Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of private email is now triggering a divide between her pre-campaign operation and the Obama White House, a conflict which could set the tone for how the two interact in the coming months, The Wall Street Journal
President Barack Obama chose to answer questions on the matter this weekend, marking a contrast to Clinton who has so far remained silent. Clinton allies are now beginning to criticize her decision to rely on private email.
"She needs to step up and come out and state exactly what the situation is," California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein said on NBC's "Meet the Press"
on Sunday. "From this point on, the silence is going to hurt her."
According to the Journal, Obama's aides are privately frustrated that Clinton's silence has forced the White House to comment on the matter.
"The policy of my administration is to encourage transparency, which is why my emails — the BlackBerry I carry around — all those records are available and archived," Obama said in a CBS interview on Saturday.
He went on to say that he was "glad" Clinton had requested that her emails about government business be disclosed, the Journal reported.
At the same time, the White House has worked to distance itself from the controversy.
"If they screwed up on the emails, if we find out they skipped over her emails … then that will be a problem for them, it'll be a scandal. But it's not one that we'll own," a senior administration official told the Journal.
The White House has also refused to shine light on whether any of Obama's top aides were aware of Clinton's email arrangement, the Journal said.
A spokesman for Clinton tried to play down any divisions, saying, "We have always had an open line of communication with the White House, from our time at the State Department and beyond. That continues here, we're grateful for it."
Despite the controversy, Clinton continues to be the top Democratic choice for 2016, with 86 percent of Democratic primary voters saying they said they would support her in a new Wall Street Journal/ NBC News
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