Clinton tells FBI she could not recall all briefings on preserving documents

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

FBI releases notes from Clinton interview

WASHINGTON, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Hillary Clinton, under questioning by federal investigators over whether she had been briefed on how to preserve government records as she was about to leave the State Department, said she had suffered a concussion, was working part-time and could not recall every briefing she received.

Clinton, the Democratic Party's presidential candidate, raised the health scare during her 3-1/2-hour interview with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department prosecutors on July 2, according to an FBI summary released on Friday.

SEE ALSO: Henry Kissinger may endorse Hillary Clinton. That could lose her more votes than it gains

Besides the 11-page interview summary, the FBI also released other details of its investigation into her use of an unauthorized private email system while running the State Department in which it concluded she mishandled classified information but not in a way that warranted a criminal prosecution.

Clinton told investigators she could not recall getting any briefings on how to handle classified information or comply with laws governing the preservation of federal records, the summary of her interview shows.

"However, in December of 2012, Clinton suffered a concussion and then around the New Year had a blood clot," the FBI's summary said. "Based on her doctor's advice, she could only work at State for a few hours a day and could not recall every briefing she received."

The concussion was widely reported at the time, and Republicans have since used it to attack the 68-year-old candidate's health in a way her staff have said is unfounded.

Learn more about the Clinton email scandal:

13 PHOTOS
Hillary Clinton's Email Scandal
See Gallery
Hillary Clinton's Email Scandal
Representative Susan Brooks, a Republican from Indiana, questions Hillary Clinton, former U.S. secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, not pictured, during a House Select Committee on Benghazi hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. Under scrutiny for her handling of the Benghazi attacks and her use of a private e-mail server, Clinton plans to invoke the memory of slain U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens to defend her approach to diplomacy, saying they shared a common belief in the need for America to lead. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at an event at the New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business in New York on July 24, 2015. The Justice Department said it had received a request to probe whether Hillary Clinton mishandled sensitive government information by using her private email for State Department business. 'The Department has received a referral related to the potential compromise of classified information,' a department official said in a brief statement that confirmed in part a story that first appeared in The New York Times. AFP PHOTO/ KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 10: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to the media after keynoting a Women's Empowerment Event at the United Nations March 10, 2015 in New York City. Clinton answered questions about recent allegations of an improperly used email account during her tenure as secretary of state. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
Hillary Clinton answers questions from reporters March 10, 2015 at the United Nations in New York. Clinton admitted Tuesday that she made a mistake in choosing for convenience not to use an official email account when she was secretary of state. But, in remarks to reporters after attending a United Nations event, she insisted that her email set-up had been properly secure and that she had turned over all professional communications to the State Department. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 10: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to the media after keynoting a Women's Empowerment Event at the United Nations March 10, 2015 in New York City. Clinton answered questions about recent allegations of an improperly used email account during her tenure as secretary of state. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 10: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to the media after keynoting a Women's Empowerment Event at the United Nations March 10, 2015 in New York City. Clinton answered questions about recent allegations of an improperly used email account during her tenure as secretary of state. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 10: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to the media after keynoting a Women's Empowerment Event at the United Nations March 10, 2015 in New York City. Clinton answered questions about recent allegations of an improperly used email account during her tenure as secretary of state. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 10: Huma Abedin (R), aide to former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, looks on during a news conference following Clinton's keynote speech at a Women's Empowerment Event at the United Nations. Clinton answered questions about recent allegations of an improperly used email account during her tenure as secretary of state. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and other members of the House Select Committee on Benghazi speak to reporters at a press conference on the findings of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's personal emails at the U.S. Capitol on March 3, 2015 in Washington, D.C. The New York Times reported that Clinton may have violated the law by using a personal email account for official business at the State Department. (Photo by Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: Peter Roskam (R-IL), Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) of the House Select Committee on Benghazi speak to reporters at a press conference on the findings of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's personal emails at the U.S. Capitol on March 3, 2015 in Washington, D.C. The New York Times reported that Clinton may have violated the law by using a personal email account for official business at the State Department. (Photo by Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images)
Hillary Clinton answers questions from reporters March 10, 2015 at the United Nations in New York. Clinton admitted Tuesday that she made a mistake in choosing for convenience not to use an official email account when she was secretary of state. But, in remarks to reporters after attending a United Nations event, she insisted that her email set-up had been properly secure and that she had turned over all professional communications to the State Department. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) of the House Select Committee on Benghazi speaks to reporters at a press conference on the findings of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's personal emails at the U.S. Capitol on March 3, 2015 in Washington, D.C. The New York Times reported that Clinton may have violated the law by using a personal email account for official business at the State Department. (Photo by Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Clinton, who is challenging Republican Donald Trump for the White House in the Nov. 8 election, has been dogged for more than a year by the fallout from her decision to use an unauthorized private email account run from the basement of her Chappaqua, New York, home.

