Over the months, Hillary Clinton misstated key facts about her use of private email and her own server for her work as secretary of state, the department’s inspector general reported this week.
According to the findings, she claimed approval she didn’t have and declined to be interviewed for the report despite saying: “I’m more than ready to talk to anybody anytime.” Scrutiny of her unusual email practices appeared to be unwelcome, despite her contention those practices were well known and “fully above board.”
A look at some of Clinton’s past claims about her unusual email set-up and how they compare with the inspector general’s findings:
CLINTON: “The system we used was set up for President Clinton’s office. And it had numerous safeguards. It was on property guarded by the Secret Service. And there were no security breaches.” — March 2015 press conference.
THE REPORT: Evidence emerged of hacking attempts, though it’s unclear whether they were successful.
On Jan. 9, 2011, (asterisk)an adviser to former President Bill Clinton notified the State Department’s deputy chief of staff for operations that he had to shut down the server because he suspected “someone was trying to hack us and while they did not get in i did.,nt (sic) want to let them have the chance to.”
Later that day, he sent another note. “We were attacked again so I shut (the server) down for a few min.”
The following day the deputy chief emailed top Clinton aides and instructed them not to email the secretary “anything sensitive.”
Also in May 2011, Clinton told aides that someone was “hacking into her email,” after she received a message with a suspicious link, the new audit report said.
The Associated Press has previously reported that, according to detailed records compiled in 2012, Clinton’s server was connected to the internet in ways that made it more vulnerable to hackers. It appeared to allow users to connect openly over the internet to control it remotely.
Moreover, it’s unclear what protection her email system might have achieved from having the Secret Service guard the property. Digital security breaches tend to come from computer networks, not over a fence.
CLINTON: “What I did was allowed. It was allowed by the State Department. The State Department has confirmed that.” — AP interview, September.
THE REPORT: “No evidence” that Clinton asked for or received approval to conduct official government business on a personal email account run through a private server in her New York home. According to top State Department officials interviewed for the investigation, the departments that oversee security “did not — and would not — approve” her use of a personal account because of security concerns.
Clinton has changed her account since the report came out. On Thursday, she told CNN “I thought it was allowed. I knew past secretaries of state used personal email.”
Colin Powell was the only secretary of state who used personal email for work, but not to the extent she did, and he did not use a private server.
CLINTON: “It was fully above board. Everybody in the government with whom I emailed knew that I was using a personal email.” — AP interview, September.
CLINTON: “The people in the government knew that I was using a personal account . the people I was emailing to on the dot gov system certainly knew and they would respond to me on my personal email.” — NBC News interview, September.
THE REPORT: According to the findings, it’s unclear how widespread knowledge was about Clinton’s use of a personal account. Though Clinton’s use of a private email was discussed with some in her agency, senior department officials who worked for her, including the undersecretary responsible for security, said they were not asked to approve or review the use of her private server.
The officials also said they were “unaware of the scope or extent” of her email practices, even though Clinton exchanged hundreds of thousands of messages with people in government from her personal account.
CLINTON: “In the fall, I think it was October of last year (2014), the State Department sent a letter to previous secretaries of state asking for help with their record-keeping, in part because of the technical problems that they knew they had to deal with. And they asked that we, all of us, go through our e-mails to determine what was work-related and to provide that for them.” — NBC News, September.
THE REPORT: While it’s true that the State Department requested records from former secretaries of state in November 2014, the report says the department raised concerns about Clinton’s compliance with federal record-keeping laws years earlier, and the attention did not appear welcome.
Two employees in the Office of Information Resources Management discussed concerns about her use of a personal email account in separate 2010 meetings. One of the employees stressed in one of the meetings that the information being transmitted needed to be preserved to satisfy federal records laws.
They were instructed by the director of the department “never to speak of the Secretary’s personal email system again,” according to the report.
CLINTON: “I think last August I made it clear I’m more than ready to talk to anybody anytime. — CBS News interview in May.
THE REPORT: Clinton declined through her lawyer to be interviewed for the report. Four other secretaries of state participated: John Kerry, Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell. She now says: “everything I had to say was out there.”
But she has said she will speak to the FBI as part of a separate criminal investigation into possible security breaches related to her private server.
In October, she testified about the issue before the House committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi attacks.
Lerer reported from Las Vegas.
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