Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton apologized Tuesday for using a private email server while secretary of state, saying the decision was a “mistake.”
The admission in an interview with ABC News comes after she refused to apologize in separate interviews over the weekend and as questions about her email practices continue to dog her campaign.
“That was a mistake. I’m sorry about that. I take responsibility,” Clinton said in the interview with broadcaster ABC News.
The emails had become a liability in her presidential campaign, raising questions about transparency, technical security and the handling of sensitive communications relating to the deadly 2012 attack on the US mission in Benghazi, Libya.
The email issue has evoked voters’ memories of the scandals and secrecy that often plagued her husband, President Bill Clinton, during his 1993-2001 administration.
Long considered the heir apparent for the Democratic Party, Clinton now faces an insurgent challenge from Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-described socialist who now leads Clinton in the key early primary state of New Hampshire and has been narrowing the gap in Iowa. More recently, she is contending with calls for Vice President Joe Biden to enter the Democratic nomination race.
The State Department on Tuesday announced it would designate an official, Janice Jacobs, to improve document preservation and increase transparency in the wake of the email issue.
The FBI has taken control of Clinton’s server and thumb drives storing backup data, and is investigating her email set-up. The number of potentially classified emails that passed through her private system is now estimated to be more than 300.
The State Department has been releasing tranches from Clinton’s estimated 55,000-page email archive, raising the issue anew with every batch.