WASHINGTON: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has said she might have ‘short-circuited’ on her truthfulness during the FBI probe into her using a personal email as the US Secretary of State but insisted she was consistent in her replies during the investigation and in public.
“I may have short circuited it,” Clinton said in response to a question at the National Association of Black Journalists-National Association of Hispanic Journalists Convention yesterday.
She was asked if she misrepresented FBI’s conclusions in her two recent interviews. “Now I have acknowledged repeatedly that using two e-mail accounts was a mistake. I take responsibility for that,” she said.
“I have acknowledged repeatedly that using two e-mail accounts was a mistake. And I take responsibility for that,” she said.
Clinton said as the US Secretary of States, she sent over 30,000 e-mails to the State Department that were work-related e-mails and FBI Director James Comey said only three out of those had anything resembling classified markers.
“What does that mean? Well usually, if any of you have ever served in the government, a classified document has a big heading on the top, which makes very clear what the classification is,” she noted.
“And in questioning Director Comey made the point that the 3 e-mails out of the 30,000 did not have the appropriate markings and it was, therefore, reasonable to conclude that anyone, including myself, would have not suspected that they were classified,” she said.
“I think that has been discussed by others who have said two out of those three were later explained by the State Department not to have been, in any way, confidential at the time that they were delivered,” she said.
“So that leaves the 100 out of 30,000 e-mails that Director Comey testified contained classified information but again, he acknowledged there were no markings on those 100 e-mails and so what we have here is pretty much what I have been saying throughout this whole year and that is that I never sent or received anything that was marked classified,” Clinton said.
“Now if in retrospect, which is what is behind the 100 number, if in retrospect some different agencies said but it should have been, although it wasn’t, it should have been that’s what the debate is about,” she said.
“But Director Comey said there was absolutely no intention on my part to either ignore or in any way dismiss the importance of those documents because they weren’t marked ‘classified’, so that would have hard to do and I will go back to where I started,” Clinton said.