The White House on Wednesday backed up Hillary Clinton's claim in an interview with CNN that everything she did involving her use of a private email account and server was lawful, and said there were no lessons to be learned from the controversy.
"I don't have any reason to contradict what Hillary Clinton has said," White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at a Wednesday press briefing.
Earnest was pressed on whether the administration has taken away any "lessons learned" from the controversy over Clinton's private email server or her decision to delete thousands of emails on her own. He first suggested that CNN reporters should have asked her that in their interview.
When asked again whether the administration could think of any lessons learned on how to provide guidance on email archiving to other government officials, Earnest said, "None that I can think of, I guess."
Instead, he said the White House has focused on the need for all federal government officials — whether they are a high-level or lower-level employee — to ensure that communications made on private accounts be maintained and archived so they can be responsive to requests by the public and members of Congress.
"Secretary Clinton has done that," he said, also crediting her with the "extraordinary step" of releasing all of the emails contained on her private server, not just those that are relevant to particular requests from members of congress or the public.
That move, he said, is "consistent with the priority this administration has placed on transparency."
In an interview with CNN Tuesday, which the Clinton campaign characterized as a new effort to engage the press, Clinton argued that everything she did with her emails was "permitted."
"Everything I did was permitted. There was no law, there was no regulation, there was nothing that did not give me the full authority to decide how I was going to communicate," Clinton said. "Previous secretaries of state have said they did the same thing, and people across the government knew that I used one device. Maybe it was because I am not the most technically capable person and wanted to make it as simple as possible."