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Cummings Struggles to Defend Clinton’s Email Conduct

• July 7, 2016 4:14 pm

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Rep. Elijah Cummings (D., Md.) had trouble defending Hillary Clinton’s email practices at the State Department after hearing testimony from FBI Director James Comey at a House Oversight Committee hearing about his recommendation to not prosecute Clinton.

CNN reporter Manu Raju talked to Cummings as he came out of the hearing on Thursday.

"Some pretty sharp criticism from the FBI director about the way Hillary Clinton handled classified intelligence," Raju said. "Do you have any concerns about the way she did handle classified intelligence?"

"Sure, I have concerns, and I’m sure that she has her own concerns. She’s already admitted that she made a mistake," Cummings said before criticizing Republicans for their criticism of Comey’s recommendation to not indict Clinton.

"As a matter of fact, Mrs. Clinton is right. There were no documents that were in fact marked classified," Cummings said. "There was, and it was a mistake that he didn’t even know about, a small C was written on a paragraph in three documents out of 30-some-thousand."

"But he also said that she’s not sophisticated enough. She wasn’t sophisticated enough. That is his words," Raju said referring to comments by Comey.

"Well, yeah, but again, again, keep in mind, even if you take, let’s assume, let's assume that, the fact is that they weren’t even marked classified. So I mean–," Cummings said.

Raju then interjected to tell Cummings that three of the emails in question were in fact marked classified.

"Yeah, three out of 30-some-thousand and so, and they had a small C, and apparently this was a mistake, that they were not classified and they did not have six or seven things, headers on the pages, that would have notified somebody that they were in fact classified," Cummings said.

Raju then asked Cummings to respond to Comey’s comment that if an FBI employee had done what Clinton did, then they probably would be fired.

"Those were very strong words. But I think clearly, Hillary Clinton, having gone through all that she’s gone through, has learned a very, very valuable lesson," Cummings said.