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Neal Says Clinton Did Nothing Wrong, Message Missed In Netanyahu Speech

Jim Levulis

Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal says former Secretary of State of Hillary Clinton did nothing wrong in using a personal email account while she was in office. Clinton has been criticized this week for using private email when she was the nation’s top diplomat."I think that there's if anything a very gray area in terms of rule making for personal accounts and public accounts," said Neal.

Speaking Friday in Pittsfield, Neal says former secretaries of state and politicians like ex-Florida Governor Jeb Bush had the same email standards. The Democrat says the story of how Clinton’s use of personal emails came about is fodder for the presidential race, in which Bush, a Republican and Clinton, a Democrat, are considered frontrunners.

“I assume the story was spoon-fed and it’s more about Benghazi and from Benghazi it’s more about the presidential campaign which is under way,” said Neal.

Neal says he doesn’t think the topic will have an impact on Clinton’s chances if she decides to run.


Meanwhile, Neal says a message from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech may have been missed because of the political circumstances surrounding it. The highly anticipated address to Congress took place during a political whirlwind.

Unlike some of his fellow Democrats like Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Neal attended the speech he says out of respect for the Israeli head of state. Republican House Speaker John Boehner invited Netanyahu without consulting The White House. Neal says Netanyahu’s skepticism of a U.S.-Iranian nuclear arms agreement had another message.

“Went so far as to say he has never said that he didn’t want a diplomatic solution,” Neal explained. “That instead he was arguing for a ‘better’ diplomatic solution. I think that’s what bares noting.”

President Obama did not meet with Netanyahu because of upcoming Israeli elections on March 17.

Jim is WAMC’s Assistant News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org
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