Politics & Government

Obama and Clinton emailed using her personal account

President Barack Obama speaks as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, left, listens at a cabinet meeting at the White House, November 28, 2012, in Washington, D.C.
President Barack Obama speaks as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, left, listens at a cabinet meeting at the White House, November 28, 2012, in Washington, D.C. MCT

President Barack Obama said in an interview this weekend that he didn’t know Hillary Clinton used a personal email account when she was at the State Department.

But that doesn’t mean they didn’t email.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday that Obama and Clinton did email while she was using her private email address.

“The president, as I think many people expected, did over the course of his first several years in office trade emails with his secretary of state,” Earnest said at his daily briefing. “I would not describe the number of emails as large, but they did have the occasion to email each other.”

Clinton, the likely frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for president, used a personal e-mail account to conduct government business during her four years at the State Department, which violated Obama administration guidance, the New York Times reported.

“The point is the president did email with Secretary Clinton. I assume that he recognized the email address that he was emailing back to,” Earnest said.

Obama said on CBS Saturday that he found out about Clinton’s use of a private email and server “the same time everybody else learned it, through news reports.”

“The point that the president was making is not that he didn’t know Secretary Clinton’s email address, he did,” Earnest said. “But he was not aware of the details of how that email address and that server had been set up or how Secretary Clinton and her team were planning to comply with the Federal Records Act.”

In December, Clinton turned over 55,000 pages of personal e-mails to the State Department after her aides reviewed them and selected which pages to hand over.

After the furor dominated headlines for two days, and a House committee investigating a fatal 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya subpoenaed relevant emails, Clinton issued a statement via Twitter after 11 p.m.

“I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible,” she tweeted.

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