Hillary Clinton Doubles Down on Email Scandal, Saying 'It Was Allowed'

A State Department report found that Clinton violated policy.

ByABC News
May 26, 2016, 5:31 PM

— -- Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton doubled down on defending her email practices as Secretary of State, arguing that the use of a personal account was “allowed,” and rules have since been “clarified.”

“This report makes clear that personal email use was the practice for other secretaries of state,” Clinton told ABC News in an interview in Las Vegas, Nevada. “It was allowed. And the rules have been clarified since I left.”

Yesterday, a report released by the State Department’s Office of Inspector General said that Clinton shouldn't have used a private email server to conduct official business and would have not been allowed to do so had she asked. It also found that she should have turned over emails after her tenure and violated department policy.

She has faced the issue for more than a year as she battles to become the Democratic nominee.

Clinton explained why she did not cooperate with State Department investigators, despite repeatedly saying she would talk to anyone, anytime about her emails.

"I have talked about this for many, many months," she said. "I testified for 11 hours before the Benghazi committee. I have answered numerous questions. We have posted information on our website and the information that we had is out there. It’s been clearly public and my email use was widely known throughout the department, throughout the government, and I have provided all of my work related emails, and I’ve asked that they be made public."

Clinton has not been charged with a crime and her spokesman, Brian Fallon, said the former secretary's email use was in line with former secretaries of state. He also said that political opponents were using the report in a misleading way.

“I’ve said many times, if I could go back, I would do it differently," she told ABC News. "I know people have concerns about this.”

Clinton: ‘Looking Forward’ to Debating Trump

Clinton also weighed in on a potential debate between Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump and her main rival, Bernie Sanders.

“Well, I understood they said that was a joke,” Clinton quipped, adding “I’m gonna look forward to debating Donald Trump.”

In an interview on ABC’s "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" Trump said if he and Sanders had a one-on-one they would have “high ratings.”

The Vermont senator quickly responded on Twitter, writing, "Game on. I look forward to debating Donald Trump in California before the June 7 primary."

On Unifying the Democratic Party

When asked if she has reached out to the Sanders campaign in an effort to unify the party, Clinton said both campaigns are “certainly” communicating.

“I know that we’re both trying to do our best in the upcoming contest, but I have every reason to believe that after June 7th, we will begin to unify the Democratic party,” Clinton said.

Clinton also opened the door to party concessions, saying she and Sanders are going to talk about “everything.”

“We’re gonna go into the convention unified, we’re gonna come out even more unified, and we’re going to defeat Donald Trump in November.”

The Democratic front-runner also didn't dismiss the idea of changing her platform to a $15 minimum wage. "We’re gonna have those conversations at the platform committee," she said. (Clinton is for a $12 federal min wage with $15 in some cities. Sanders is for $15 nationwide).

Back in April, Clinton told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that she shouldn’t need to make conditions for Sanders to support her. "I did not put down conditions," Clinton said. "I didn't say, 'You know what, if Senator Obama does x, y and z, maybe I'll support him."

ABC’s Justin Fishel and Cecilia Vega contributed to this report.