Colin Powell says he told Hillary Clinton about using personal email account

Former Secretary of State Powell says that he does not recall having a dinner conversation about the email servers, as The New York Times reported, but that he did send then-Secretary of State Clinton a memo about using his personal AOL account during his tenure with the State Department.

Susan Walsh/AP/File
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is seen in Washington, Oct. 10, 2008. Mr. Powell says he sent Hillary Clinton a memo touting his use of a personal email account after she took over as the nation’s top diplomat in 2009.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Friday he once sent Hillary Clinton a memo touting his use of a personal email account for work-related messages after she took over as the nation's top diplomat in 2009.

In a statement provided to The Associated Press, Powell said he emailed Clinton describing his use of a personal AOL account for unclassified messages while leading the State Department under President George W. Bush. Powell, a Republican, said he told Clinton his use of personal email "vastly improved" communications within the department, which at the time did not have an equivalent internal system.

"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," the statement said. "At the time there was no equivalent system within the department."

Powell said the FBI may have obtained a copy of his memo to Clinton during its year-long investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server to handle sensitive information during her time as secretary. The FBI closed its investigation last month without finding evidence to support criminal charges against the Democratic presidential nominee.

Powell, a retired Army general and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he used a secure computer on his desk at the State Department to manage classified information.

Unlike Clinton, Powell relied on a commercially available service to host his personal email account. Clinton's private server was located in the basement of the New York home she shared with her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

Powell issued the statement after veteran political journalist Joe Conason released an excerpt from his upcoming book about Bill Clinton that recounts a 2009 dinner party for Hillary Clinton hosted by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Powell was in attendance, along with other former secretaries including Henry Kissinger and Condoleezza Rice.

During dessert, Powell advised Clinton to use a personal email account while in office, as he had done, according to the passage from the book "Man of the World: The Further Endeavors of Bill Clinton" provided to AP. Powell reportedly told Clinton that his use of personal email to communicate with his staff had been "transformative for the department."

According to Conason's retelling, Clinton replied that she had already decided to continue using the private server in her home she had relied on during her 2008 presidential bid.

The Clinton campaign declined to comment on whether the account of the dinner conversation described in Conason's book is accurate.

In his statement, Powell said he has "no recollection" of his purported dinner conversation.

___

Associated Press reporters Hillel Italie contributed from New York City and Lisa Lerer from White Plains, N.Y.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Colin Powell says he told Hillary Clinton about using personal email account
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2016/0819/Colin-Powell-says-he-told-Hillary-Clinton-about-using-personal-email-account
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe