by WorldTribune Staff, August 21, 2016
In its “Trending Topics” section, Facebook made the false assertion that former Secretary of State Colin Powell recommended Hillary Clinton use private email during her tenure at the State Department.
A headline in the section on Aug. 20 declared: “Colin Powell: Former Secretary of State Confirms He Recommended Using Personal Email to Hillary Clinton.”
Powell has made no such declaration and denied Clinton’s claim.
In response to a New York Times article in which Clinton said Powell made the recommendation, Powell’s office said in a statement that:
“General Powell has no recollection of the dinner conversation (mentioned in the Times story). He did write former Secretary Clinton an email memo describing his use of his personal AOL email account for unclassified messages and how it vastly improved communications within the State Department.”
“At the time there was no equivalent system within the Department. He used a secure State computer on his desk to manage classified information,” the statement continued. “The General no longer has the email he sent to former Secretary Clinton. It may exist in State or FBI files.”
The Facebook “Trending Topics” item links to a photo of the two former secretaries of state with a caption reading: “Colin Powell: Former Secretary of State Confirms He Recommended Using Personal Email to Hillary Clinton. Powell told Clinton using personal email ‘vastly improved’ communication with his department, he said in a release Thursday. She revealed this to the FBI in July, the New York Times reported.”
The “story” Facebook labeled as trending “wasn’t a story at all,” The Daily Caller wrote. “It contained no link to a news outlet backing up its claim with substantiation or sourcing. It mentioned the New York Times, but only in reference to Clinton’s original claim, which Powell denied.”
Clinton used private email for all her communications as secretary of state and set up her own private email system and server “which kept all of her communications with anyone not using an official government email address off the government grid, shielding them from Freedom of Information Act requests,” the Daily Caller said. “The Facebook story makes no mention of this or that Clinton’s shadow email system contained classified material, something Powell’s statement explicitly said he used a secure State Department computer to handle.”