Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton repeatedly contended Saturday that she did not send or receive classified information through her personal email system.
“I am confident that I never sent nor received any information that was classified at the time it was sent and received,” she told reporters after speaking at a local Democratic Party fundraiser here.
Clinton said the latest flare-up about her use of a personal email server was prompted by her desire for transparency and to have her emails available to the public.
Clinton was reacting to reports Friday that government investigators found that her use of a personal server during her time as secretary of State led to classified information being left vulnerable.
An inspector general review of 40 of Clinton’s emails found that four had information that should have been marked as classified. The Department of Justice is weighing whether to launch an investigation.
Clinton said that she had “no idea” which four emails were in question, but that no information in her private email system was marked classified, and that it is in the State Department’s unclassified system.
She said the dispute over whether the information should have been marked classified has nothing to do with her, and that it was the result of bureaucratic wrangling over which of her emails should be publicly released. That, she said, was prompted by her desire to make her emails available to the public.
“This is all about my desire to have transparency and make the information public,” Clinton said.
“If I had not said I wanted the public, I wanted the press, to see everything, this would not be an issue, because the arguments that go on over what is or isn’t to be released would not be applicable here.”
The news broke as new polling in key states found that many voters do not find Clinton trustworthy.
Republicans noted that a spokeswoman for the inspector general said the information in the emails was classified, and argued that Clinton’s statements were part of a pattern of deception.
“Hillary Clinton can’t help but continue to mislead the American people,” Michael Short, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, said in a statement. “The facts are clear: Independent government investigators found that Hillary Clinton possessed information that was classified at the time on her secret email server and now the matter has been referred to the FBI.
“Hillary Clinton’s reckless attempt to get around public records laws has jeopardized our national security.”
Stewart A. Baker, a former general counsel to the National Security Agency who is now in private practice, has said the use of the email system “raises questions.” He has said he wondered whether staffers deliberately avoided marking sensitive emails to Clinton as classified so they could sidestep the bureaucrats who handle transmission of such material.