Republicans have repeatedly attacked Clinton over the issue, helping drive opinion polls that show many U.S. voters doubt her trustworthiness.

Trump has repeatedly used the issue as part of his claims that Clinton is dishonest, and his campaign on Friday said the notes from the FBI report reinforced "her tremendously bad judgment and dishonesty."

Clinton has said that in hindsight she regretted using a private email system while secretary of state.

According to the report, Clinton told the FBI that she did not set up a private email server to sidestep the law requiring her to keep her business communications a matter of public record.

At least one federal judge is examining whether this was the case as part of a lawsuit against the State Department concerning public access to Clinton's government records, which the U.S. government said it had no access to in response to requests from members of the public.

The documents also show that Clinton contacted former Secretary of State Colin Powell in 2009 to ask about his use of a personal BlackBerry phone.

In his reply to Clinton via email, Powell told Clinton to "be very careful" because the work-related emails she sent on her BlackBerry could become public record.

"I got around it all by not saying much and not using systems that captured the data," Powell said, according to the summary.

After her use of a private email system became public knowledge in March 2015, Clinton repeatedly said she did not use it to send or receive classified information. The government forbids handling such information outside secure channels.

The FBI has since concluded Clinton was wrong to say that: At least 81 email threads contained information that was classified at the time, although the final number may be more than 2,000, the report says. Some of the emails appear to include discussion of planned future attacks by unmanned U.S. military drones, the FBI report shows.

"CLINTON believed the classification level of future drone strikes depended on the context," the FBI's interview summary said. The U.S. government requires that military plans be classified.

The FBI released its report on Friday afternoon before the Labor Day holiday weekend, a time many Americans are preparing to travel.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said he would not comment on the FBI's findings because the department "does not have full insight into the FBI's investigation."

He declined to say whether State Department officials still discussed the planning of future attacks using drones in unclassified emails.

"I'm not going to speak to past email practices," he said. "We trust State Department employees to use their best judgment when conveying sensitive information, taking into account a range of factors."

Spokesmen for Clinton did not respond to questions about the concussion and other aspects of the FBI's summary, but released a statement welcoming the summary's release.

"While her use of a single email account was clearly a mistake and she has taken responsibility for it, these materials make clear why the Justice Department believed there was no basis to move forward with this case," Brian Fallon, a campaign spokesman, said in a statement.

Some Republicans saw the files as confirming their belief that the Department of Justice should have prosecuted Clinton.

"These documents demonstrate Hillary Clinton's reckless and downright dangerous handling of classified information during her tenure as secretary of state," Paul Ryan, the Republican speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, said in a statement. "This is exactly why I have called for her to be denied access to classified information."

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners

Man Suspects His Wife Is Cheating On Him - Then His Daughter Reveals What's Really Going Man Suspects His Wife Is Cheating On Him - Then His Daughter Reveals What's Really Going
Don't Get Too Close To a Newborn Giraffe Unless You Want to Get Kicked in the Nuts Don't Get Too Close To a Newborn Giraffe Unless You Want to Get Kicked in the Nuts
Nature Gets Revenge On Safari Hunter Who Killed Elephants And Lions For Sport Nature Gets Revenge On Safari Hunter Who Killed Elephants And Lions For Sport