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 Forbes KerryLobbying world Kerry: Trump not pursuing 'smart' or 'clever' plan on North Korea Tillerson will not send high-ranking delegation to India with Ivanka Trump: report 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 JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonOvernight Cybersecurity: Panel pushes agencies on dropping Kaspersky software | NC county won't pay ransom to hackers | Lawmakers sound alarm over ISIS 'cyber caliphate' GOP chairman warns of ISIS's ‘cyber caliphate’ Overnight Finance: House approves motion to go to tax conference — with drama | GOP leaders to consider Dec. 30 spending bill | Justices skeptical of ban on sports betting | Mulvaney won't fire official who sued him MORE (R-Wis.), serves as an orchestrated Republican jab at Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGrassley blasts Democrats over unwillingness to probe Clinton GOP lawmakers cite new allegations of political bias in FBI Top intel Dem: Trump Jr. refused to answer questions about Trump Tower discussions with father 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.