Clinton: 'I Didn't Have a Computer. I Did Not Do the Vast Majority of My Work on Email'

By Susan Jones | October 22, 2015 | 12:13pm EDT
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, before the House Benghazi Committee. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

( - "I did not conduct most of my business that I did on behalf of our country on email," former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Thursday.

"If you were to be in my office in the State Department, I didn't have a computer. I did not do the vast majority of my work on email," she said.

She made the comments in response to Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.), who noted that there was a lot of email communication between Clinton and her senior staff at the State Department in 2011, which is the year that Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddhafi fell.

"But then, when we go to 2012 -- Libya, Benghazi, Chris Stevens, the staff there -- they seem to fall off your radar in 2012, but the situation is getting much worse in 2012.

Brooks noted that in the records the committee has reviewed, "there is not one email to your or from you in 2012 when an explosive device went off at our (Benghazi) compound in April.

Hillary said instead of conducting her business by email, "I conducted it in meetings, I read massive amounts of memos, a great deal of classified information, I made a lot of secure phone calls, I was in and out of the White House all the time.

"There were a lot of things that happened that I was aware of and that I was reacting to."

'Locked briefcase'

Clinton explained a typical day at the State Department:

"If you were to be in my office in the State Department, I didn't have a computer, I did not do the vast majority of my work on email. And I bet there's a lot of Sid Blumentah's emails in there from 2011, too," she said.

"I don't want you to have a mistaken impression about what I did and how I did it.

"Most of my work was not done on emails with my closest aides, with officials in the State Department, officials in the rest of the government, as well as the White House and people around the world."

Rep. Brooks tried again, noting that when a second bomb went off at the U.S. mission in Benghazi on June 6, 2012, blowing a hole in the wall, there were "no emails at all."

"How were you informed about those things -- because there is nothing in the emails that talks about two significant attacks on our compounds in 2012. There was a lot of information in 2011 about issues and security posture, and yet nothing in 2012."

Clinton explained that she arrived at the State Department every morning between 8 and 8:30.

"I had a personal one-on-one briefing from the representative of the Central Intelligence Agency who shared with me the highest level of classified information that I was to be aware of on a daily basis.

"I then had a meeting with the top officials of the State Department, every day that I was in town. That's where a lot of information, including threats and attacks on our facilities, was shared. I also had a weekly meeting every Monday with all of the officials, the assistant secretaries and others, so that I could be brought up to date on any issue that they were concerned about.

"During the day, I received hundreds of pages of memos, many of them classified, some of them so top secret that they were brought into my office in a locked briefcase that I had to read and immediately return to the courier. And I was constantly at the White House, in the situation room, meeting with the national security adviser and others.

"I would also be meeting with officials in the State Department, foreign officials and others. So there was a lot going on during every day.

"I did not email during the day, except on rare occasions when I was able to, but I didn't conduct the business that I did primarily on email. That is not how I gathered info, assessed information, asked the hard questions of the people that I worked with."

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