Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton isn’t the only political figure with email troubles. According to State Department Inspector General Steve Linick, 12 emails regarding national security that were either “secret” or “confidential” were sent to former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s personal email and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s senior aides.
Linick revealed this information in a Feb. 3 letter to Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy, NBC News reports.
Powell received two of the messages, and Rice's aides received 10 of the messages, according to the letter. None of the messages were classified when they were sent.
A spokeswoman for Rice said the emails were regarding diplomatic relations, not intelligence information.
Powell challenged the emails' classification, saying the contents were “fairly minor."
"I wish they would release them," Powell told NBC News, "so that a normal, air-breathing mammal would look at them and say, 'What's the issue?’"
He added that he used his private email account when the State's email system was slow.
Many believe this information sheds new light on Clinton’s email scandal.
"The truth couldn't be plainer: the private-email problem is not a Hillary Clinton problem,” Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, who also serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told CBS News. "It's a government-wide problem that's existed since the advent of email itself."
Powell served as Secretary of State from 2001 to 2005, and Rice served as Secretary of State from 2005 to 2009.
"This announcement about Secretary Powell's emails shows just how routine it is for government bureaucrats to go overboard when it comes to judging whether information is too sensitive for the public to see," John Podesta, Clinton's campaign chairman, said, according to NBC News.
"Hillary Clinton agrees with her predecessor that his emails, like hers, are being inappropriately subjected to over-classification," Podesta added. "She joins his call for these emails to be released so that the public can view the contents for itself.”