Hillary Clinton’s camp late Sunday issued a significant clarification about the steps they say were taken to review thousands of personal emails before they were deleted, claiming her team individually read “every email” before discarding those deemed private.
Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill made the clarification in a written statement to Fox News. This comes after the former secretary of state’s office revealed last week that while more than 30,000 “work-related” emails were turned over to the State Department, nearly 32,000 were deemed “private” and deleted.
This admission raised questions over how her team decided to get rid of those messages. Merrill on Sunday clarified an earlier fact sheet that described some of those methods but did not say every email was read.
“We simply took for granted that reading every single email came across as the most important, fundamental and exhaustive step that was performed. The fact sheet should have been clearer in stating that every email was read,” Merrill said.
Clinton, a likely Democratic presidential candidate, tried to tamp down the controversy over her exclusive use of personal email while secretary of state during a press conference last week. But the admission that she deleted thousands of messages, and her insistence that her personal server remain private, stirred the ire – and curiosity -- of lawmakers who want greater access to her communications as secretary and complain much of it may be gone forever.
Whether the assurance that “every email” was read before being either deleted or turned over eases those concerns remains to be seen.
“I have zero interest in looking at her personal emails,” South Carolina GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy said on “Fox News Sunday.” “But who gets to decide what’s personal and what’s public? And if it’s a mixed-use email, and lots of the emails we get in life are both personal and work, I just can’t trust her lawyers to make the determination that the public’s getting everything they’re entitled to.”
Fox News' Ed Henry contributed to this report