Obama defends Clinton in wake of personal email server controversy

US President Barack Obama has defended his former secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, over her use of a personal email server for official correspondence as the nation's top diplomat.

"Hillary Clinton was an outstanding secretary of state," Obama said in an interview with Fox News on Sunday. "She would never intentionally put America in any kind of jeopardy."

Obama went on to say that he would not influence a Justice Department investigation into the email issue and that Clinton would be treated like any other citizen.

Obama stressed he does not speak with Attorney General Loretta Lynch or the FBI about pending investigations. "We have a strict line, and always have maintained it," he said.

Revelations that Clinton's private-server emails contained classified material, including 22 with top secret information, have cast a shadow over her presidential campaign.

The estimated 52,000-53,000 page email archive from Clinton's tenure as secretary of state from 2009-13 is the subject of multiple lawsuits seeking their release under US open records laws.

The State Department began making the emails public in May, after revelations that Clinton used a private server rather than a government account to send emails while serving as secretary of state. The final emails were released in February.

Clinton has said using the private server was "a mistake," as the email issue has become a liability in her presidential campaign. It has raised questions about transparency, technical security and about her handling of sensitive email relating to the deadly 2012 attack on the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

The FBI is investigating Clinton's server to see if classified information was mishandled.

Clinton faces a challenge for the Democratic presidential nomination from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who Saturday won party caucuses in the western state of Wyoming.

Clinton leads in the race to secure the most delegates, which are awarded through the state primary and caucus votes. She has more than half of the required 2,382 delegates needed to secure the nomination and leads Sanders by more than 600 delegates.

The top Democrat will face a Republican challenger from a fractured field led by Donald Trump. Challengers Ted Cruz and John Kasich are seeking to prevent Trump from securing the required number of delegates in order to force the matter to be decided by delegates at the party's July convention.

Cruz won all the delegates in the western state of Colorado on Saturday, making it more difficult for Trump to win outright.

Last update: Tue, 28/06/2016 - 17:25
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