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Clinton gets warm North Las Vegas welcome before server questions arise

Hillary Clinton Speaks at Town-Hall Meeting

Steve Marcus

Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton takes a selfie with a supporter’s phone after speaking at a town-hall meeting Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, at Pearson Community Center in North Las Vegas.

Hillary Clinton at Town-Hall Meeting

Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a town-hall meeting at the Pearson Community Center in North Las Vegas Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015. Launch slideshow »

Hillary Clinton at Carpenters Training Center

Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton talks with Bill Irwin Jr., executive director of the Carpenters International Training Fund, during a tour of the Carpenters International Training Center Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015. Launch slideshow »

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton received a warm welcome at a town hall in North Las Vegas on Tuesday from an audience that peppered her with questions covering some of her core campaign issues like college affordability, health care and equal pay for women.

But a media session following her event at the Pearson Community Center was decidedly less friendly, as attention quickly shifted to the ongoing scandal over a private email server she used during her time as U.S. secretary of state.

"I'm very comfortable that this will eventually get resolved and the American people will have plenty of time to figure it out," Clinton said, maintaining that her use of the private server for both personal and government emails was legally permitted.

Clinton handed over her private email server to the FBI last week for forensic analysis as scrutiny has intensified in recent weeks.

Clinton said in retrospect she regrets using the private email server because of the controversy it has caused, but said she did not send any classified material or receive any materials that were marked classified on the server.

When pressed on emails that were deleted from the server and whether an attempt was made to erase data before turning it over to federal agents, Clinton demurred and the press conference quickly ended.

"In order to be as cooperative as possible, we have turned over the server," she said. "They can do whatever they want to with the server to figure what's there and what's not there."

The testy exchange over the email server stood in stark contrast to the enthusiastic reception Clinton received from a crowd of several hundred supporters that packed the community center gymnasium and an overflow room.

After being introduced by UNLV student Elisha Morgan, Clinton spoke briefly before spending more than half an hour fielding questions from the audience, estimated at 900 people plus 150 in an overflow room.

"Whenever I talk about women and women's rights … some of the Republicans accuse me of playing the gender card," Clinton said. "Well if that's playing the gender card to try to make sure half the population is treated right, count me in."

Questions from the audience ranged from gun control and "Stand Your Ground" laws to the cost of prescription drugs and the Affordable Care Act.

Clinton referenced Nevada's stubbornly high unemployment rate when talking about government assistance programs after an audience member asked what she would do to help people who are struggling economically.

"You have a lot of people who used to have jobs. And you have a lot of people who used to work full time who now can only get part-time jobs. You have a lot of people who need help," she said, vowing to help people "who are doing the best they can."

"Nobody who works full time in America should still be in poverty," she said.

Clinton didn't make any attacks on specific Republican presidential candidates, but she did urge the audience to start volunteering for her campaign, even though the election is still more than a year away.

"We've got a proven track record of doing what works better. Now we just need another Democratic president to build on the successes of these last two terms," she said. "Because otherwise we're just going back to the land of trickle-down economics."

After the North Las Vegas event, Clinton was scheduled to tour the Carpenters International Training Center in Las Vegas and speak at the Nevada State AFL-CIO annual convention at the Luxor.

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