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Report Shows Clinton Broke Email Policies


In this Dec. 8, 2011, file-pool photo, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hands off her mobile phone after arriving for a meeting in The Hague, Netherlands. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, FILE)

In this Dec. 8, 2011, file-pool photo, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hands off her mobile phone after arriving for a meeting in The Hague, Netherlands. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, FILE)

A new report says former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton broke department rules by using private email to do government business.

Clinton’s use of private email has been an issue in her presidential campaign. Her critics say she has been dishonest. She has said she did nothing illegal.

Clinton admits to making a mistake by not having two separate accounts – one for work and another for personal email.

“I am sorry about that. I take responsibility,” she said in a television interview last year.

The 83-page report by the Inspector General said Clinton risked the security of official information when she stored email on a private server, or equipment, in her home. It also said the department would not have approved use of the server if security officials had known about it.

Clinton provided 50,000 pages of official email, as well as her personal server, as part of the investigation. The report said she should have given all her official government email to the State Department.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Clinton was not the only secretary to break the policies.

“We could have done a better job at preserving emails and records of secretaries of state and their senior staff going back, frankly, several administrations. So back to before Secretary Clinton. We recognize that.”

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell also was criticized in the report for using personal email for government business.

The report found that many employees use personal email accounts for official business. But it identified three officials who used it exclusively: Clinton, Powell and a former ambassador to Kenya, Scott Gration.

Every time a new government report is released, the issue returns to the campaign discussion.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump quickly reacted Wednesday to the inspector general’s new report.

Crooked Hillary, crooked Hillary, she’s as crooked as they come,” he said at a campaign rally. He later described the report as “not so good.”

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi defended Clinton. She said the report showed weaknesses in the system that included other high-ranking government officials.

The report criticized the State Department for being “slow to recognize and to manage effectively the legal requirements and cybersecurity risks” of official email use.

I’m Bryan Lynn.

Zlatica Hoke reported on this story for VOANews.com. Bryan Lynn adapted it for Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.

We want to hear from you. Do you think the Hillary Clinton email issue should stay a part of the presidential campaign? Write to us in the Comments section, and visit our Facebook page.

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Words in This Story

server – n. a computer that manages access to a centralized network

exclusive – adj. not shared, available to only one person or group

crooked – adj. not honest or trustworthy

pants on fire -- idiom, from a children's rhyme, or poem, about someone who lies so much, their pants catch on fire

cybersecurity – n. measures taken to protect computers from unauthorized attacks

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