Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has conceded that her use of a private email server when she was U.S. secretary of state was “a mistake.”
"Yes, I should have used two email addresses," Clinton said In a statement posted late Tuesday night on her Facebook page. "One for personal matters, and one for my work at the State Department."
She apologized and took full responsibility, but said her use of the private email account "was aboveboard and allowed under State Department rules."
"I know this is a complex story," Clinton added. "I could have -- and should have -- done a better job answering questions earlier."
The letter came hours after she apologized directly in an interview with ABC television news. The apology marks an evolution in Clinton’s position over the past five days, amid disappointing polls and worries among her campaign staff that the email server issue is hurting her.
On Monday, in an interview with the Associated Press, Clinton maintained that she did not have to apologize for her use of the private server. “What I did was allowed [by the State Department],” she said.
Three days earlier, on Friday, Clinton expressed regret but stopped short of an apology. “I am sorry that this has been confusing to people,” she told NBC television, adding that there are “answers to all these questions.”
The Clinton campaign has had a spate of bad poll news just in the last few days. The numbers show her support dropping:
-- Tuesday, a Monmouth University poll showed that Clinton’s support among Democrats has fallen to 42 percent, an 18 point drop since April.
-- An NBC/Marist poll released Sunday showed Clinton’s opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders, has opened a 9-point lead in New Hampshire, the state where the first election primary will be held.
-- A Survey USA poll released Friday showed Republican front-runner Donald Trump ahead of Clinton by five percentage points, 45 to 40.
“The only thing that Clinton regrets is that she got caught and is dropping in the polls,” said Republican National Committee spokesperson Allison Moore on Monday. “Hillary Clinton’s reckless attempt to skirt government transparency laws put our national security at risk.”
The email issue has dogged Clinton for months. She turned over about 55,000 pages of emails last year that she sent and received on a private server during her tenure as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.
In the latest batch released by the State Department on September 1, officials said about 150 were remarked as classified.