She stressed that there was no negative “intention” behind her choice to use a private email address and pointed to the fact she asked the State Department to release her messages.
“I’m happy people are looking at the emails,” Clinton said. “Some of them are, you know, frankly a little embarrassing. You know, you find out that sometimes I’m not the best on technology and things like that, but look, I think it’s great. Let people sort them through and, as we have seen, there is a lot of, you know, a lot of interest.”
The State Department has been releasing the emails from Clinton’s server on a monthly basis. Clinton provided the messages to the agency after they were requested. The email releases have included Clinton discussing sensitive issues with her aides. They also contained mundane moments such as Clinton asking staffers what time different shows aired on television.
Critics have suggested Clinton’s use of a private account for official business could have been a violation of federal regulations and an attempt to avoid transparency. Chris Cuomo, who moderated the forum, brought up the issue when he noted the Des Moines Register newspaper criticized Clinton for her handling of the situation when it endorsed her on Monday. The paper’s editorial board suggested Clinton’s response to the issue shows she has not learned to admit mistakes. Clinton first publicly addressed the controversy in a press conference last March where she defiantly dismissed any concerns about her email usage and said she opted for a private account for both personal and official messages as a matter of “convenience.”
Though Clinton told Cuomo she should have addressed the situation “quicker,“ she did not admit to making any mistakes in her handling of the controversy.
“I’m not willing to say it was an error in judgement, because nothing that I did was wrong,” Clinton said. “It was not in any way prohibited.”
Clinton also argued she needed time to formulate a response.
“Part of the problem and I would just say this as not an excuse, but just as an explanation … when you’re facing something like that you got to get the facts and it takes time to get the facts,” Clinton said. “And so, when I said, ‘Hey, take all my emails, make them public,’ that had never been done before ever by anybody. And so we’ve been sorting our way through this because it is kind of a unique situation.”
Clinton’s comments at the forum clearly didn’t satisfy the Republican Party. In a statement released shortly after the event, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus blasted Clinton for not saying she made a mistake.
“Her refusal to admit her secret email server was a lapse in judgement will only add to Americans’ doubts about her honesty and trustworthiness. Voters aren’t looking for a politician who pretends the rules don’t apply to them, particularly when it comes to safekeeping classified material important to our national security,” Priebus said.