The state department has criticised Hillary Clinton for not seeking legal approval to use a personal email account and private server when she was secretary of state, in a damning report which said the move had created “security risks”.

In a long-awaited report that comes as Mrs Clinton is poised to secure the Democratic presidential nomination, the state department inspector-general said the security officials inside the state department would not have approved of the arrangement, which saw her conduct her official business on what critics have called her “home brew” server. She also faces a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into whether she and her team mishandled secret information, reports Demetri Sevastopulo​ in DC.

The IG report comes as Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, and his Democratic rival whom he calls “Crooked Hillary,” have started ratcheting up attacks on each other ahead of the general election. While the New York property mogul was largely dismissed as a joke candidate when he launched his campaign last June, an average of recent polls shows Mr Trump with a narrow lead over Mrs Clinton just five months before the November election.

While the report found no evidence of illegal activity, the conclusions will fuel concerns that Mrs Clinton is not trustworthy, reinforcing a sentiment among Republicans and many Democrats that Bernie Sanders has exploited in his battle with Mrs Clinton for the nomination. A recent CBS-New York Times poll found that two-thirds of voters do not believe Mrs Clinton is “honest and trustworthy,” although a similar number said the same thing about Mr Trump.

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