Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s staff also used personal emails to conduct state business, possibly contradicting assurances that her team’s communications took place on government servers.
The New York Times reported on Monday that Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner in 2016, emailed her top aides on their private email accounts when discussing the attack on the diplomacy facility in Benghazi, Libya.
“Did we survive the day?” Clinton wrote to a close adviser after being grilled by House Republicans about the 2012 incident.
The report casts new doubts on whether Clinton was being entirely truthful when she said the “vast majority” of her emails intentionally included a State Department address to ensure they were captured by government servers.
Clinton made that claim two weeks ago at a chaotic press conference, where she repeatedly insisted she did nothing wrong by exclusively using a personal email server as secretary of state. Critics accuse Clinton of trying to avoid the official disclosure process. According to The Times, this practice also violated federal guidelines, which require official work be done on government email servers.
Additionally, the report raises questions about the security of Clinton’s emails, which could have been made even more vulnerable by including the personal emails of her aides. Experts previously told Business Insider that Clinton’s email practice raises serious security concerns about whether the messages traveled over the unencrypted public internet.
At her press conference, Clinton maintained that her “@clintonemail.com” account was perfectly secure, showed no signs of a breach, and was physically guarded by the Secret Service. It’s unclear what servers her staff used for official business.
In a statement to The Times, Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill admitted that Clinton’s staff occasionally used their personal emails for their State Department work. But he said such incidences were rare.
“Their practice to primarily use their work email when conducting state business,” Merrill said, “with only the tiniest fraction of the more than one million emails they sent or received involving their personal accounts.”
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