Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said he was not attempting to influence Hillary Clinton when he discussed sidestepping State Department regulations by using a private email server.
"I was not trying to influence her, but just to explain what I had done eight years earlier to begin the transformation of the State Department's information system," Powell said in a statement released Thursday.
"With respect to records, if I sent an email from my public email account to an addressee at another public email account, it would not have gone through State Department servers. It was a private conversation similar to a phone call.
"If I sent it to a state.gov address it should have been captured and retained by State servers. I was not aware at the time of any requirement for private, unclassified exchanges to be treated as official records."
Powell issued his defense of the practice after it was revealed Wednesday he sent Clinton a detailed email in 2009 on how he bypassed the State Department's security measures while using his own personal computer.
He also cautioned his incoming successor to "be very careful."
"I got around it all by not saying much and not using systems that captured the data," Powell, who served under George W. Bush, wrote in the email released Wednesday by Maryland Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings.
Cummings said in a statement he released the email to show "Secretary Powell advised Secretary Clinton with a detailed blueprint on how to skirt security rules and bypass requirements to preserve federal records, although Secretary Clinton has made clear that she did not rely on this advice.
"This email exchange also illustrates the longstanding problem that no Secretary of State ever used an official unclassified email account until the current Secretary of State."
Clinton has been the subject of several investigations into her use of a private server for government business during her time as secretary of state. She was cleared by the FBI.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.