Clinton Deflects Question About Email Server With Answer About Unrelated Benghazi Testimony

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CBS debate moderator and columnist for the Des Moines Register Kathie Obradovich asks Senator Sanders if he is still sick and tired of hearing about Secretary Clinton's "damn emails." Sanders confirms that he still is, and she asks Clinton for a response. Clinton says that she agrees completely with Sanders: "I couldn't have said it better myself."

Next, she spends about 55 seconds with a string of unrelated talking points, a masterful evasive performance.

CBS Moderator John Dickerson tries for what will probably be the last time in the Democratic debate process to get Clinton to give an answer on why she didn't use standard government communications devices: "There's an FBI investigation going on. Can you satisfy Democrats, who might worry about an another shoe dropping, that you and your staff have been totally truthful to them, and that another shoe is not going to drop?"

Clinton responds, saying her "eleven hours" of unrelated tesimony before the House Benghazi Committee exonerates her: "It's pretty clear."

DICKERSON: Secretary Clinton, just one more question on the e- mail question.

For Democrats, there's an FBI investigation going on. Can you satisfy Democrats, who might worry about an another shoe dropping, that you and your staff have been totally truthful to them, and that another shoe is not going to drop?

CLINTON: I think after 11 hours, that's pretty clear, yes.

(APPLAUSE)

And, you know, I do think it's important to do exactly what Senator Sanders said, and that is to start talking about the issues that the American people really care about, and that they talk to each of us about.

And to contrast, even -- there are differences among us. You've heard some of those tonight. I still want to get back to health care, because I think that's a worthy topic to explore.


The House Benghazi Committee was the group which first discovered that Clinton had used a secret private email server to conduct government business while Secretary of State, but only after that did President Obama's Justice Department launch an investigation -- after all, Clinton specifically signed an agreement with President Obama that she would use government communicaions on her first day as Secretary of State.

Full transcript:

OBRADOVICH: Senator Sanders, you famously said in the last debate that you were sick and tired of hearing about your damn e- mails. But then you told the Wall Street Journal that the question about whether or not Secretary Clinton's e-mails compromised classified information were valid questions.

So which is it? Is it an issue or is it not?

SANDERS: No. That's just media stuff.

I was sick and tired of Hillary Clinton's e-mail. I am still sick and tired of Hillary Clinton's e-mails.

And the issue is, the problem is, the front pages every day were dealing with it. I didn't know I had so much power. But after I said that, we're not hearing so much about Hillary Clinton's e-mails.

SANDERS: What I would like for the media now is for us to be talking about why the middle class is disappearing, why we have more people in jail than any other country, why we have massive levels of income and wealth inequality, and we're the only major country on Earth without paid family and medical leave.

We've gotten off the Hillary's e-mails, good. Let's go to the major issues facing America.

OBRADOVICH: Secretary Clinton, your response.

CLINTON: I agree completely. I couldn't have said it better myself. But I did want to -- I wanted to follow up.

Look, we need more Americans to be involved in the political process. And I give Senator Sanders a lot of credit for really lighting a fire under many people -- young, old, everybody -- who sees a chance to be involved and have their voice heard.

Look at what's happening with the Republicans. They are doing everything they can to prevent the voices of Americans to be heard.

(APPLAUSE) They're trying to prevent people from registering to vote. So, we do need to take on the Republicans very clearly and directly. But the other thing I just wanted quickly to say is, I think President Obama deserves more credit than he gets for what he got done in Washington, despite the Republican obstructionists.

DICKERSON: Secretary Clinton, just one more question on the e- mail question.

For Democrats, there's an FBI investigation going on. Can you satisfy Democrats, who might worry about an another shoe dropping, that you and your staff have been totally truthful to them, and that another shoe is not going to drop?

CLINTON: I think after 11 hours, that's pretty clear, yes.

(APPLAUSE)

And, you know, I do think it's important to do exactly what Senator Sanders said, and that is to start talking about the issues that the American people really care about, and that they talk to each of us about.

And to contrast, even -- there are differences among us. You've heard some of those tonight. I still want to get back to health care, because I think that's a worthy topic to explore.

But the differences among us pale compared to what's happening on the Republican side. And if you listen to what they say -- and I had a chance over those 11 hours to watch and listen, as well as what I see in their debates -- they are putting forth alarming plans.

I mean, all of us support funding Planned Parenthood. All of us believe climate change is real. All of us want equal pay for equal work.

They don't believe in any of that. So let's focus on what this election is really going to be about.

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