Top diplomats under former President George W. Bush received “classified” information on personal email accounts, says a State Department report.
The report said former Secretary of State Colin Powell and aides to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice received the emails. The two served the Republican Bush administration.
Classified information is considered too sensitive to be shared outside of top government officials. It is supposed to be kept under tight security.
Critics of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton point to her use of her personal email account. The new State Department report could help show that she was not alone in this use.
Clinton has been forced to defend reports she received classified information via emails as secretary of state in the Obama administration.
The State Department official, Steve Linick, who questioned the Clinton emails, also looked into Bush administration officials sharing classified emails.
In his report, Linick said his office reviewed 19 emails sent to Powell and aides to Rice. He said State Department officials decided 12 of the 19 contain classified information.
Powell said this in a statement: “I have received the messages and I do not see what makes them classified.”
An aide to Rice told the Associated Press that Rice did not use emails as secretary of state. The aide said 10 emails now questioned by the State Department “contained no intelligence information.”
John Podesta, chair of the Clinton campaign, said “Hillary Clinton agrees with her predecessors” that emails are being wrongly labeled as classified.
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Words in This Story
classified – adj. kept secret from all but a few people in the government
sensitive – adj. likely to cause people to become upset
tight -- adj. strict, very close controls
review – v. an act of carefully looking at or examining the quality or condition of something or someone
predecessor – n. a person who had the same job before you