PolitiFact fact-checkers collide with Clinton over email statements

The FBI on Tuesday revealed its findings about Hillary Clinton and her controversial email server.

PolitiFact, however, has been combing the case for clues for months.

Below are the abbreviated versions of a few of our fact checks on the issue. Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com/georgia/.

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You can also follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/politifactga).

Hillary Clinton on Thursday, May 26th, 2016, in an interview on ABC:

“It was allowed,” referring to her email practices.

No one ever stopped Clinton from conducting work over her private email server exclusively.

But that’s not the same thing as it being allowed. Offices within the State Department told an independent inspector general that if she had asked, they would not have allowed it.

The report from the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General shatters one of Clinton’s go-to phrases about her email practice.

We rated Clinton’s claim False.

Hillary Clinton on Wednesday, March 9th, 2016, during a Univision/Washington Post Democratic debate:

Regarding her State Department email practices, “my predecessors did the same thing.”

This is a misleading claim.

Most of Clinton’s predecessors did not regularly use email. Just four former secretaries of state have held the job during the prominence of electronic communications: Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright.

According to MSNBC, an aide for Albright said she “did not use email while she was in office” from 1997 to 2001. And Rice, head of the State Department from 2005-09, was not a habitual emailer either, according to multiple reports.

That leaves Powell, a regular email user, as Clinton’s only predecessor who serves as a useful comparison. When we reached out to the Clinton campaign, they pointed us to Powell.

Like Clinton, Powell used a personal email address. However, there’s a big difference: Clinton hosted her email on a private server located in her home. Powell did not.

Powell did use a personal email address for government business. He did not, however, use a private server kept at his home, as Clinton did.

We rated this claim Mostly False.

Hillary Clinton on Thursday, October 22nd, 2015, in a House hearing on Benghazi:

Says John Kerry “is the first secretary of state to rely primarily on a government email account.”

This statement is accurate, but it glosses over a bit of context.

Only one secretary before Clinton herself, Colin Powell, used email much at all while secretary of state.

This undercuts the implication of Clinton’s claim that there was a tradition of sorts of secretaries of state using private email accounts. It was a tradition of one.

We rated the claim Mostly True.

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