Hillary Clinton used personal funds to pay a State Department staffer to maintain an email server she used for both personal and government matters when she was secretary of state, the Washington Post reported on Saturday, citing a campaign official.
The report was published just hours after Clinton sat down with NBC News to answer questions about the private email server. In the interview, Clinton said she wished she had "made a different choice" when considering whether or to not use the unsecured server.
"You know, I was not thinking a lot when I got in. There was so much work to be done. We had so many problems around the world," Clinton said. "I didn't really stop and think what kind of email system will there be?"
The former US senator and first lady stressed that she would be vindicated when all of the emails were finally out in the open. "I am very confident that by the time this campaign has run its course, people will know that what I've been saying is accurate," Clinton said. She added, "They may disagree, as I now disagree, with the choice that I made. But the facts that I have put forth have remained the same."
Earlier this week, the US Department of State released more than 7,000 pages of emails sent during Clinton's tenure as secretary of state. It was the third and largest batch of documents released in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by VICE News senior investigative reporter Jason Leopold.
Under a federal judge's order, 15 percent of the 35,000 emails are to be released every month. The process has been delayed by intelligence officials combing the messages for information that could be retroactively upgraded to classified status. About 150 of the 7,000 emails released this week were censored because they contain information that the government says it now considers classified.
So far, the emails have offered a candid peek inside Clinton's inner world, and disclosures that range from the politically sensitive — such as the State Department's immediate response to the Wikileaks revelations — to the comically mundane. One email in the latest release had the subject line "Gefilte fish," with Clinton asking her staff, "Where are we on this?"
Bryan Pagliano, the State Department staffer paid by Clinton to maintain the email server, declined to produce documents this week and testify before a House of Representatives committee about the server, invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Pagliano was IT director for Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, and went to work for the State Department when Clinton took up the Cabinet job.
The Post reported the Clintons paid Pagliano $5,000 for computer services before he joined the State Department, citing a financial disclosure form he filed in April 2009.
Clinton has in the past hired staff to work for her simultaneously in public and private capacities, most notably top aide Huma Abedin, the Post said.
The Clinton campaign did not immediately respond to a VICE News inquiry about the report.
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Reuters contributed to this report.