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 Kerry2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states When it comes to Colombia, America is in a tough spot 36 people who could challenge Trump in 2020 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.

The remark, which came in response to a question from Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonTrump spars with GOP lawmakers on steel tariffs Overnight Regulation: Trump unveils budget | Sharp cuts proposed for EPA, HHS | Trump aims to speed environmental reviews | Officials propose repealing most of methane leak rule Trump budget seeks savings through ObamaCare repeal MORE (R-Wis.), serves as an orchestrated Republican jab at Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWoman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Trump: CNN, MSNBC 'got scammed' into covering Russian-organized rally Pennsylvania Democrats set to win big with new district map 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.