CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin apologized Monday for spending too much time discussing Hillary Clinton's private email scandal in 2016, saying she "very likely lost the election because of it."
In a clip flagged by Mediaite, Toobin said the scandal "is also a story about the news media, about how much time we spent on that, and that's something that I have felt a great deal of personal responsibility for." He added that "Because I talked about the e-mails here at CNN, I wrote about it in the New Yorker, and I think I paid too much attention to them, and I regret that."
"I hope a lesson is learned," Toobin said. "I mean, this story turns out to be … a big nothing, and we spent months on it. Hillary Clinton very likely lost the election because of it, and I think I should have been talking about other issues, not about the e-mails."
Toobin expressed his contrition following the State Department's announced conclusion that Clinton and her aides hadn't engaged in "systemic" mishandling of classified information when Clinton was secretary of state.
The left-leaning Toobin is a sharp critic of President Donald Trump's White House.
In 2016, Toobin wrote that Clinton should have known that conducting State Department business on a private server was a "terrible idea," and added that she initially reacted to criticism like a "cornered perp." Clinton repeatedly claimed that she had no classified material on her server, which turned out to be false.
"She had to know (as most everyone in Washington does) that the government vastly overclassifies information, so her flat denial that there had been any classified information on her server was destined to be disproved, as it was," Toobin wrote.
The State Department's three-year investigation, results of which were released last week, found that 38 individuals committed 91 security violations involving emails sent to and from Clinton's server, Politico reported.
Clinton has often cited the media's coverage of her emails, as well as then-FBI director James Comey's decision to reopen the probe into her server shortly before the 2016 election, as chief causes of her loss to Trump.