Former President Bill Clinton reportedly told his wife, former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, that she should not apologize for using a private server to discuss classified and highly sensitive matters while serving as secretary of state.
According to a new book titled, “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign,” Clinton’s top advisers urged her to apologize for her use of her own personal server, regardless of whether she had done anything wrong. But Bill Clinton disagreed. Instead, he advised her to simply explain why she chose to use the server and plead her case as to why she didn’t think she had done anything wrong by using it.
The book was written by The Hill’s White House correspondent, Amie Parnes, and Sidewire’s Jonathan Allen.
In August 2015, Hillary Clinton addressed her private email server at a campaign stop in Iowa, appearing at first to take her husband’s advice and explain her reasoning without apologizing.
“It clearly wasn’t the best choice. I should’ve used two emails— one personal, one for work,” she said at the time.
“I take responsibility for that decision, and I want to be as transparent as possible, which is why I turned over 55,000 pages, why I’ve turned over my server, why I’ve agreed to— in fact, been asking to and have finally gotten a date to— testify before a congressional committee in October,” Clinton said.
After being widely criticized for a series of seemingly flippant answers about the server controversy, and in response to polling that showed the issue was damaging her standing with voters, she later appeared to capitulate to her advisers, apologizing for the server in September 2016 during an interview with ABC News
“That was a mistake,” she said. “I’m sorry about that. I take responsibility.”
Last year, the FBI investigated Clinton’s use of a private email server and whether she had improperly stored or transmitted classified information during her tenure as secretary of state. In July, FBI Director James Comey recommended no charges be brought against Clinton, then sparked a firestorm in late October, just days before the election, by sending a letter to lawmakers indicating that the FBI was looking into additional information regarding Clinton’s private email server.
Days after he sent the letter, Comey said that the FBI again did not find any information to pursue charges against Clinton, but Democrats accused him of trying to sway the election. After her election loss, Clinton blamed the email controversy
— and Comey’s actions specifically — for her loss.
President Donald Trump frequently went after Clinton on the issue throughout his campaign, with his supporters often chanting the phrase, “Lock her up,” at his campaign stops.