President Obama said he first learned that Hillary Clinton his former secretary of state had used her private email during her time with the state department from news reports; amidst reports the State Department and White House might have been aware as long ago as last August that Clinton was not using government email.

Obama said the same time that everyone else learned about it through news reports is when he did after being asked when he knew Clinton had used here private email.

Obama continued to claim that the policy of his administration was to encourage transparency and that was why emails, like the Blackberry he has, all those records are in archives but available and he was glad Hillary instructed them to be disclosed.

Obama’s comments come after a report that says Clinton’s staff had made a decision to keep news of the email secret after the State Department, White House and the personal office of Clinton learned in August that the Republicans in the House were given information that she had used her own email account to conduct government business.

Obama praised his former Secretary of State saying that Clinton was an outstanding public servant and a great secretary of state in his administration. On Friday, the White House had problems responding to the report. Josh Earnest the spokesman for the White House said that a couple of officials had noticed that Clinton was not using an email with .gov on the end, but he did not say when they had noticed and if it had raised red flags.

An anonymous source said that the White House counsel’s office had not been aware of the use by Clinton of her personal email while she was the secretary of state, and only had found that out during the congressional investigation.

Clinton has been criticized for using the email during her four years in Obama’s cabinet. Her use of that email raised questions as to whether the important messages had been secure and were turned over for lawsuits and congressional investigations.