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Colin Powell advised Hillary Clinton on email servers

The presidential candidate learned how to roll her own server from one of her predecessors.
Daniel Cooper, @danielwcooper
September 8, 2016
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We may be sick and tired of hearing about Hillary Clinton's damn emails, but that doesn't mean the issue is going away. The presidential candidate has been lambasted by Republicans who claim that her private email server was a risk to national security. They may not be so delighted to hear, however, that she got the idea from one of their own: former secretary of state Colin Powell. The State Department has released a memo from Powell to Clinton, just days after she became secretary, revealing how he ran his own email server -- and how Clinton could do the same.

Powell explains that he had a PC hooked up to a "private phone line" that he used to communicate "without it going through the State Department servers." The official admits that he used it to speak to both friends and "some foreign leaders" and senior State Department employees, using their personal e-mail addresses. He also gave Clinton tips on how to get around the security that was on offer since "their job is to keep you hermetically sealed up."

Powell also justified the use of private emails (amongst other things) by saying that the security services couldn't offer enough justification as to why he should't. The former secretary recounted an anecdote in which he asked why he couldn't bring this PDA into secure space for fear of espionage. Powell describes the response as "all kinds of nonsense about how [devices] give out signals and could be read by spies." He also advised Clinton that, should knowledge of her BlackBerry be made public, her emails would "become an official record and subject to the law."

CNN reports that Powell has subsequently pushed back against the suggestion that he alone was responsible for Clinton's actions. He is quoted as saying that "her [Clinton's] people are trying to pin it on me," although he previously said that the conversation took place a year after it actually did. That said, the fact that Powell has not received similar criticism for conducting diplomatic business away from State Department servers suggests that there's one rule for some...

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