Hillary Clinton mounted a staunch defense Sunday of the emails she turned over to authorities from her private server, addressing for the first time why she had not given authorities a work-related email chain with General David Petraeus dating back to Clinton’s early days at the State Department.
“Everything that we had access to was certainly out there,” Clinton said on NBC News. “The reason we know about the email with General Petraeus is because it was on a government server.”
“My attorneys supervised” the process, Clinton added, and asserted that it was a very “thorough” review of her emails.
“They went through everything and what we had available at the time was turned over,” she said.
The latest email chain with Petraeus — dating back to January 10, 2009 and continuing until February 1, 2009 — threw into question Clinton’s initial claim that she had turned over all work-related emails to authorities.
Speaking of her emails on CBS’ “Face the Nation” last week, Clinton had said: “We provided all of them.”
But the State Department’s record of her emails only goes as far back as March 18, 2009, nearly two months after Clinton became secretary.
The Department of Defense first discovered the emails exchanged with Petraeus and passed them on to the State Department’s inspector general. According to State spokesperson John Kirby, the department only received the emails in the “last several days.”
Clinton attributed the discrepancy to the “transition period” when she switched from an old AT&T Blackberry email account to her private server.
“I wasn’t focused on my email account, to be clear,” she told NBC.
When pressed, the former secretary of state said that she had simply been added to the email system Bill Clinton was already using for his own work.
The server “was already there,” Clinton said. “It had been there for years. It is the system that my husband’s personal office used when he got out of the White House. So it was sitting there in the basement. It was not any trouble at all. I know there are a lot of people who are questioning that.”
Clinton also compared the constant questions on her private email address to the “barrage” she endured when her husband was still in the White House.
“It was a mistake back when I did it and I’m trying to do the best I can to answer all of the questions that people had,” Clinton said. “During the ’90s I was subjected to the same kind of barrage and it seemed to be, at the time, endless.”