Hillary Clinton has told the FBI that former Secretary of State Colin Powell advised her to use a private email account during her tenure in the position. Clinton disclosed this information during a three and a half hour interview with the FBI in July, according to the New York Times.
The Times also went on to cite a book focusing on Bill Clinton’s post-presidential activities. According to a book by Joe Conason, Man of the World: The Further Endeavors of Bill Clinton, Powell advised Clinton to use her “own email” for everything except classified communications during a dinner party hosted by Madeleine Albright in 2009.
The Times received an advanced copy of the book in which the author wrote:
“Toward the end of the evening, over dessert, Albright asked all of the former secretaries to offer one salient bit of counsel to the nation’s next top diplomat. Powell told her to use her own email, as he had done, except for classified communications, which he had sent and received via a State Department computer.”
Powell claims that he has no recollection of the conversation, according to a statement made by his office. However, Powell does admit to writing an email memo to Clinton about times he used his personal AOL email account for unclassified messages. He claims that the messages were sent using a secure department computer that was used specifically to manage classified information and that there was no equivalent system within the department at the time the memo was sent. The State Department did not have a fully functioning email system at the time he joined 15 years ago in 2001.
Clinton’s representatives have not commented on the alleged conversation.