Did Powell tell Clinton to use private email?

Clinton supposedly told the FBI she set up a private email account on his advice, but Powell says he doesn't remember saying that. He does remember sending her an email on that topic, saying he used personal email for unclassified messages and a separate system for classified messages, but she was using the private server before then.

This doesn't excuse anything Clinton was doing, but it does need some context in order to understand it.

Colin Powell was appointed secretary of state in 2001. Believe it or not that was relatively early in the days of email. Small businesses might not have email at all, especially if they weren't focused on technology. Large organizations would often have an internal mail system, but those internal mail systems weren't necessarily email as we know it today and wouldn't necessarily talk to other mail systems. If a particular worker had a computer on his desk in his office, he wouldn't necessarily have access to a company network, much less the internet.

This is in the United States. Imagine how bad things could be in the hundreds of embassies the State Department maintains all over the world.

When Powell was advocated for the use of a private email account, he was advocating for its use compared to nothing at all.

He left office in 2005, and Hillary was named SecState in 2009. Those 8 years made a big difference in terms of technology and expectations.

UPDATE: I was mostly speculating in the above post, but the Washington Examiner found support for that speculation in the original documents. Powell asked (and received) permission to use private email, because the State Department's email system did not allow contact with those outside the government at the time.

This entry was published Tue Aug 30 09:09:47 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2016-09-03 23:00:00.0. [Tweet]

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