Anonymous officials told the AP that the email chain, which was related to personnel matters and did appear to contain classified material, began before Clinton took over as secretary of state and continued once she entered the office. The Defense Department discovered the emails and turned them over to the State Department's inspector general, according to the report.
The email chain is significant because it pre-dates the time period from which Clinton's office said she turned over work-related emails to the State Department.
Her office said Clinton turned over roughly 30,000 work-related emails sent and received from March 18, 2009 to February 1, 2013. But the email chain with Petraeus started on Jan. 10, 2009 on Clinton's older AT&T Blackberry email account, according to the AP. The report stated Clinton switched to her private email@example.com address by Jan. 28, a week after her swearing-in as secretary of state.
An anonymous Clinton aide confirmed to BuzzFeed News that Clinton did begin to use the private firstname.lastname@example.org address in January 2009. The aide clarified that the domain was not housed on Clinton's so-called "homebrew" server at her Chappaqua, New York home until March of that year, which is why the records Clinton provided to the State Department begin on March 18, 2009. Clinton does not have access to emails from before that date, the aide told BuzzFeed News.