton. The event, with performers including Lionel Richie, Gwen Stefani, Ciara, Eagle’s legend Joe Walsh and Pharrell Williams. It raised $5 million for music and educational programs for kids at the historic Harlem theater.
Power players in the room included NBCUniversal chairman Ron Meyer, music guru Irving Azoff, Blackstone’s Steve Schwarzman and wife Christine, hedge fund billionaire David Tepper, David Zaslav, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, with Sandra Lee, media mogul Jay Penske with Elaine Irwin, the Apollo Theater’s Jonell Procope, and NYC attorney general Eric Schneiderman.