POLITICS

Trump Says Clinton's Private Email Server Was 'More Than A Mistake'

America "really thinks it's disgraceful," he said.

Donald Trump attacked Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, saying that it was “more than a mistake” and that it was “done purposely.”

During the first presidential debate Monday night, the Republican nominee also said that he would release his tax returns when Clinton released all of her emails.

Clinton apologized once again for her use of a private email server.

“I made a mistake using a private email,” she said, prompting Trump to quickly cut in and say “that’s for sure.” “If I had to do it over again,” she added, “I would obviously do it differently. But I’m not going to make any excuses. It was a mistake. And I take responsibility for that.”

Trump provided no evidence that Clinton knowingly engaged in wrongdoing, but instead alluded to the fact that employees who worked on Clinton’s server invoked their Fifth Amendment right under the Constitution when questioned about it.

“When you have your staff taking the Fifth Amendment ― taking the Fifth so they’re not prosecuted, when you have the man that set up the illegal server taking the Fifth, I think it’s disgraceful,” he said. “And believe me, this country ... really thinks it’s disgraceful also.”

Clinton’s exclusive use of a private email account and server to conduct official business while secretary of state has hounded her campaign since the New York Times first reported the practice in March of 2015. Trump and other Republicans have seized on the email issue as a way to attack Clinton’s credibility and judgment, arguing that it shows she has something to hide.

The former secretary of state initially strongly defended her use of a private email account, saying that it was done out of convenience, that she never sent or received classified emails, and that the records were preserved because she emailed other government officials on their government accounts. Months later, Clinton admitted she made a mistake.

Clinton turned over about 30,000 work-related emails to the State Department in 2014 and wiped her server of the remaining messages, which she has said were personal and unrelated to work. In July, the FBI announced that it had reviewed those messages and found 110 messages with classified material among them. FBI director James Comey called Clinton’s handling of classified information “extremely careless,” but declined to recommend bringing criminal charges.

Clinton has argued that the State Department permitted her to use a personal account, but the department’s inspector general found that she never sought permission and would not have been granted it if she had.

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

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