Hillary Clinton, Reporters Spar Over Private Email Server

Hillary Clinton speaks at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding in Clear Lake, Iowa. (National Journal)

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev.—Hillary Clinton got into a heated exchange with reporters here Tuesday over her private email server, repeatedly insisting she did not send or receive classified information and that using a personal account was permitted at the time.

Asked whether she regretted setting up a private email server during her tenure at the State Department, Clinton said she has stated repeatedly that she does. "In retrospect, what was meant to be convenient has turned out to be anything but convenient," she said.

Still, Clinton says she did not send or receive classified information and argued that the process of sorting through and releasing her emails would have been exactly the same had she conducted business on a designated government account.

"I had not sent classified material, nor received anything marked classified," she said. "If I had had a separate government account so that I'd had a totally designated government account and a totally designated personal account, and I started running for president and I said I want the American people to see everything that was part of my time in the State Department, we would be going through the same process. That's what I want voters to understand."

Her statements come the same week intelligence officials announced they have flagged 305 of Clinton's emails for additional review to determine whether they contained classified information. That release, along with the news that the FBI may be able to recover some of the deleted information from her server, has contributed to growing worries among Democrats that this is a story that will plague Clinton throughout the presidential campaign.

Clinton defended her email practices by saying that the current discussion is the result of an interagency "disagreement" about what constitutes classified material.

"It's the process by which the government, and sometimes in disagreement between various agencies of the government, make decisions about what can or cannot be disclosed," she said. "... Everybody's acting like this is the first time it's ever happened—it happens all the time."

Fox News's Ed Henry followed up with another question about the email situation, asking whether Clinton was willing to accept "responsibility" for her mistakes, to which Clinton repeated that she had gone above and beyond what was required by proactively turning over all work-related emails.

He then asked if she tried to wipe the server. "I have no idea," she said. "That's why we turned it over."

He asked again about wiping the server.

"What, like with a cloth or something?" Clinton quipped, visibly frustrated.

"Ed, I know you want to make a point and I can just repeat what I have said," Clinton said. "In order to be as cooperative as possible, we have turned over the server; they can do whatever they want with the server. But we turned over everything that was work-related—every single thing."

Another reporter shouted a question, asking whether the recent spate of stories was a sign that the email story isn't going away.

"Nobody talks to me about it other than you guys," she said, holding up her hands as she walked away.