Hillary Clinton Email: What the White House Said in 2011 That May Not Look Good for Her

Jay Carney discussed the administration's policy on private email accounts.

ByABC News
March 3, 2015, 1:30 PM

— -- Hillary Clinton is under fire for using a private email account during her four-year tenure at the State Department, though the White House press secretary said in 2011 that all the administration's work was being conducted on official government email accounts.

Amid questions over whether Clinton's email practices potentially violated federal archival requirements, Clinton's spokesman, Nick Merrill, said, "both the letter and spirit of the rules permitted State Department officials to use non-governmental email."

But in June 2011, when Hillary Clinton was still secretary of state, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, point blank, "all of our work is conducted on work email accounts; that's part of the Presidential Records Act."

Here's the full exchange:

REPORTER: What is the U.S. government's policy towards personnel having private Gmail accounts?

CARNEY: Well, the U.S. government policy -- certainly, the administration policy that is effective here is that we -- all of our work is conducted on work email accounts; that's part of the Presidential Records Act. So the issue in terms of, as I mentioned, our work accounts, we have no evidence to suggest that any of those accounts were accessed or compromised.

REPORTER: But is it the policy that you're not allowed to have a Gmail account for private use --


REPORTER: -- or another nongovernmental --

CARNEY: No, that's not the policy.

REPORTER: So there's no policy in place that would say certain members of the government, senior officials, are not allowed to use Gmail accounts at all for private use?

CARNEY: Well, again, if you're talking about private use that's just different from work use. We are definitely instructed that we need to conduct all of our work on our government accounts as part of the Presidential Records Act. I'm not aware of any law or rule that suggests that government workers cannot have separate private email accounts.

ABC News' Erin Dooley contributed to this report.

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