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In Iowa, Clinton Turns Email Controversy Into A Punchline


Now to politics and the email controversy that's dogged Hillary Clinton's campaign. Last week, Clinton agreed to give the FBI the private email server she used as secretary of state. That brought new questions about whether any classified information was mishandled. And for the first time, Clinton brought the subject up during a speech, suggesting she might be ready to talk about the email issue in a new way. Here's NPR's Arnie Seipel.

ARNIE SEIPEL, BYLINE: For five months, Hillary Clinton has not gone out of her way to bring up her use of a private email server while secretary of state. But that changed Friday night. While addressing Democratic voters in Iowa, she tried to turn the controversy into a punch line.


HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: You may have seen that I recently launched a Snapchat account.


SEIPEL: Snapchat is the social media service where you send a picture, and it goes away after just 10 seconds.


CLINTON: I love it. I love it. Those messages disappear all by themselves.


SEIPEL: Clinton has turned over tens of thousands of emails that are not disappearing any time soon. Her campaign has dismissed Republican charges of secrecy and the accusations that Clinton may have mishandled classified information. Her communications director, Jennifer Palmieri, tried to rally supporters in an email. She warned, quote, "you might hear some news over the next few days about Hillary Clinton's emails." Palmieri then laid out a nine-point defense reiterating that nothing passed through the server that shouldn't have. This is how Clinton explained it to reporters in Iowa yesterday.


CLINTON: I never sent classified material on my email. And I never received any that was marked classified.

SEIPEL: But intelligence officials say some messages sent to Clinton should have been marked secret, even if they weren't classified at the time. Last week, the top Democrats on the congressional intelligence committees came out to defend her. They emphasized that there's no evidence Clinton sent classified information while acknowledging that questions over messages that were sent to her private server persist - so will the need for Hillary Clinton to keep addressing the email controversy as the investigation and the campaign go on. Arnie Seipel, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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