The Latest: Congressional Dems play down Clinton report

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Posted: May 25, 2016 3:09 PM
The Latest: Congressional Dems play down Clinton report

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the State Department audit that faulted Hillary Clinton's email practices and cybersecurity (all times local):

3 p.m.

Congressional Democrats are playing down the State Department audit critical of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Clinton had acted "in good conscience" and that her email practices were "consistent" with what past secretaries of state had done.

The audit did not name any other secretaries who had done so.

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, ranking Democrat on the House oversight committee, accused Republicans of attacking Clinton only because she is the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination.

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12:35 p.m.

A spokesman for Hillary Clinton says a report by the State Department's inspector general shows that her email practices were "consistent" with those of past secretaries and senior officials.

Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon said in a statement Wednesday that the report shows problems with the State Department's electronic record-keeping systems "were longstanding" and emphasizes that her use of a private email server "was known to officials within the department during her tenure."

The inspector general's 78-page analysis, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, cites "longstanding, systemic weaknesses" related to the agency's communications and says Clinton disregarded various State Department guidelines for avoiding cybersecurity risks.

Fallon acknowledged that "steps ought to have been taken" to better maintain official records.

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11 a.m.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner says the agency is "already working" to improve its email and records management system on the heels of an independent audit that faulted the department — and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in particular — for lax cybersecurity.

Toner says "it is clear that the department could have done a better job preserving emails and records of secretaries of state and their senior staff going back several administrations," and said the State Department also agrees that compliance with its rules has been "inconsistent across several administrations."

But Toner also said the department had taken a number of steps by early 2015 to improve its cybersecurity.

The State Department inspector general on Wednesday said Clinton disregarded various guidelines for avoiding cybersecurity risks. Clinton used a private server set up for her home and used it for work and personal emails, including some that have since been classified. The issue has dogged her as she has sought the Democratic presidential nomination.