WASHINGTON, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton said her use of a private email server while secretary of state wasn't the "best choice" but declined to apologize for the decision to use it.
In an interview with NBC News, the Democratic frontrunner said she is "sorry" there has been so much controversy, but she didn't "stop and think" about her email setup when she became the nation's top diplomat in 2009. When asked directly, "Are you sorry?," she said she wishes she had "made a different choice." She said the choice should not raise questions about her judgement as she seeks the nomination for the 2016 election.
"I was not thinking a lot when I got in. There was so much work to be done. We had so many problems around the world," Clinton said Friday to NBC's Andrea Mitchell. "I didn't really stop and think what kind of email system will there be?"
Republicans have criticized Clinton's unwillingness to apologize for the decision to use a private email account for official business and have a server based at her home in suburban New York. The Washington Post reported Clinton and her family personally paid State Department staffer Bryan Pagliano to maintain the server during her tenure.
The arrangement allowed Clinton to retain personal control over the system she used for public and private business. Her campaign said the procedure was set in place to ensure taxpayer dollars were not used on a private server shared by the Clinton family and others. Earlier this week, Pagliano told a congressional committee he would invoke his Fifth Amendment rights if asked about the setup.
"At the end of the day, I am sorry that this has been confusing to people and has raised a lot of questions, but there are answers to all these questions," Clinton said. "And I take responsibility and it wasn't the best choice."
In the NBC interview, only her third nationally televised interview since announcing her campaign in April, Clinton also discussed Vice President Joe Biden's interest in a potential Democratic bid, her plans to address the Iran nuclear deal and her views of Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.