Hillary Clinton Tries to 'Clarify and Explain' Controversial Comments About Email Probe

PHOTO: Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at a forum sponsored by the Center for American Progress in Washington, Sept. 18, 2014.
Molly Riley/AP Photo
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at a forum sponsored by the Center for American Progress in Washington, Sept. 18, 2014.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton today tried to “clarify and explain” controversial comments she recently made about her use of a private email server during the time she was secretary of state, saying she “may have short-circuited” while making those comments.

In an interview last weekend, Clinton insisted FBI Director James Comey had concluded her public statements on the matter had been "truthful." Two days later, after many questioned her claim, she told a Denver TV station that the FBI concluded “everything” she said publicly is “consistent and truthful” with what she told the FBI privately.

That only prompted more questions, however, so today she tried to highlight what she called “the bottom line here.”

“I was pointing out in both of those instances that Director Comey had said that my answers in my FBI interview were truthful,” she told reporters in Washington. “[And] what I told the FBI … is consistent with what I have said publicly.”

Clinton was confronted today for making statements publicly that –- according to Comey –- were inaccurate, including her claim on the campaign trail that she never sent or received classified information on her private server.

Appearing at the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists convention, Clinton cited Comey’s own acknowledgement that due to missing and improper markings on emails, the then-secretary of state may “have not suspected that they were classified,” as she put it today.

In fact, she said, two out of the three emails sent with some level of classified markings on them “were later explained by the State Department not to have been in any way confidential at the time that they were delivered.”

“So what we have here is pretty much what I have been saying throughout this whole year, and that is that I never sent or received anything that was marked classified,” according to Clinton.

The FBI recommended no charges be filed in the case and the Department of Justice followed the recommendation.