"Her people have been trying to pin it on me," Powell, 79, said on Saturday at an event in East Hampton, N.Y. "It doesn't bother me...The truth is, she was using [the private server] for a year before I sent her a memo telling her what I did."
Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, has been involved in a scandal regarding mishandling of emails during her term as secretary of state, and when asked by the FBI about her use of a private server for unclassified communications instead of one assigned by the State Department, she reportedly contended Powell suggested she use the private server. The FBI concluded its investigation of Clinton in July, recommending that no charges be filed against her. FBI Director James Comey, though, called her actions "extremely careless."
Powell's suggestion reportedly came at a dinner attended by other former secretaries of state, including Madeleine Albright, Henry Kissinger and Condoleezza Rice. Although a spokesman first said Powell had no recollection of any conversations at the dinner, he later told NBC News in a statement that "He did write former Secretary Clinton an email memo describing his use of his personal AOL email account for unclassified messages and how it vastly improved communications within the State Department."