WASHINGTON — Former Secretary of State Colin Powell found himself on the defensive Thursday following the release of a 2009 email exchange with Hillary Clinton, in which he d his use of a private, dial-up email account to carry out government business.
Powell's antiquated AOL account, which worked over a phone line in his office at the State Department, might have been more vulnerable to attack by hackers than the private email server Clinton used during her tenure as secretary.
Powell said in a statement he viewed his use of private email to communicate with foreign leaders and senior U.S. officials as private conversations similar to phone calls. He said he was unaware of any requirement that those messages be preserved as government records, potentially subject to public release.
"I have been interviewed by the State Department (Inspector General) and the FBI about my actions and decisions," Powell said Thursday. "I stand by my decisions and I am fully accountable."
A retired Army general, Powell served as America's top diplomat during Republican President George W. Bush's first term. His exchange with Clinton was released Wednesday by congressional Democrats.