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'Top Secret' Email Revelation Changes 'Nothing,' Clinton Says

Hillary Clinton stands for a portrait in San Antonio.
Hillary Clinton stands for a portrait in San Antonio.

Hillary Clinton dismissed a report that emails she sent on her private email server contained a high level of classified material.

Speaking to NPR's Ari Shapiro in San Antonio on Wednesday, the Democratic presidential candidate continued to maintain that she "never sent or received any material marked classified" while at the State Department "and that hasn't changed in all of these months."

According to a Fox News report Tuesday, more emails that went through Clinton's private email server than previously reported were classified beyond the "Top Secret" classification level, according to a letter sent to lawmakers from the Intelligence Community inspector general.

The former secretary of state said the claim was a "continuation of an interagency dispute that has been going on now for some months."

"As the State Department has confirmed, I never sent or received any material marked classified, and that hasn't changed in all of these months," she maintained. "This, seems to me, to be, you know, another effort to inject this into the campaign. It's another leak."

In response to the earlier Fox News report, the Republican National Committee said Clinton's email server issue "has taken on an entirely new level of recklessness."

"The revelation that Clinton exposed intelligence from our most secretive and highly classified programs raises serious legal questions given the fact she signed non-disclosure agreements obligating her to protect classified information regardless of whether it was marked," said RNC spokesman Michael Short.

Clinton added, "I'm just going to leave it up to the professionals at the Justice Department, because nothing that this says changes the fact that I never sent or received material marked classified."

She said "the best we can determine" is that the emails in question were a forward of a New York Times article on a classified drone program and that they had likely been retroactively classified.

"How a New York Times public article that goes around the world could be in any way viewed as classified, or the fact that it would be sent to other people off of the New York Times site, I think, is one of the difficulties that people have in understanding what this is about," Clinton said.

Though the drone program was classified at the time, it was being written about publicly, which Clinton said, "strikes me as somewhat strange that there would be a — an effort by those who are leaking this — and obviously that's what's happening — to try to raise concerns and doubts about information in the public sector."

She added, "But even if they have retroactive concerns and doubts, that doesn't change the fact that these were not marked classified at the time they were sent or received."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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