Without an official infrastructure of her own, Hillary Clinton is relying on the State Department to fill the vacuum and defend her exclusive use of a personal email account for government business.
In a press briefing Tuesday, department spokeswoman Marie Harf repeatedly asserted that the former secretary of State had not broken any laws or subverted official policy, telling reporters that as long as emails were preserved, there was "no prohibition on using a non-State account."
Because Clinton hasn't officially launched a campaign, she doesn't have her own organization to respond to criticism. In response, groups supporting Clinton, such as Democratic watchdog Correct the Record, have jumped in to defend the nascent candidate. Clinton's former workplace has been no exception.
Trying to neutralize the flap, Harf said she was surprised by the "breathless reporting" on the Clinton emails, noting that it had already been public knowledge that the presidential contender used her personal email while secretary.
What Clinton did, Harf said, was "by no means unusual"—in fact, she said, John Kerry is the first secretary of State to exclusively use the official state department email. This contradicts a spokesperson for former Secretary Condoleezza Rice, who told NBC on Tuesday that Rice "did not use her personal email for official communication as secretary."