Hillary Clinton 'surprised' by State staffer's personal email use

Story highlights

  • The Democratic presidential candidate has been dogged by her use of a private email server while working as secretary of state
  • While her Democratic primary opponents have mostly declined to use the private server against Clinton, Republican candidates have been using every opportunity

Washington (CNN)Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed surprise over a State Department employee using personal email on the job -- a fact unveiled Friday when the agency released emails from the personal account she used.

Clinton was responding to a note from one of her top advisers passing along insight. She asked who the person worked for, and was taken aback when she was told it was one of her employees.
"Is he in NEA currently? Or was he in Embassy? I was surprised that he used personal email account if he is at State," Clinton wrote to Jake Sullivan.
    The email was an analysis of the situation in Libya in February 2011, more than a year before the 2012 attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi.
    The Democratic presidential candidate has been dogged by her use of a private email server while working as secretary of state. The record of emails is slowly being released by the State Department in response to a Freedom of Information Act request and is a key focus of the House committee investigating the Benghazi attacks.
    While her Democratic primary opponents have mostly declined to use the private server against Clinton, Republican candidates have been using every opportunity to paint her as untrustworthy and unlawful.
    The State Department has not said Clinton violated any rules by using private email, which she has since said she did to avoid needing to use two separate phones for work and personal business.
    A policy in 2005 directed employees to conduct "day-to-day" business on authorized computer systems.
    Clinton has apologized for using private email.