Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters Tuesday that it "would have been better" and "smarter" to use a state.gov email address during her tenure, as opposed to a private address at a private server. Clinton's email practices while leading the Department of State attracted scrutiny from political opponents and transparency advocates over the last week after they were revealed by the New York Times.
"I opted for convenience to use my personal email accounts, which was allowed because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my private email and my work email. ... Looking back, it would have been easier if I used two," Clinton said.
During the 22-minute news conference, Clinton first spoke briefly about her keynote address for an event at the United Nations, titled “Unlimited Potential: Business Partners for Gender Equality,” which had just concluded, before discussing her email practices.
Clinton defended her decision to use a private server, which some critics said could be vulnerable to hacks. She said that the server was "on property, guarded by the Secret Service" and there were no security breaches. She also noted that her personal practice was to email any State Department employees on their work email addresses so the emails would still get recorded by the State Department.
She added that she provided "55,000 printed pages" worth of emails to the State Department upon its request, but did not provide some personal emails that included things like "yoga class schedules" and planning for her daughter Chelsea's wedding. Some critics said there's no way for the public to know if she deleted some work-related emails, but Clinton said she told her team to err on the side of caution and provide more information if there was a question of whether or not certain emails qualified as public record.
Republicans accused Clinton of not being transparent and possibly flouting federal regulations by using private email. Rules in 2009 required government officials to ensure that their private email accounts used to conduct government business were properly cataloged by their respective agencies. The revelations also raised security concerns because Clinton served as the nation’s top diplomat and some emails were confidential and contained highly sensitive information.
Clinton’s comments were her first to reporters since the Times broke the story last week about her use of private email exclusively for State Department business. It was later reported that Clinton owned the server connected to her clintonemail.com address, meaning she had full control over the account. The emails were sent to the State Department only after the agency requested them in December.
Meanwhile, the State Department said all of Clinton’s relevant emails will be posted to a website after it finishes its review of the 55,000 pages of messages, according to Reuters. The agency said it will take “several months” to vet the emails.