• Politics

Here’s How Hillary Clinton Downplayed Her Email Scandal at the Democratic Debate

2 minute read

Even at the fifth Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton’s email scandal continues to trail her.

MSNBC moderator Chuck Todd asked the former Secretary of State whether she would ever be able to put the issue of her private email server to rest.

First, Clinton said she could assure voters the issue would be resolved because it is just a political game by Republicans.

“Before it was emails it was Benghazi,” she said. “And the Republicans were stirring up so much controversy about that. And I testified for 11 hours, answered their questions, and they basically said, ‘Yep, didn’t get her, we tried.’ That was a political ploy.”

Then Clinton said she was not the only person in her position to use a private email server.

“We had a development in the email matter today when it came out that Secretary Powell and close aides to former Secretary Rice used private email accounts,” she said. “I never sent or received any classified material. They are retroactively classifying it. I agree completely with Secretary Powell who said today this is an absurdity… I have absolutely no concerns about it whatsoever.”

Finally, when Todd asked her if she was 100% confident the FBI investigation into the matter wouldn’t yield anything, she blamed the system for classifying material.

“I am 100% confident,” she said. “This is a security review that was requested, it is being carried out, it will be resolved. But I have to add, if there’s going to be a security review about me, there’s going to have to be security reviews about a lot of other people, including Republican office holders, because we’ve got this absurd situation of retroactive classifications. Honest to goodness, this just beggars the imagination.”

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders reiterated that he would not attack Clinton on this issue, after he famously said at an October debate, “The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.”

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Write to Tessa Berenson Rogers at tessa.Rogers@time.com