US Democratic presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton, has defended her use of a private email server for official correspondence while US Secretary of State, insisting her actions were no different than that of her predecessors.
One day after the release of a critical State Department investigation faulting her use of personal email for government business, Clinton vowed that she would not allow the issue to dog her campaign.
“There may be reports that come out, but nothing has changed,” the Democratic White House frontrunner said in an interview broadcast by CNN on Thursday.
“It’s the same story. Just like previous secretaries of state, I used a personal e-mail. Many people did. It was not at all unprecedented,” she said.
The issue has dogged Clinton for months, and has been used by her political enemies, including her presumed Republican opponent in the White House race, Donald Trump, to question her trustworthiness and honesty — character traits that many voters already had expressed doubts about in opinion polls.
Sounding slightly exasperated, Clinton insisted in the television interview that she has done everything possible to help put the controversy behind her.
“I have turned over all of my e-mails. No one else can say that. I’ve been incredibly open about doing that. I will continue to be open. And it’s not an issue that is going to affect either the campaign or my presidency,” she declared.
Clinton’s use of a private server for both official and private correspondence first came to light in 2015 during Republican-led congressional investigations into her handling of a militant attack on the US mission in Benghazi, Libya.
The assault in 2012 left the US ambassador and three other Americans dead.
The FBI has since launched a criminal investigation amid Republican charges that use of the unsecured system endangered national security.
Clinton has maintained that none of her emails had been marked “classified” when she sent them and, after her own lawyers had removed mails they deemed purely personal, she submitted 52,000 pages of her emails to the State Department, which has reviewed all the documents.
Over several months, the State Department made the official emails public in batches, releasing the final tranche in late February.