White House Press Secretary: Obama Knew About Hillary Clinton's Personal Email Account

| by Karen Eisenberg
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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came under fire in recent weeks for using a personal email address while in office. The New York Times reports that Clinton did not have a government email address at all during her four years in office.

According to federal law, correspondence between government officials must be preserved, which Clinton apparently did not do. The House select committee learned of the private email account when it conducted investigations on the 2012 attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

President Obama claimed to have learned of Clinton’s use of a private email address at the same time the public did. In an interview on Saturday with CBS News, Bill Plante asked him point blank: “Mr. President, when did you first learn that Hillary Clinton used an email system outside the U.S. government for official business while she was secretary of state?”

"The same time everybody else learned it through news reports,” he replied.

However, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said during a media briefing on Monday that what President Obama meant is that he learned of Clinton’s lack of compliance as far as not turning over the emails at the same time everyone else did, not that he was unaware that she used a private email account.

“Yes, he was aware of her email address. He traded emails with her,” Earnest said. “But he was not aware of her personal email server or that she was using it exclusively for all her business."

When asked details of the emails exchanged between Obama and Clinton, Earnest said: “I would not describe the numbers of emails as large. … He was not aware of the details of how that email address and that server had been set up.”  

Roughly 55,000 pages of Clinton’s emails in question have been turned over to the State Department for review.

Sources: New York Times, Time, the Daily Caller

Photo: Wikimedia