WASHINGTON — During her consequential July interview with the FBI, Hillary Clintondisplayed a slim grasp of the fine points for handling classified information and often expressed little recall for specific emails containing sensitive information that transited through a private server during her tenure as secretary of State.
Clinton, who could not remember receiving "any briefing or training'' for handling such information, later acknowledged to agents that she did not recognize a common document marking used to identify it as classified information.
In a partially redacted 11-page interview released Friday by the FBI, along with a 47-page summary of the now-closed investigation into her handling of classified information and use of a private email server, Clinton said she used her own BlackBerry for both personal and official business "out of convenience" and noted that she had spoken with former secretary of State Colin Powell who maintained the same practice while in office, "as had other secretaries of State before him."
In Friday's package of unclassified investigative documents, the FBI determined that Clinton's email server had not been hacked, but it could not make the same determination about the 13 BlackBerry devices she used as secretary of State.
All of those devices, the report said, could not be located for analysis. Of the three iPad tablets Clinton used, the report said, two were analyzed, and there was no evidence they had been hacked.
The email account of Sidney Blumenthal, a former Clinton aide and confidant, was hacked in March 2013, the report said, and emails between him and Clinton were released by the hacker, Marcel Lehel Lazar of Romania, aka Guccifer.
Lazar was sentenced Thursday to 52 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to breaching the online accounts of dozens of Americans.
Though Clinton told investigators she believed "everyone at State'' knew she had a private email address, she did not "explicitly request permission to use a private server or email address.''
"During her tenure, no one at State raised concerns regarding Clinton's use of a private server or email address," according to the interview transcript.
In one heavily redacted portion of the interview, agents sought Clinton's knowledge about how officials exchanged information about the highly secretive process of nominating targets for drone strikes, but Clinton said she "could not recall a specific process for nominating a target."
When classified information was exchanged about the drone program at the State Department, she said it occurred either in her office or on a secure telephone line.
"When Clinton exchanged classified information pertaining to the drone program externally, it was at the White House. Clinton never had a concern with how classified information pertaining to the drone program was handled," according to the interview transcript.
House received classified version
The release came weeks after the FBI provided Republican congressional leaders a classified version of its closed investigation.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee sought the material after FBI Director James Comey recommended last month that no criminal charges be brought against the Democratic presidential candidate.
"Consistent with our commitment to transparency with respect to the FBI's investigation of former secretary of State Clinton's use of a personal email server, the FBI is providing certain relevant materials to appropriate congressional committees to assist them in their oversight responsibilities in this matter," the FBI said after delivering the material to Congress. "The material contains classified and other sensitive information and is being provided with the expectation it will not be disseminated or disclosed without FBI concurrence."
More than a month ago, Comey offered a summary of the bureau's findings, describing the handling of classified information by Clinton and others as "extremely careless" but not worthy of a criminal prosecution.
"Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information," Comey said, "our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutors would bring such a case."
Clinton told federal investigators her use of a private server was not aimed at avoiding Freedom of Information Act requirements and "she specifically denied" using the server to avoid Federal Records Act requirements for storage and archiving.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump pounced on the new disclosures, saying Clinton's responses to the FBI "defy belief.''
"I was absolutely shocked to see that her answers to the FBI stood in direct contradiction to what she told the American people,'' Trump said. "After reading these documents, I really don't understand how she was able to get away from prosecution."
Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon, meanwhile, said the campaign was "pleased that the FBI has released the materials...as we had requested.''
"While her use of a single email account was clearly a mistake and she has taken responsibility for it, these materials make clear why the Justice Department believed there was no basis to move forward with this case," Fallon said.
The FBI interview and supporting documents make repeated references to Clinton's reliance on top aides to both help route classified information through appropriate channels and assist the then-secretary with technical support when systems crashed or devices malfunctioned.
In the days after Clinton's use of a private email account was called into question by a March 2, 2015, report in the New York Times, the FBI report shows that Clinton's aides and private attorneys moved to preserve communications the private accounts. Though one unidentified aide later told federal investigators of an "Oh, s___ moment" in the weeks after the Times report when he did not make email retention policy changes requested by Clinton's then-chief of staff, resulting in the deletion of some Clinton communications.
Separately, the FBI's account of its interview with Clinton included an exchange in which the former secretary did not recognize a classified marking in a 2012 email referencing a call to a former Zambian president, and asked agents the meaning of the letter "C.''
"When asked of her knowledge regarding top secret, secret and confidential classification levels of U.S. government information, Clinton responded that she did not pay attention to the 'level' of classified information and took all classified information seriously,'' the transcript stated.
In July, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who had vowed to accept the recommendation of career prosecutors and the FBI, formally closed the year-long inquiry that has shadowed Clinton's presidential campaign.
Comey defended his decision in an appearance before the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee that lasted more than four hours.
"There is no way anybody would bring a case against John Doe or Hillary Clinton for the second time in 100 years based on those facts," Comey told lawmakers, referring to a review of past prosecutions.
"In looking back at our investigations into mishandling of removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts," Comey said.
Republican congressional leaders sought the FBI's notes in an attempt to support their recent call for the Justice Department to launch a new investigation, alleging that Clinton provided false testimony to Congress last year about her use of the personal email system.