CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton is calling for a "concerted global effort" to assist the hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Middle East, Africa and Asia seeking refuge in Europe.
In an interview with The Associated Press, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination said Monday that "everyone should be asked to do more" to help the migrants, many of whom are fleeing the civil war in Syria and from areas in that country and in Iraq under the control of Islamic State militants.
"I think we need to have a broad-based global response," Clinton said before spending Labor Day campaigning in eastern Iowa and parts of Illinois. "The United States certainly should be at the table, but so should everybody else."
"And if countries are not able to do more physically in taking in these refugees, they should do more financially," she said.
Clinton, the former secretary of state, said she was speaking most particularly about the oil-rich states of the Persian Gulf.
"They should be funding a lot of the resettlement work and supporting those countries that are bearing the burden of the refugees," Clinton said.
Clinton spoke as European countries are debating how best to share responsibility for the more than 340,000 people already seeking refuge on the continent.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said Monday the United Kingdom would resettle up to 20,000 Syrians from camps in Turkey, Jordan and Syria over the next five years, while French President Francois Hollande said his country would take in 24,000 refugees over the next two years.
In Germany, the government has approved $6.6 billion to increase aid for asylum-seekers and hire more federal police as it also crafted plans to make it easier to build refugee housing and for non-German speakers to hold jobs.
Clinton said an international effort to assist the migrants should be coordinated by the United Nations. She praised Pope Francis, who has called on all Catholic parishes and religious communities to welcome in the migrants.
"The whole world has to take some responsibility," Clinton said.
In her interview with AP, Clinton said — as she has often in recent weeks — that it would have been a "better choice" for her to use separate email accounts for her personal and public business during her tenure as President Barack Obama's first secretary of state. "I've also tried to not only take responsibility, because it was my decision, but to be as transparent as possible," Clinton said.
Clinton also said the issue has not damaged her campaign, but is a "distraction, certainly."
"But it hasn't in any way affected the plan for our campaign, the efforts we're making to organize here in Iowa and elsewhere in the country," Clinton said. "And I still feel very confident about the organization and the message that my campaign is putting out."
On Friday, she did not apologize for using a private email system when asked directly by NBC, "Are you sorry?" Asked Monday by the AP why she won't directly apologize, Clinton said: "What I did was allowed. It was allowed by the State Department. The State Department has confirmed that.
"I did not send or receive any information marked classified," Clinton said. "I take the responsibilities of handling classified materials very seriously and did so."
Last year, Clinton turned over roughly 55,000 pages of emails to the State Department that she sent and received using a home-brew email server set up at her home in suburban New York while serving as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.
Clinton has said she set up her own system instead of using a State Department account for the convenience of using a single hand-held email device.
The State Department is reviewing and publicly releasing those emails, some showing that Clinton received messages that were later determined to contain classified information. Some of those regarded the production and dissemination of U.S. intelligence.
"There is always a debate among different agencies about what something should be retroactively (marked classified)," Clinton told the AP on Monday. "But at the time, there were none. So I'm going to keep answering the questions and providing the facts so that people can understand better what happened."
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