[WASHINGTON] Hillary Clinton apologised on Tuesday for using a private email server while secretary of state, calling the decision, which has dogged her Democratic presidential bid, a "mistake." The Democratic frontrunner, who is facing eroding support, has long dismissed the email uproar as a manufactured imbroglio.
But in an interview set to air Tuesday evening, Clinton told ABC's World News Tonight that she took full responsiblity for the episode, which she regretted.
"That was a mistake. I'm sorry about that. I take responsibility," she told anchor David Muir.
Mrs Clinton used her private email account and home server in lieu of the official government email system while she served as top diplomat from 2009 to 2013.
Until Tuesday, Mrs Clinton had demurred from issuing a direct apology.
"I certainly wish that I had made a different choice," Mrs Clinton said last week, saying that she was "sorry" that the controversy was "confusing" for the public.
The lingering email saga has weighed on Mrs Clinton's popularity, with a Gallup poll released on Friday showing her favorability rating at 41 per cent, compared to 51 per cent who view her unfavorably - the lowest level since 1992.
And the issue is unlikely to go away anytime soon, since the Department of State, to which Mrs Clinton turned over 30,000 official emails in late 2014, is publicly releasing them to the public in batches.
Many contain information that has been retroactively classified, raising questions about whether Mrs Clinton was inappropriately sending and receiving highly sensitive material, and whether sufficient security measures were in place to protect her server from hackers.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is examining the server to determine whether the arrangement has compromised government secrets.