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Clinton defends telling aide to send data through ‘nonsecure’ channel

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Hillary Clinton on Sunday defended instructing an aide to send information to her through a “nonsecure” channel, saying the data she requested was not classified and accusing her presidential rivals of seeking to score political points over a non-issue.

The State Department released more than 3,000 of Clinton’s emails from her time as secretary of State on Friday. One of the emails has drawn scrutiny because in it, Clinton, who was awaiting a secure fax detailing talking points, instructed an adviser to turn the talking points into “nonpaper w no identifying heading and send nonsecure” because the fax wasn’t coming through.

{mosads}Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has called the email “disturbing,” but Clinton on Sunday defended her actions and said the talking points were “never sent” in a non-secure fashion.

“This is another instance where what is common practice — I need information, I had some points I had to make and I was waiting for a secure fax that could give me the whole picture, but oftentimes there is a lot of information that isn’t at all classified,” Clinton said Sunday on “Face the Nation.” “So whatever information can be appropriately transmitted unclassified often was. That’s true for every agency in the government and everybody that does business with the government.”

In the email marked June 17, 2011, Clinton told aide Jake Sullivan that she hadn’t yet received a set of talking points.

“They say they’ve had issues sending secure fax,” Sullivan says. “They’re working on it.”

Responded Clinton: “If they can’t, turn into nonpaper w no identifying heading and send nonsecure.”

The State Department release does not make clear what the contents of the email were or whether the information was classified. Clinton contends that she trusted Sullivan to respond appropriately.

“The important point here is that I had great confidence because I worked with Jake Sullivan for years,” Clinton said. “He is the most meticulous, careful person you could possibly do business with, and he knew exactly what was and wasn’t appropriate.”

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