Clinton defends latest email flare-up in rare Sunday show appearance

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Clinton Defends Telling Aide to Send 'Nonsecure' Memo

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said Sunday that an e-mail released Thursday did not show she had mishandled classified information, the latest twist in questions about the former secretary of state's communications practices.

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"That did not happen, and it never would have happened," Clinton said in an interview on the CBS News broadcast, ''Face the Nation."" "That's just not how I treated classified information."

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In a series of June 2011 e-mails, which the State Department released in response to a lawsuit, a top aide tells Clinton that there has been difficulty sending a piece of information over secure fax. "If they can't, turn into nonpaper with no identifying heading and send nonsecure," she wrote to the aide, Jake Sullivan, a former deputy national security adviser.

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Hillary Clinton testifies on Benghazi 10/21
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Clinton defends latest email flare-up in rare Sunday show appearance
Democratic presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, to testify before the House Benghazi Committee. After months of buildup, Hillary Rodham Clinton finally takes center stage as the star witness in the Republican-led investigation into the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Former Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton waits to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, October 22, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, walks past members of the media as she arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, to testify before the House Benghazi Committee. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, arrives to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, before the House Select Committee on Banghazi. After months of buildup, Hillary Rodham Clinton finally takes center stage as the star witness in the Republican-led investigation into the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Former Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton arrives to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, October 22, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 22: Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton takes her seat prior to testifying before the House Select Committee on Benghazi October 22, 2015 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee held a hearing to continue its investigation on the attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans at the diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, on the evening of September 11, 2012. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Former Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton waits to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, October 22, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton looks toward the dais as she settles into her seat on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, prior to testifying before the House Benghazi Committee. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Former Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton arrives to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, October 22, 2015. AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton takes her seat on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, prior to testifying before the House Benghazi Committee. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Hillary Clinton, former U.S. secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, speaks during a House Select Committee on Benghazi hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. Clinton said that she accepted responsibility for a lethal 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya and that she sought afterward to improve security for State Department workers abroad, as the House Benghazi panel investigating the incident began a hearing that may prove a turning point for her presidential campaign. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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The State Department has one system for transmitting classified information, and another for non-classified. Some communications contain both types of information.

"Oftentimes, there's a lot of information that isn't at all classified, so whatever information can be appropriately transmitted unclassified, often was. That's true for every agency in the government and everybody who does business with the government," Clinton said.

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Clinton said Sullivan, who is now an adviser to her campaign, never sent the information, a set of talking points for an upcoming phone call.

The former secretary of state used a private e-mail server to conduct government business while serving in President Barack Obama's Cabinet. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into the safety of classified information under the set-up.

Clinton has said she did not send or receive information marked classified.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said on Jan. 8 that Sullivan did not appear to have sent the talking points in question, and called the presence of unclassified information on a classified system "not uncommon."

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Clinton's interview marked a rare appearance on one of the Sunday political talk shows, unlike some candidates who appear regularly. Trump was scheduled to make three appearances on Sunday alone.

During the interview, Clinton responded to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC/Marist poll which showed her neck-and-neck with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in Iowa and New Hampshire, which will hold the nation's first nominating contests in early February.

The poll showed Clinton leading Sanders by 48 percent to 45 percent in Iowa, within the margin of error. "These polls, they go up, they go down," she said. "I stay pretty focused."

Clinton, who has made support for gun control a key policy point, continued to criticize Sanders for his support for providing legal protection to gun manufacturers -- a measure that the National Rifle Association supported. Sanders has tied his support for gun rights to his largely rural, low-crime state, among whose residents hunting is a popular pastime.

In an appearance on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," Sanders said he was "absolutely willing to take another look at that legislation and get rid of the onerous provisions.

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