After speaking at the U.N. today, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held a media availability this afternoon, though she prefaced her remarks by addressing gender equality and the Senate Republican effort to derail international diplomacy with Iran. ("Either these senators were trying to be helpful to the Iranians or harmful to the commander- in-chief in the midst of high-stakes international diplomacy," she said. "Either answer does discredit to the letters' signatories.")
But by all appearances, that's not why a small legion of reporters were on hand
to hear Clinton's remarks.
Hillary Clinton on Tuesday defended her use of a private email account as secretary of state, saying she had done so as a matter of convenience and has since turned over all work-related correspondence to the State Department. But she acknowledged removing personal emails like "yoga routines" and planning her daughter Chelsea's wedding and her mother's funeral. She insisted her email server would remain private. "The server contains personal communications from my husband and me and I believe I have met all my responsibilities. The server will remain private. I think the State Department will be able over time to release all the records that was provided," Clinton said. She added it would probably have been "smarter" to keep a separate work-related account.
These were Clinton's first extended, public remarks on the story since the public learned
early last week that she used a private email address during her four-year tenure as Secretary of State.
As the likely presidential hopeful described it, she "opted for convenience" after taking the helm at the State Department, "because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two."
Clinton conceded, "Looking back, it would've been better if I'd simply used a second email account and carried a second phone, but at the time, this didn't seem like an issue."
Evidently, it's an issue.
She added that the "vast majority" of her emails were sent to "government employees at their government addresses," which means they were preserved and will presumably be subject to review.
Clinton went on to say:
"[A]fter I left office, the State Department asked former secretaries of state for our assistance in providing copies of work-related emails from our personal accounts. I responded right away and provided all my emails that could possibly be work-related, which totaled roughly 55,000 printed pages, even though I knew that the State Department already had the vast majority of them. We went through a thorough process to identify all of my work-related emails and deliver them to the State Department. At the end, I chose not to keep my private personal emails -- emails about planning Chelsea's wedding or my mother's funeral arrangements, condolence notes to friends as well as yoga routines, family vacations, the other things you typically find in inboxes. "No one wants their personal emails made public, and I think most people understand that and respect that privacy."
She added that she's already taken the "unprecedented step" of asking the State Department to make all of her work-related emails public for anyone to see.
Asked specifically about security concerns, Clinton said, "I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material. So I'm certainly well-aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material."
Look for more on this on tonight's show.