Hillary Clinton took steps to make sure her personal email account was not “accessible” while she was secretary of State, the State Department’s inspector general said on Wednesday.
In November 2010, longtime aide Huma Abedin suggested that Clinton consider using an official department email account or “releasing” her personal clintonemail.com address to the State Department.
Clinton might want to consider the move, Abedin said, so her messages would not be “going to spam.”
But Clinton appeared to reject the proposal from her then-deputy chief of staff for operations.
“Let’s get separate address or device but I don’t want any risk of the personal being accessible,” she responded.
The comment is likely to be used as ammunition for Clinton’s critics, who have assailed her exclusive use of a personal email account housed on a private server during her tenure as the nation’s top diplomat. Republicans have made the issue central to their attacks on her as she runs for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The 2010 exchange between Clinton and Abedin was revealed on Wednesday as part of an 83-page report from the watchdog office that said Clinton’s setup violated States Department rules. The messages are one piece of evidence “suggesting there was some awareness of Secretary Clinton’s practices” at the State Department despite statements from multiple senior officials that they were unaware.
The State Department does not have any record of the email exchange in its online database, so it is unclear how the conversation was captured. Clinton declined to be interviewed as part of the inspector general’s review, and Abedin did not respond to a request.