Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton told the Federal Bureau of Investigations that former Secretary of State Colin Powell advised her to use her personal email, according to a new report.
The New York Times reports that Clinton’s claim was included in the notes the FBI handed over to Congress on Tuesday. The notes were taken during Clinton’s three and a half hour interview with the FBI in July, just days prior to Director James Comey’s decision not to recommend indictment for Mrs. Clinton’s mishandling of classified information.
Hillary’s statements to the FBI are apparently consistent with reporting from Clinton hagiographer Joe Conason, who wrote in an upcoming book about Bill Clinton’s post-presidency that the recommendation from Powell came during a conversation at a dinner party.
The New York Times reports:
Mr. Conason describes a conversation in the early months of Mrs. Clinton’s tenure at the State Department at a small dinner party hosted by Madeleine Albright, another former secretary of state, at her home in Washington. Henry Kissinger and Condoleezza Rice also attended.
“Toward the end of the evening, over dessert, Albright asked all of the former secretaries to offer one salient bit of counsel to the nation’s next top diplomat,” Mr. Conason writes. “Powell told her to use her own email, as he had done, except for classified communications, which he had sent and received via a State Department computer.”
Mr. Conason continued, “Saying that his use of personal email had been transformative for the department,” Mr. Powell “thus confirmed a decision she had made months earlier — to keep her personal account and use it for most messages.”
Despite Clinton’s claims and the seeming substantiation by Conason, General Powell tells a different story. In fact, Powell has no recollection of any such conversation.
General Powell’s office released a statement on Thursday evening:
General Powell has no recollection of the dinner conversation. He did write former Secretary Clinton an email memo describing his use of his personal AOL email account for unclassified messages and how it vastly improved communications within the State Department. At the time there was no equivalent system within the Department. He used a secure State computer on his desk to manage classified information. The General no longer has the email he sent to former Secretary Clinton. It may exist in State or FBI files. For a complete discussion of his use of private emails he refers you to chapter 16, “Brainwave” of his recent book, “It Worked For Me — In Life and Leadership,” published in 2012.
It’s important to note that in both accounts, Powell specifically notes that a private email account should only be used for unclassified information.
So, is General Powell suffering from amnesia? Or did Hillary concoct a CYA story to explain why she used a private email account?
We’ll let you be the judge.