With FBI files released to Congress, we are finally getting a little more information about Hillary Clinton and her use of a private email server. Days before FBI Director James Comey wrapped up the investigation, agents interviewed Hillary Clinton at headquarters in Washington D.C.. It was during this interview that she reportedly revealed who gave her the (brilliant?) idea to use a personal email. She said it was former Secretary of State Colin Powell. A Republican. Powell served under President George W. Bush.
The New York Times described how the idea came up during a small dinner hosted by Madeleine Albright:
“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,” journalist Joe Conason wrote in his book, as reported today by The New York Times. “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.” Apparently, Powell called it “transformative for the department.”
Unlike Clinton, Powell did not set up his own private server. According to Newsweek, Powell’s personal email is an AOL account, and he used it on his laptop. Clinton’ email was part of a private server which was maintained separately at her home in New York. While the FBI did find she transmitted classified information, earlier this summer, Director Comey decided against pressing charges because he said no “reasonable” prosecutor would. Clinton and her campaign have repeatedly pointed to Powell and others to deflect attention from her use of private email.
Update 8/19/2016 11:00 AM
Powell responded to the report and denies the conversation at dinner happened. Read his full response here.