Hillary Clinton's campaign staff worried about how to respond to a comment involving former first lady Nancy Reagan and AIDS, leaked emailed released over the weekend show.

The hacked emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta were released by WikiLeaks.

During an interview in March with MSNBC at Reagan's funeral, Clinton praised the former first lady's “very effective, low-key advocacy.”

“Because of both president and Mrs Reagan, in particular Mrs Reagan, we started a national conversation when before nobody would talk about it,” Clinton said.

Clinton owned the mistake, saying on Twitter that she had “misspoken” about the Reagans' record on HIV and AIDS. “For that, I'm sorry,” she wrote.

Aides urged Clinton to release a more detailed explanation.

“I don't want this to fester,” wrote Dominic Lowell, Clinton campaign's LGBT outreach director.

Clinton wrote that she had said “something inaccurate when speaking about the Reagans' record on HIV and AIDS.”

“To be clear, the Reagans did not start a national conversation about HIV and AIDS. That distinction belongs to generations of brave lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, along with straight allies, who started not just a conversation but a movement that continues to this day,” she added.