Newsmax founder and editor Christopher Ruddy told CNN's "Reliable Sources"
on Sunday that Hillary Clinton should open up her email server to a third-party audit, but also warned that conservatives should stick to the facts about the controversy.
He said Clinton's performance at her Tuesday press conference to address the issue wasn't the best.
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"But I also think she's in a very difficult position," he said. "Every major company, every major corporation in America since the dawn of the Internet, has been properly storing and archiving emails. CNN does it. Newsmax does it. The federal government hasn't figured out a system yet."
President Barack Obama waited four years into his administration to issue a memo that every federal agency should be archiving its emails, Ruddy said, noting that the order doesn't take effect until Obama leaves office in 2016.
Obama had promised his administration would be the most "transparent in history," but has fallen far short of the vision.
"So Hillary decided to start archiving these emails herself on her own server," Ruddy said. "Probably not a smart move, but at least she was archiving it. We now know that other agencies didn't archive them at all."
Clinton used a personal email address for all correspondence during her tenure as secretary of state and stored all the email on a private server in her home. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell also used a private email address to conduct official State Department business.
Ruddy praised Clinton for calling on the State Department to release the 55,000 pages of emails she has turned over. But he criticized her for suggesting no one should review her server to ensure all official emails were turned over or to see that the server wasn't hacked.
"I think that's going to raise up all sorts of questions and suspicions," Ruddy said.
He suggested a third party, such as former FBI Director Louis Freeh and a team of experts be allowed access to the server to make sure it had not been hacked by foreign countries like China and to ensure the data was properly transferred.
"Then you settle the matter, and it's over with," Ruddy said.
"Reliable Sources" host Brian Stelter noted that Ruddy has gone from a Clinton critic in the 1990s to a friend who has supported the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.
Stelter asked whether conservative media's focus on the Clinton email story might actually help her.
Ruddy countered that it was liberal, mainstream media like The New York Times that broke the email story, and that Time magazine currently has a negative story on Clinton.
He also noted that author Ed Klein claimed
on the Larry Kudlow radio show Saturday that senior Obama White House officials had been pushing the Hillary email story to the press.
Clinton's critics on the left are "probably finding great glee in this story," Ruddy said.
"I think conservatives should handle this in a middle-of-the-road approach, saying, look, all of the emails should be released.
"There should be a third-party review of it. But not make any accusation or allegation that she was hacked or that she hid emails until the evidence proves it," Ruddy said.
"These allegations and attacks work well in the conservative bubble, but they don't really win over middle voters," he said.
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