White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday that he does not know if the White House knew that former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton had a private e-mail server, or whether taxpayers funded it.
Questioned for the second day in a row about Clinton's use of private e-mail for personal business while at the State Department, Earnest had few new answers.
"You should check with Secretary Clinton. I don't know the answer to that. I'm not aware of all the details in the arrangement," Earnest said when asked if taxpayers funded the devices that Clinton used while secretary of state or paid for the server.
Earnest said he doesn't know of anything that is being done at the White House or State Department to look back at any potential security issues with Clinton's server.
"This security question is one that we're very mindful of. It's hard for me to sort of assess what sort of vulnerability may have been created by ... the establishment of a separate network," he said.
Earnest said there is a separate e-mail system that pertains to classified information. "So this question about classified information being passed around on these kinds of e-mail systems, that is certainly not supposed to occur and, frankly, raises much more significant problems than compliance with the Federal Records Act," he said.
Earnest also said he did not know whether Clinton had an e-mail address on the classified system that was separate from the private one.
The White House briefing was again dominated by questions about Clinton's e-mail, with Earnest telling reporters that guidance has been given to government agencies that employees should use their official e-mail addresses for government business, and that if they used a private one they should forward it to their government account to be in compliance with the Federal Records Act.
Earnest routinely referred reporters to the State Department, which he said is responsible for maintaining the policy. Earnest reiterated that Clinton's team has turned pertinent e-mails over to the State Department and said he has no reason not to believe that they were not forthright about it.
"Based on what we know about this situation, it is clear that Secretary Clinton's team has gone to great lengths to collect the e-mails on her personal account that relate to her official government work," he said when asked if she was in compliance with the law. He said they have been turned over to the State Department so the agency could "properly preserve and maintain them and use them to respond to legitimate inquiries from the public and from Congress."