(Reuters) – The U.S. State Department does not automatically archive the emails of its assistant secretaries of state, U.S. officials said on Thursday, contradicting the agency’s prior public statement.
Assistant secretaries, who include the top diplomats for regions such as Europe, the Middle East and East Asia, are not among the group of senior officials whose emails have been systematically captured since February, the officials said.
The State Department’s email practices have come under scrutiny since the disclosure that former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used a private email address and server for her official email communications when she was in office.
Earlier this month, the State Department said it had begun automatically archiving Secretary of State John Kerry’s emails shortly after he took office in early 2013.
On Friday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that as of February the department had also begun automatically capturing emails of the two deputy secretaries of state as well as the agency’s under secretaries and assistant secretaries.
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