State defends coordinating with Clinton camp on emails

The State Department on Wednesday denied any wrongdoing after emails hacked from John Podesta’s private account revealed that the department coordinated with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign before news broke of her use of a private email server.

“I’m not going to talk about leaked documents,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters. “What I will say is that there are times when, in trying to make sure we’re accurate, it’s appropriate to reach outside this agency to talk to former officials. That is not unusual, particularly when we’re trying to be accurate about something regarding that individual.”

Emails released by WikiLeaks show State Department officials communicating about and coordinating on the State Department’s official comment on the story that would reveal Clinton’s use of a private email server to the public. “Yes on your point re records — done below,” the State Department press officer wrote, in an apparent reference to an edit of the statement that the Clinton team requested.

Republicans cited the email as evidence that the Obama administration tried to cover up the email scandal, which sparked a sprawling FBI investigation that continues to haunt Clinton’s candidacy.

“It’s now clear the Obama administration has been helping Hillary Clinton from the very beginning of her email scandal, a pattern that appears to be continuing within the Justice Department,” RNC spokesman Michael Short. “These blatant attempts to shield Hillary Clinton from accountability for her reckless conduct as secretary of state are precisely why millions of Americans are fed up with Washington.”

Kirby categorically denied that the State Department was coordinating with the Clinton team and emphasized that their communications were strictly carried out in the name of accuracy.

“Shame on us, if we don’t do that when it’s required, so that we’re not getting up here, I’m not getting up here, and putting something out that’s inaccurate,” Kirby said.

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