Kerry: State Dept. staffers can't use private server

State Department staffers are not allowed to use private servers for official classified business, Secretary John KerryJohn KerryEllison comments on Obama criticized as 'a stupid thing to say' 'Can you hear me now?' Trump team voices credible threat of force Obama to attend Pittsburgh Steelers owner's funeral MORE told the Senate on Tuesday.

“In today’s world, given all that we’ve learned and what we understand about the vulnerability of our system, we don’t do that, no,” Kerry said while testifying in a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.

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The remark, which came in response to a question from Sen. Ron JohnsonRon JohnsonTrump should work with Congress to block regulations on prepaid cards Five reasons to worry about the ShadowBrokers hack Border Patrol could drop polygraph requirement for new agents: report MORE (R-Wis.), serves as an orchestrated Republican jab at Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonWeek ahead: US raises pressure on WikiLeaks Poll: 85 percent of Clinton supporters would vote for her again OMB director: Government shutdown not a 'desired end' MORE, whose exclusive use of a private server and email account while secretary of State has roiled GOP critics in Washington. 

Republicans have for months hammered Clinton on her email arrangement, which some critics claim should lead to criminal charges for mishandling classified information. More than 1,700 emails from Clinton's machine have been classified at some level upon release. 

Clinton’s personal server is currently in the hands of the FBI, which has launched an investigation connected to the matter.  

A video clip of Tuesday’s exchange in the Senate was distributed by the Republican National Committee.

The State Department has previously made clear that Clinton’s bespoke setup would not be allowed under current rules.

“We have very specific procedures in place in the department,” Kerry told Johnson on Tuesday. “I brought in an inspector general. I wrote a letter to the inspector general asking him to review our entire process.”

Legislation signed into law since Clinton left office would likely make a similar case illegal. Since the law was not in place at the time, however, Clinton’s email setup was not in and of itself a violation of federal recordkeeping laws.