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Clinton Team To Release Private Email Server She Used As Secretary Of State


Let's turn now to the woman who would like to be the next Democratic president. Hillary Clinton is back in the spotlight again over an old issue - her use of a private email account while secretary of state. Clinton's spokesman says she has now instructed her team to turn her private email server over to the Justice Department. NPR's Tamara Keith is on the road covering Clinton and joins us now from New Hampshire. Good morning.


MONTAGNE: Now, Clinton gave all work-related emails to the State Department, she says, and then wiped her server clean. So why is she giving it to the Justice Department now?

KEITH: There's an ongoing Justice Department inquiry into whether the server, as well as a thumb drive used by Clinton's lawyer, were secure, possibly leaving classified information exposed. Clinton's spokesman Nick Merrill says she directed her team to turn the server over and she's cooperating with the inquiry, which isn't targeted directly at her. Merrill says if there are more questions, Clinton and her campaign will continue to address them.

MONTAGNE: But did not Hillary Clinton say that there was no classified information on her email server?

KEITH: Yep, you're remembering that correctly. Here she was back in March at a press conference where she directly addressed the server issue.


HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material. So I'm certainly well aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.

KEITH: Her campaign and the State Department have modified that just slightly and now are saying that she did not send or receive email that was marked classified at the time. But the Intelligence Community inspector general now says that at least two of Clinton's emails should be upgraded to top-secret status. And the inspector general is the one who asked the Justice Department to look into the server and the thumb drive. One thing that's not really clear at this point is whether anyone would be able to recover the information that was on the server but was, according to Clinton, deleted.

MONTAGNE: And, Tamara, what does the reaction to this latest development tell you about where this story is going?

KEITH: This is the server that ate the campaign, and there really aren't any signs that that is going away. The chairman of the Benghazi Committee, Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy, put out a statement saying, quote, "Secretary Clinton's decision to prioritize her own convenience and desire for control over the security of our country's intelligence should concern all people of good conscience." Meanwhile, polls show her honest and trustworthy ratings have suffered.

MONTAGNE: Let's change the subject because you are following Hillary Clinton around New Hampshire this week. Other Democratic candidates have been confronted by protesters from the Black Lives Matter movement. And yesterday, activists showed up at one of Clinton's events.

KEITH: That's right. Five Black Lives Matter activists from Boston came to the event, hoping to confront her. Instead, they ended up speaking with her somewhat privately for 15 minutes. They wanted to ask her about her role in supporting her husband's tough-on-crime policing and drug policies that many blame for the problems of mass incarceration today. And afterward, they said they weren't entirely satisfied with her answers. Julius Jones is the founder of Black Lives Matter in Worcester, Mass.

JULIUS JONES: She got something out of the meeting. That much is certain. And what we - what I feel like we got out of the meeting was to actually press her in a very real way and probably a way that she hasn't been pressed in a long time.

KEITH: They didn't feel like that 15 minutes was really long enough, but they said the discussion ended cordially.

MONTAGNE: OK. NPR's Tamara Keith covering the Clinton campaign. Thanks for joining us.

KEITH: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.
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