Hillary Clinton wasn't trying to undermine the security of the United States with her use of a private email server as secretary of state — she was "trying to protect her privacy," Sen. Claire McCaskill said Thursday morning, in defense of the Democratic front-runner whose campaign she supports.
"I think the American people are going to have to decide, is a candidate's mistake trying to protect her privacy more of a problem than a president who goes on national radio shows and for hours gives us a play-by-play of his sex life with his now wife and objectifies having sex with black women?" the outspoken Missouri Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program.
"[Donald Trump] talks in the most vulgar terms about women and frankly the campaign is vulgar. Is somebody who made a mistake protecting their privacy more of a problem than somebody who commits fraud to make money?"
McCaskill said the findings in an inspectors' general report released Wednesday that placed blame on Clinton
and other prior secretaries of state for improperly handling emails was "not great," but still there needs to be some context.
"You know, Colin Powell was the former National Security Adviser," she told the show. "He was the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He used personal email while he was at the State Department. Clearly he did not believe it was a security risk."
McCaskill said that if she were advising Clinton, she would tell her to say that she had "'sat down for 11 hours in front of my most ardent enemies to answer every question they've asked me about anything and I'm looking forward to sitting down with the FBI,' which, frankly, if there's something you'd want to avoid."
And she said she would tell Clinton to spend more time talking about Trump, "this buffoon on the national stage and world stage, making up stuff as he goes along, insulting people as a form of public policy. This is somebody who has never presented to the American people how he's going to do anything."
But the fact that Clinton is saying she will speak with the FBI shows "this isn't somebody trying to hide something," said McCaskill, admitting that the Democratic front-runner probably won't be able to put the email controversy behind her during her campaign for the White House.
"She's going to have to deal with this," said McCaskill. "I think she has dealt with it by saying 'I made a mistake. I regret it. I shouldn't have done it.' I think she's said that over and over.If you review her testimony for 11 hours in front of that committee, this was not someone who gave the impression they were trying to hide anything."
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