The Republican National Committee Friday slammed Hillary Clinton after a CNN interview for jeopardizing the nation's security by setting up her own private email account without specific authorization from the State Department.
"Hillary Clinton's stunning admission that she unilaterally set up her secret email server that exposed top-secret material shows she alone is responsible for putting national security at risk," said RNC spokesman Michael Short. "But contrary to Clinton's claims, State Department rules, a federal judge, and the Obama administration's own guidelines have all made clear what she did was not allowed.
"While Hillary Clinton may think she can mislead and laugh off tough questions about her judgment, her growing email scandal personifies why an overwhelming majority of Americans don't trust her," he said.
In an interview
with CNN anchor Jake Tapper, Clinton reiterated that no classified information passed through her private server and that her use of the account was allowed under State Department policies.
"Nothing — and I will underscore, nothing — that I was sent or that I sent was marked 'classified,'" the former secretary of state said. "We have a system in our government, in our State Department, [whereby] it was there before I came in.
"It has continued after I left, where there are decisions made about what is classified information in real time," she continued. "Nothing was marked 'classified.'"
Tapper then referenced findings by the inspector general of the intelligence community that multiple agencies sent Clinton classified material during her four years as the nation's top diplomat.
"Well, that is just a very strong difference of opinion," she responded. "The State Department does not agree with that.
"And it is almost an impossible standard," Clinton added, explaining that the agency had both an unclassified email system and one for classified data. Those on the unclassified system could not access information on the other one, she said.
"So, I think a lot of this is a public display of the very common arguments that go on between different agencies in our government," the Democratic presidential front-runner said. "At the time, there was nothing marked classified. And that is a fact that hasn't changed."
But when Tapper asked Clinton who specifically gave her permission to use the private account, she said, "it was allowed under the rules of the State Department."
"So, nobody signed off on it?" he asked.
"No, it was allowed," Clinton responded. "One of my predecessors did the same thing. Others in our government have done the same thing at very high levels because the rules did change after I left the State Department.
"But at the time and in prior years, the rules allowed it."
Clinton is scheduled to testify Thursday on the email scandal before the special House committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi attacks that caused the deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, including two former Navy SEALs.
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