After revelations Thursday that the State Department found former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice received classified material on their personal email accounts, Hillary Clinton said during the Democratic debate that she has “absolutely no concerns” about the news.
“Before it was the emails, it was Benghazi,” Clinton said of her political opponents’ efforts to stir up controversy. “Now you have these people in the government who are doing the same thing to Secretary Powell’s and Secretary Rice’s aides that they’ve been doing to me, which is, I never sent or received any classified material.”
“I agree completely with Secretary Powell, who said that it’s an absurdity,” she added. “I think the American people will know it’s an absurdity. I have absolutely no concerns about it whatsoever.”
Clinton said classified information in Powell’s and Rice’s personal accounts had been given that designation “retroactively.” She has long used the same defense against allegations that her use of a personal email server created a national security risk.
But debate moderator Chuck Todd asked a follow-up, saying, “There is an open FBI investigation into this matter about how you may have handled classified material. Are you 100% confident that nothing is going to come of this FBI investigation?”
Clinton responded she is “100 percent confident.”
“[This review] will be resolved, but I have to add if there’s going to be a security review about me, there’s going to be security reviews about a lot of other people, including Republican office holders, because we’ve got this absurd situation of retroactive classifications,” she said.
From its outset, the FBI inquiry into the security of Clinton’s private email server has been said not to target the former secretary of state specifically.