State Department officials have determined that classified information was sent to the personal email accounts of former Secretary of State Colin Powell and the senior staff of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, NBC News has learned.

In an interview with NBC News, Powell challenged the conclusion, saying nothing that went to his personal account was secret. Rice did not initially respond to an interview request.

In a letter to Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy dated Feb. 3, State Department Inspector General Steve Linick said that the State Department has determined that 12 emails examined from State’s archives contained national security information now classified “Secret” or “Confidential.” The letter was read to NBC News.

Two of the messages were sent to Powell’s personal account, and 10 were sent to personal accounts of Rice’s senior aides, the letter said.

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