Powell: Clinton 'Trying to Pin' Email Fiasco on Me Says she was using private server long before he sent her a memo By Newser Editors, Newser Staff Posted Aug 22, 2016 8:44 AM CDT 353 comments Comments Former Secretary of State Colin Powell. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (Newser) – Colin Powell thinks Hillary Clinton is trying to turn him into a scapegoat for her email trouble. The issue first made headlines Friday thanks to an account in the New York Times alleging that Powell had advised Clinton near the beginning of her tenure as secretary of state to use private email for unclassified messages. The advice reportedly came during a dinner with other former top diplomats, though Powell says he has no recollection of it. He does acknowledge writing her a memo describing his own use of AOL for private messages, but he tells People that the Clinton camp is distorting what happened. "Her people have been trying to pin it on me," says Powell. "The truth is, she was using [the private email server] for a year before I sent her a memo telling her what I did." When interviewed by the FBI, which ultimately decided against pursuing a criminal case, Clinton told the agency that Powell suggested she use private email, according to the Times. But Powell says there's a big difference in his use of AOL and Clinton's installation of a server in her home and her hiring of outside contractors.