US Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton has defended using a private email server while serving as secretary of state, saying the email controversy will not affect her White House bid.
In an interview with CNN on Thursday, Clinton insisted her actions were no different than that of her predecessors, and claimed that she would not allow the issue to dog her election campaign.
“There may be reports that come out, but nothing has changed,” she said, a day after the release of a critical US State Department investigation, which slammed her use of personal email for government business.
“It’s the same story. Just like previous secretaries of state, I used a personal email. Many people did. It was not at all unprecedented,” she said.
Republicans have long speculated that the federal investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was US secretary of state could result in criminal charges against her.
More than 2,000 emails sent and received by Clinton while working as the top US diplomat between 2009 and 2013 include classified information, which the government bans from being handled outside secure, government-controlled channels.
Earlier this month, a US federal judge in Washington said he might order Clinton to testify under oath about whether she used a private email server.
US District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan signed an order granting a request from the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch to question six current and former US State Department staffers about the creation and purpose of the private email server.
On Thursday, Clinton reiterated that she made a “mistake.”
“As I said many times, it was a mistake and if I could go back, I would have done it differently,” she said.
“I understand why people have concerns about this, but I hope voters look at the full picture of everything that I’ve done,” she stated.
Clinton has come under fire for using her private email account and server. Critics, including presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, say she endangered government secrets and evaded transparency laws.
Trump, who Thursday reached the milestone of 1,237 delegates necessary to clinch the nomination, attacked Clinton’s “bad judgment” about using a private email account and called the State Department’s report “devastating.”
“This was all bad judgment,” Trump during a news conference in North Dakota. “Probably illegal.”