In Her Own Words: The Evolution of Clinton’s Statements on Email Scandal – ABC News
Hillary Clinton‘s latest attempt to brush aside a nagging email scandal comes after months of various remarks she has made about the use of a personal email server during her tenure as secretary of state.
State Department officials Monday confirmed that they had recently received nearly 15,000 emails uncovered by the FBI as part of its investigation into the Clinton email server but not included in the 30,000 emails that Clinton’s lawyers had provided to the State Department.
The State Department said earlier this month that it would be releasing thousands of additional emails the FBI had uncovered on its own, but the number of those additional emails was not announced until a judge’s hearing Monday.
When FBI Director James Comey announced in July the findings of their investigation into the extent of Clinton’s use of a personal email account when it came to handling classified emails, he mentioned that the FBI was able to recover emails that her lawyers had not handed over.
The 14,900 emails that the State Department is now tasked with reviewing and releasing are those emails that the FBI found on its own.
When those emails will be released won’t be decided until a Sept. 23 hearing, so the topic of Clinton’s emails will likely wage on well into the general election.
Here is a review of some of the most notable comments she has made about the situation since it started.
March 10, 2015: Clinton’s First Remarks on Email Server
Clinton addressed her email server in a news conference at the United Nations March 10, 2015.
“When I got to work as secretary of state, I opted for convenience to use my personal email account, which was allowed by the State Department, because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two … Looking back, it would’ve been better if I’d simply used a second email account and carried a second phone, but at the time, this didn’t seem like an issue,” she said.
The State Department Inspector General’s report shows a difference between Clinton’s account and the State Department’s policy at the time of her tenure. Although employees were allowed to send and receive emails via a private email account under certain circumstances, Clinton’s exclusive use of a private server was a violation of the rules.
The report also said the inspector general “found no evidence that the secretary requested or obtained guidance or approval to conduct official business via a personal email account on her private server” and that she did not meet her “obligation to discuss using her personal email account to conduct official business.”
Had she done so, the report says, the relevant management offices “would not approve her exclusive reliance on a personal email account to conduct department business, because of the restrictions in the FAM [foreign affairs manual] and the security risks in doing so.”
The State Department’s Inspector General determined that Clinton was not the first secretary of state to use a personal email address. Colin Powell and aides to Condoleezza Rice used private email accounts to handle classified information during their tenures at the State Department, the IG confirmed.
March 10, 2015: Clinton Said She Handed Over All Work Emails
At that March 2015, news conference at the U.N., Clinton said that after she left office, “the State Department asked former secretaries of state for our assistance in providing copies of work-related emails from our personal accounts. I responded right away and provided all my emails that could possibly be work-related, which totaled roughly 55,000 printed pages, even though I knew that the State Department already had the vast majority of them. We went through a thorough process to identify all of my work-related emails and deliver them to the State Department.”
After months of investigation, the FBI determined that it was “likely” that there were work-related emails that were not handed over to investigators, FBI Director James Comey said July 5, 2016.
“The lawyers doing the sorting for Secretary Clinton in 2014 did not individually read the content of all of her emails, as we did for those available to us,” he said last month.
He said Clinton’s legal team used the email subject-line information and the results of certain searches for key terms to determine which messages were work-related.
“It’s highly likely that their search missed some work-related emails and that we later found them,” Comey said.
Sept. 8, 2015: Clinton Apologizes for What She Calls ‘A Mistake’
During an interview with ABC News’ David Muir, Clinton said the use of two separate accounts was “a mistake.”
“What I had done was allowed, it was above board. But in retrospect, certainly, as I look back at it now, even though it was allowed, I should’ve used two accounts. One for personal, one for work-related emails. That was a mistake. I’m sorry about that. I take responsibility. And I’m trying to be as transparent as I possibly can to not only release 55,000 pages of my emails, turn over my server,” she said.
Previously, she had told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell that she was “sorry that this has been confusing to people and raised a lot of questions.”
Feb. 4, 2016: Clinton Defends Server in Presidential Debate
In a debate with Sen. Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire, Clinton said she had “absolutely no concerns about” the investigation.
“I never sent or received any classified material,” she said.
Comey’s July announcement painted a different picture. He said that 110 emails in 52 email chains were determined to contain some form of classified information at the time they were sent.
Comey also specified that Clinton was on seven of those chains that were classified as top secret.
July 3, 2016: Clinton Talks About the FBI Interview
On Saturday, July 2, Clinton “gave a voluntary interview” to the FBI that was “about her email arrangements,” according to a statement from her spokesman Nick Merrill, and the interview lasted about three and a half hours.
The next day, Clinton called into NBC’s “Meet the Press” and said that she had “been eager to do it and was pleased to have the opportunity to assist the department in bringing its review to a conclusion.”
“I’m not going to go into any more detail than I already have in public, many times, as you certainly know, out of respect for the process that the department is conducting. So I’m not going to comment any further on the review. But I’ve been answering questions now for over a year. I’ve released more than 55,000 pages of my emails for the public to read for themselves. I will continue to be as forthcoming as I can and my answer that I first gave more than a year ago, I stand by,” she said during the interview.
July 31, 2016: Clinton Backtracks on ‘Truthful’ Remark
Clinton said in an interview with Fox News that the FBI said she had been “truthful” to the public. Her statement drew criticism because that is not what Director James Comey had said. (In fact, he described her handling of classified information as ”extremely careless,” though adding that there was no evidence she and her colleagues “intended to violate laws governing the handling of the classified information.”)
Then, when Clinton was asked Aug. 6 on Fox about her “truthful” comment, she said she may have “short-circuited” her answer.
Aug. 22, 2016: Clinton Brushes Aside Latest Inbox Influx
During an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” Clinton said that the latest batch of emails that will be released do not concern her.
“Jimmy, my emails are so boring. And I’m embarrassed about that. They’re so boring. So we’ve already released, I don’t know, 30,000 plus so what’s a few more,” she said in the taping Monday night.
The few emails that she referenced are the nearly 15,000 emails that the State Department received from the FBI earlier this month.