State Spokesman Refuses to Say Whether Clinton Followed Rules With Private Email

August 31, 2015

In a briefing Monday, State Department spokesman Mark Toner refused to say whether Hillary Clinton followed the rules when she sent emails that contained classified information.

"I’m just not going to answer that question. It’s not our goal; it’s not our function," he said. Toner said the State Department’s "goal" and "sole purpose" was to redact, classify if necessary, and publish the emails.

He said "other entities" such as the Inspector General are also reviewing the documents, and that it is for them to decide on "broader questions" such as the legality of Clinton’s actions.

Transcript of the full exchange:

REPORTER: If those rules and standards are so important that everyone in this building that everyone has to follow them, can you say categorically from that podium that Secretary Clinton followed the rules and the law?

TONER: I'm just not going to answer that question. It's not our goal, it's not our function. In this regard, in releasing these emails, our goal and our sole purpose when we look at these e-mails - is to decide - well, first to publish them according to the FOIA request that we have received. But in doing that, looking at them and deciding whether any of that material needs to be redacted and subsequently classified.

REPORTER: ...The State Department can't state categorically that the Secretary of State followed the rules?

TONER: All I can say is that there are - and I've alluded to... or I've not alluded, I've said as much to Arshad - there are other reviews under way, and that's really for the Inspector General and other entities who are out there looking at some of these broader questions.