House Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday rejected the FBI's conclusion that Hillary Clinton was "careless" in how she handled sensitive material while she was secretary of state, and instead said Clinton's actions were the result of political calculation.
"[H]er actions do not seem careless at all," Ryan wrote in a Washington Post op-ed published Wednesday, referring to FBI Director James Comey remark last week that Clinton was "extremely careless" while she was in the government. "In fact, Clinton's actions seem quite careful — careful to place her own interests before our national security."
Ryan said Clinton's deliberate effort to set up a network of private servers to host her emails was "quite an undertaking."
"Transmitting tens of thousands of government emails does not amount to one or two thoughtless mistakes but a calculated series of choices made over the course of several years," he said.
James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, said he did not intend to withhold from any nominee the classified briefings that begin for candidates after their respective nominations.
The decision has rankled Republicans, who remain unsatisfied by the Justice Department's refusal to shed light on the case that cleared Clinton of criminal wrongdoing.
"It's no small matter to hand over classified information to a person as reckless with our national security as Clinton, absent the voting public's explicit permission in November," Ryan wrote. "If she is elected, those briefings can resume, allowing her more than two months to be fully briefed before she is sworn in as president. Until that time, given Clinton's record of extraordinary lack of discretion and judgment, the risk is just too great."