Hillary Clinton defended her controversial comments about the Department of Veterans Affairs Saturday during a campaign appearance in South Carolina, walking back her suggestion that problems at the VA are not "widespread."

"What I said a couple of weeks ago was that there are certainly systemic problems with the VA, and they need to be fixed," Clinton said when asked about her comments at a town hall meeting hosted by the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus.

"I also believe the VA has done good things," she said, arguing Republicans have exploited VA problems because they want to "privatize everything."

Veterans groups and Republican lawmakers blasted Clinton for her comments late last month, with many noting the litany of problems that have dogged nearly every facet of the agency over the last year alone.

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