Hillary Clinton answers for saying politicians need 'a public and a private position' on issues

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Hillary ClintonREUTERS/Jim YoungHillary Clinton speaks during the presidential town hall debate.

During the second presidential debate, Hillary Clinton had to answer for emails leaked online Friday that included purported excerpts from private speeches she'd given to banks.

ABC correspondent and debate moderator Martha Raddatz asked the Democratic presidential nominee about a statement she'd made in a speech saying "you need both a public and a private position" on issues.

"Is it ok for politicians to be two-faced? Is it acceptable for a politician to have a private stance on issues?" Raddatz asked, reading a question submitted by a voter.

Clinton tied her comment to the movie "Lincoln," which she mentioned during the speech.

"That was something I said about Abraham Lincoln after having seen the wonderful Steven Spielberg movie called 'Lincoln,'" Clinton said. "It was a masterclass watching President Lincoln get the Congress to approve the 13th Amendment. It was principled and it was strategic."

She continued: "I was making the point that it is hard sometimes to get the Congress to do what you want to do, and you have to keep working at it, and yes, President Lincoln was trying to convince some people, he used some arguments, convincing other people, he used other arguments. That was a great, I thought, a great display of presidential leadership."

More of Clinton's emails were posted on the website Wikileaks on Friday. Other recent hacks of US political institutions have been tied to Russian actors.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump responded by mocking Clinton for using the movie "Lincoln" to explain the controversial statement.

"She lied," Trump said. "Now she's blaming the lie on the late, great Abraham Lincoln. ... Honest Abe. Honest Abe never lied. That's the good thing. That's the big difference between Abraham Lincoln and you."

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