- The Washington Times - Friday, September 18, 2015

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton burst into laughter when asked Thursday about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie saying she should be prosecuted for using a private email account and home-based email server for official business as secretary of state.

Mrs. Clinton kept shaking her head and chuckling when asked on CNN’s “The Situation Room” about the possibility that Russia, China or even 18-year-olds would have hacked into U.S. national security secrets that were stored on the email server in the basement of her home in New York.

“There’s no evidence of that,” she said. “This is — you know, this is overheated rhetoric, baseless charges trying to somehow, you know, gain a footing in the debate and in the primary. And it really doesn’t deserve any comment.”

Mr. Christie, a Republican candidate for president and former federal prosecutor, made the remark Wednesday in the GOP presidential debate.

The email scandal has dogged Mrs. Clinton on the campaign trail, undermining voters’ trust in her and contributing to her dramatic fall in the polls.

After the interview, the Republican National Committee slammed Mrs. Clinton for not taking the issue seriously.

“Once again Hillary Clinton laughed off questions about her secret email server even though it put our national security at risk and is being investigated by the FBI,” RNC spokesman Michael Short said in a statement. “With her campaign under siege, it’s no wonder she is refusing to join the growing chorus of Democrats calling for more debates.”

The email controversy shows no sign of relenting, with several Freedom of Information lawsuits working through the courts, which have ordered the State Department release all of her email to the public, and a FBI investigation of her handling of classified material on her private server that could conceivably lead to criminal charges.

She is scheduled to testify next month before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, which uncovered Mrs. Clinton’s private email setup as secretary of state more than two years after she left office.

While maintaining that what she did was allowed by the State Department, Mrs. Clinton recently reversed her refusal to offer an apology and said she was “sorry” for creating the email mess.

She explained her apology in the CNN interview.

“I was trying to explain what had happened and obviously it was clear that I should have used two different email accounts and I said that that was a mistake, I’m sorry, I’ve taken responsibility,” she said. “I’m trying to be as transparent as possible. That’s why people are reading the contents of the emails that are being released. It’s why I’ve turned over my server. It’s why I will testify.”

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