In an effort to clarify her most recent statements about her use of a private email server as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton on Friday only further muddled a controversy that has dogged her presidential candidacy from the start.

Clinton acknowledged that she had misspoken in two recent media interviews when she claimed that FBI Director James Comey had characterized as “truthful” all of her public statements about her use of a private email server as secretary of state.

She explained that Comey was referring only to her interviews with the FBI – but she also insisted that all of her other public statements on the matter have been consistent with those interviews.

“I may have short-circuited and I will try to clarify,” Clinton told reporters at a convention of black and Hispanic journalists in Washington on Friday.

Clinton also made a reference to Comey’s testimony on the existence of about 100 emails containing classified information at the time they were sent or received – but she continued to suggest that they were not marked classified at the time and were retroactively classified.

Clinton said explicitly that her public statements and the statements she made to the FBI are the same. She went on to say that, because Comey testified that her comments to the FBI were “truthful,” it is also an indication that her public statements were also truthful.

“I was pointing out in both of those instances that Director Comey had said that my answers in my FBI interview were truthful, that’s really the bottom line here,” Clinton said. “I have said during the interview … that what I told the FBI, which he said was truthful, is consistent with what I said publicly.”

Clinton also said: “I have acknowledged repeatedly that using two email accounts was a mistake,” but in fact Clinton used only one email account as secretary of state – the private one.


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