Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released a statement directly to her supporters Tuesday night apologizing for her email controversy.
“I wanted you to hear this directly from me,” Clinton wrote. “Yes, I should have used two email addresses, one for personal matters and one for my work at the State Department. Not doing so was a mistake. I’m sorry about it, and I take full responsibility.”
Included in Clinton’s message was a link to her campaign website for supporters to learn more about the issue.
The campaign website declared that there are just four things “you need to know” about her email use as secretary of state.
Here they are:
- Hillary takes responsibility for her decision to use a personal account, and the challenges it has created.
- Her use of a private email account was allowed under State Department rules.
- Nothing she sent or received was marked classified.
- She provided all of her work-related emails to the State Department.
Tuesday marked a sharp turnaround in how Clinton addressed the email issue. As recently as Monday, she refused to apologise for her seemingly unorthodox email system that she used for official government work.
Clinton exclusively used a personal email server and later let her team decide what messages were related to her government job and which ones were personal. She then made the eyebrow-raising decision to delete tens thousands of the emails deemed personal after turning the rest over to the State Department.
The controversy has appeared to damage Clinton’s front-running campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Polls have found that voters view her as untrustworthy and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), running as a Democrat, has surged in key primary states. Vice President Joe Biden, who is weighing a run, has also seen a boost in his poll standing lately.
Whether or not Clinton’s latest series of arguments help her move on from the controversy remains to be seen.
The State Department has been releasing batches of her emails on a monthly basis, and dozens of those messages have been retroactively classified. This has boosted Clinton’s critics, who accuse her of jeopardizing sensitive information on an insecure server.
Additionally, the FBI is reportedly looking into Clinton’s server, and she is set to testify before the House Select Committee on the 2012 terror attacks in Benghazi, Libya, next month. The Republican-led House committee has been heavily focused on Clinton’s email practices.
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