ABC News’ Jon Karl asked former secretary of state Hillary Clinton at her press conference Tuesday why she “did not go along with the State Department’s rules” until she left office two years later.
Clinton told Karl that she “fully fulfilled” her obligation in turning over the emails she passed along to the State Department.
KARL: Madam Secretary, State Department rules at the time you were secretary were perfectly clear that if a State Department employee was going to be using private email, that employee needed to turn those emails over to the State Department to be preserved on government computers. Why did you not do that? Why did you not go along with State Department rules until nearly two years after you left office?
Also, the president of the United States said that he was unaware you had this unusual email arrangement. The White House counsel’s office says you never approved this arrangement through them. Why did you not do that? Why have you apparently caught the White House by surprise? And then just one last political question, if I might. Does all of this make — affect your decision in any way on whether or not to run for president?
CLINTON: Well let me try to unpack your multiple questions. First, the laws and regulations in effect when I was secretary of state allowed me to use my email for work. That is undisputed. Secondly, under the Federal Records Act, records are defined as recorded information regardless of the form or characteristics, and in meeting the record keeping obligations it was my practice to email officials on their state or other into .gov accounts so that was captured and preserved. There are different rules governing the White House than there are governing the rest of the executive branch and in order to address the requirements I was under, I did exactly what I have said. I emailed two people and I not only knew, I expected that then to be captured in the State Department or any other government agency that I was emailing to at a .gov account.
What happened in — I guess late summer, early fall, is that the State Department sent a letter to former secretaries of state, not just to me, asking for some assistance in providing any work-related emails that might be on the personal email. And what I did was to direct my counsel to conduct a thorough investigation and to err on the side of providing anything that could be connected to work. They did that and that was my obligation. I fully fulfilled it, and then I took the unprecedented step of saying go ahead and release them and let people see them.