Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made her first public remarks about her exclusive use of a private email account during her State Department tenure on Tuesday, saying that in hindsight, it would have been better to use a separate email account for official business, but maintaining that her team provided the State Department all work-related emails.
Eight days after the New York Times broke the news of Clinton's email practices, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate told reporters that when she took office as the nation's top diplomat, she "opted for convenience," explaining she “thought it would be easier to carry just one device."
"Looking back, it would’ve been better if I’d used a second email account," Clinton added, speaking on the sidelines of a United Nations conference on women and girls.
Echoing talking points repeated by her defenders over the past week, Clinton said that the "vast majority" of her work emails "went to government employees at government addresses," ensuring that the correspondence was preserved on government servers.
In response to a State Department records-keeping request last year, Clinton and her team personally reviewed her emails and handed over 55,000 pages to the department. She asserted on Tuesday that her team “provided all my emails that could possibly be work-related." Meanwhile, she added, her team did not divulge personal emails on such topics as yoga sessions, her daughter's wedding, and her mother's funeral. Those emails have been deleted, she said.
Referring to her request last week that the State Department make the 55,000 pages of emails she released public, Clinton hailed what she described as an “unprecedented step" toward transparency.
Addressing a chief security concern raised following the Times' report, Clinton said that she did not transmit classified information on her account.
It's unlikely that today's press conference will quell questions from critics suspicious of the process by which Clinton decided to release her emails. While some Clinton allies, including Democratic lawyer Lanny Davis, have suggested an independent arbiter to review her account, Clinton rejected such a solution.
"I have no doubt that we’ve done exactly what we should have done," Clinton said.