Hillary Clinton Defends Her Email Use as Secretary of State

Aug 18, 2015

Clinton went on the defensive Tuesday over her use of a private email server during her time as Secretary of State, reiterating in a tense question-and-answer session with reporters that her email use was legal.

"The facts are stubborn: What I did was legally permitted," Clinton said. "I did not send classified material and I did not receive any material that was marked or designated classified which is the way you know whether something is."

Her campaign has come under increased fire after intelligence officials determined that 305 messages on her private account are potentially classified, and an inspector general said two of the messages contained information classified as "top secret."

The State Department has said it disagrees with many of those classification judgments, and Clinton has called the imbroglio an inter-agency dispute, maintaining no emails were classified at the time they were sent.

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"It has nothing to do with me," Clinton said. "It's the process by which the government—and sometimes in disagreement between various agencies of the government—make decisions about what can and cannot be disclosed."

Still, Clinton appeared aggravated during the brief press conference Tuesday, with the email controversy continuing to hound her more than five months since the news broke of her use of a private server. Some polls have showed dips in her trustworthy ratings among voters as she struggles to break free and focus on her policy proposals.

In recent days she has sought to make light of her email debate, joking that she likes Snapchat because "those messages disappear all by themselves." On Tuesday, a reporter asked her if she "wiped" her server. She replied, "What with like a cloth or something?"

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