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Obama: Clinton made mistake, didn't harm national security

Published:Monday | October 12, 2015 | 5:56 AM
Hillary Rodham Clinton, a 2016 Democratic presidential contender.


Hillary Rodham Clinton's use of a private email server to conduct government business when she served as secretary of state was a mistake, but it didn't endanger national security, President Barack Obama said during an interview airing Sunday on CBS's 60 Minutes.

Obama said that public officials have to be more sensitive about how they handle information and personal data, yet he also said the criticism of Clinton has been "ginned up" because of politics.

"I think she'd be the first to acknowledge that maybe she could have handled the original decision better and the disclosures more quickly," Obama said.

Obama downplayed the threat to national security, and when it was pointed out that his administration had prosecuted people for having classified material on their private computers, the president said he didn't get the impression there was an intent to "hide something or to squirrel away information". He also said he was not initially aware of her use of the private email server.

There are still questions being raised about the security of that system.

Senate investigators recently discovered that Clinton's private server was subjected to unspecified hacking attempts in 2013 from China, South Korea, and Germany. The FBI is still examining her system, and that review could reveal evidence, if any, of unauthorised intrusions into her server or any attempts to siphon off her data.