The State Department staffer who helped Hillary Clinton set up her private email server was paid to do so — but separately from his government job, a campaign aide confirmed to NBC News.
A campaign official said the personal server allowed Clinton to have control over her emails as Secretary of State, and by retaining the staffer and paying him personally, it also meant taxpayer dollars wouldn’t be spent on setting it up, The Washington Post first reported Saturday.Bryan Pagliano, the former State Department staffer who also worked for Clinton during her 2008 presidential campaign, has been identified in digital records as the person who set up her email server in 2009. He has vowed to invoke the Fifth Amendment and refuse to answer questions after a congressional committee subpoenaed him, MSNBC confirmed this week.
Clinton campaign spokesman Nick Merrill posted a statement Saturday on Twitter saying Pagliano was “hired by the Clinton family as a consultant in order to help out periodically with the management of the system in Chappaqua that hosted the family’s emails.”
Clinton, while campaigning in New Hampshire on Saturday, again addressed the email issue and acknowledged paying to have a private email server set up.
“We obviously paid for those services and did so because during a period of time, we continued to need his technical assistance,” Clinton said, “and I think that’s in the public record.”
Clinton’s use of an unsecured private email server instead of an official government server has become a campaign issue as she runs for the Democratic presidential nomination. The FBI is probing whether any classified information was mishandled by her or her staff, who also had access to the server.
In an exclusive interview with NBC News/MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Friday, Clinton said she was “sorry” over the controversy the email server issue has caused, but she fell short of apologizing for the decision to use it.
“At the end of the day, I am sorry that this has been confusing to people and has raised a lot of questions, but there are answers to all these questions,” Clinton said. “And I take responsibility and it wasn’t the best choice.”
Clinton told reporters on Saturday that she does not know who is paying the lawyer fees for her former and current staffers who are being called to testify in front of Congress.
“We have encouraged everyone to cooperate,” she said. “I feel strongly that the facts are the facts, and we’ve been repeating them over and over again.”