FBI Director James Comey confirmed Thursday the FBI is looking into the security of the setup of Hillary Rodham Clinton's email and that the agency has the appropriate "resources and personnel assigned to this matter." 

In a wide-ranging conversation with reporters on Thursday, Comey acknowledged for the first time the existence of the FBI inquiry. But he declined to discuss details of the investigation and would not answer questions about when the inquiry might end or exactly what steps the FBI is taking as part of its review. 

The FBI this summer took possession of the private email server that Clinton used as secretary of state, after receiving a referral from the intelligence community about the possible exposure of classified information. The controversy has dogged Clinton's presidential campaign. Neither the campaign nor Clinton's lawyer has discussed the inquiry, but both have said they're cooperating. 

Comey declined to say whether the FBI would publicly announce its findings, or whether the inquiry would be concluded ahead of next year's presidential primaries and general election. But he said that the FBI will not allow politics to interfere with its review. 

"One of the main reasons I have a 10-year term is to make sure that this organization stays outside of politics, and if you know my folks, you know that they don't give a whit about politics," Comey said. 

He said he believes the FBI has "the resources and personnel assigned to this matter" to complete it in a timely way and that he is being regularly briefed on it.