Feinstein on Clinton's Private Server: 'It Is What It Is'

May 29, 2016

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Ca.) told ABC's Jonathan Karl Sunday that Hillary Clinton just wanted some privacy to be able to talk to her husband, daughter, and friends "and not have somebody looking over her shoulder into her e-mails."

"Oh wait a second, I don't believe she was trying to hide anything," Feinstein said. "I've known Hillary for a quarter of a century. Let me tell you what I do think. I think this is a woman who wants a little bit of a private life. She wants to be able to communicate with husband, with daughter, with friends, and not have somebody looking over her shoulder into her e-mails. Having said that, it is what it is. And you know, I don't think we should make a federal case over it."

The new explanation for Clinton's private email server was discussed after Feinstein said that Clinton was not misleading the public before the IG report was published.

Karl asked Feinstein on Sunday about her reaction to the IG report, since she is a prominent Clinton supporter.

"I want to ask you about that Inspector General report," he said. "For more than a year Secretary Clinton has said over and over again that she did not break the rules, but this report makes it clear that she never asked for permission for her private email arrangement and that if she had, quote, the State Department did not and would not approve her exclusive reliance on a personal email account to conduct department business. Has she been misleading the public on this for well over a year?"

There have been multiple occasions in which Clinton has said that she was legally allowed to do this, even though the report explicitly states otherwise.

Feinstein stated that Clinton did not mislead the public and sometimes this is taken out of context, but she did acknowledge that Clinton has said this private server was a mistake. She then asked what the public wanted from her since she has already apologized.

"No, I don't think so," Feinstein said. "I think questions are asked and answers are sometimes taken out of context. Hillary Clinton broke no law. I read all 42 pages of the report. The conclusion of the report does not say that. What it says is that the department does not handle these electronic platform operations well, and needs to do better. Hillary, herself, has said, yes, I made a mistake, if I had a chance to do it over again, I'd do it differently. I mean, what do people want? This goes on and on and on. We're reaching the final stages of a primary. Hillary Clinton is going to win this primary. I say enough is enough. Let's get to the major problems facing this nation."

Karl brought up the fact that when State Department "staffers expressed concerns" about this private server, she responded by telling them to not ever bring up her private email systems again.

"But, Mrs. Clinton has said that it was widely known that she was using her personal e-mail, but if you look at this report, it says that when State Department staffers expressed concerns about the arrangement, their supervisor quote, instructed the staff never to speak of the Secretary's personal email system again," Karl said. "That sure sounds like somebody trying to hide something."

When told about the email instructing her staffers to not speak of this private email server, Feinstein immediately responded saying that she did not think Clinton was trying to hide anything. She then gave the explanation that she set up this private server for privacy to speak to her loved ones. Feinstein said, "I think this is a woman who wants a little bit of a private life."

She ended this by backtracking and saying "it is what it is."