Clinton feels email controversy is a ‘distraction’

Hillary Clinton said she does not need to apologise for using a private e-mail account and server while at the State Department because “what I did was allowed.”

The front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination also said the lingering questions about her e-mail practices while serving as President Barack Obama’s first secretary of state have not damaged her campaign.

“Not at all. It’s a distraction, certainly,” Clinton said. “But it hasn’t in any way affected the plan for our campaign, the efforts we’re making to organise here in Iowa and elsewhere in the country.

“And I still feel very confident about the organization and the message that my campaign is putting out.”

Clinton responded to questions about damage to her campaign.

“As the person who has been at the centre of it, not very much. I have worked really hard this summer, sticking to my game plan to reintroduce myself to the American people.”

Part of that includes, Clinton said, answering any questions about her e-mail “in as many different settings as I can.”

Clinton has said her family paid a State Department employee to maintain the private email server she used while secretary of state.

She said Bryan Pagliano continued to receive payment for his technical service “for a period of time”.

Pagliano has told a House committee investigating Clinton’s use of the email server that he would invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination if called to testify.

Clinton said “we obviously paid for those services and did so because during a period of time we continued to need his technical assistance.”

She said she set up her own system because of the convenience of using a single hand-held device.


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