Clinton reportedly told FBI Colin Powell pushed private email; Powell denies

Hillary Clinton reportedly told federal authorities during her questioning over her email practices  that former Secretary of State Colin Powell encouraged her to use a private email account, but that was news to Powell.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that Clinton’s revelation is part of the FBI’s notes that were given to Congress on Tuesday about the agency’s questioning in July that led Director James Comey not to pursue criminal charges against her over her use of private emails.

An email exchange emerged from 2009 between Clinton and Powell during the questioning that revealed that she had asked the former secretary of state about his email practices under George W. Bush, a source told The Times. Clinton had already set up her private email server during that time.

The Times reported that the conversations between Clinton and Powell are revealed in an upcoming book detailing Bill Clinton’s political life after his presidency, titled “Man of the World: The Further Endeavors of Bill Clinton,” by Joe Conason.

The book details a conversation between Clinton and Powell at a party hosted by Madeleine Albright in Washington.

“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,” a passage details. “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.”

A spokesperson for Powell issued a statement saying

"General Powell has no recollection of the dinner conversation," the statement read. "He did write former Secretary Clinton an email memo describing his use of his personal AOL email account for unclassified messages and how it vastly improved communications within the State Department. At the time there was no equivalent system within the Department.

"He used a secure State computer on his desk to manage classified information," the statement added.

Howard Krongard, a former watchdog for the State Department, told Fox News in May that he would have immediately opened an investigation if he caught wind of a secretary of state used a private account.

Krongard shot down the notion that she was in line with her predecessors’ in using a private email account for State Department business. He pointed to a May 25 inspectors general report that stated Condoleezza Rice did not use personal email for government business. It said Powell used personal email on a limited basis to connect with people outside the department, and he worked with the State Department to secure the system. The report found Clinton did neither.

The report concluded Clinton’s use of a private server and account was not approved, and broke agency rules. The report said by the time she became secretary, the rules had repeatedly been updated, and were “considerably more detailed and more sophisticated.”

The Times reported that the State Department has asked to review the FBI’s notes from Clinton’s questioning before they are officially released.

Clinton campaign officials fear that materials could be leaked in order to hurt her campaign.

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