NEW YORK – Likely Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday it would have been better if she had used a government email account and a separate mobile device as U.S. secretary of state, but said the vast majority of her correspondence went to employees using government addresses.
Clinton has come under fire for her use of a private email account for official business when she served as the top U.S. diplomat because of concerns about security and concerns that she shielded important facts about her tenure from the public.
“I saw it as a matter of convenience,” Clinton told reporters during a press conference at the United Nations in New York in an effort to defuse the controversy over her use of a single mobile device and a private email account.
“I now, looking back, think that it might have been smarter to have those two devices from the very beginning.”
Clinton, the presumed front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, said she had provided to the State Department all of her emails that could possibly be work-related for archiving purposes.
She said she chose not to keep personal emails on topics such as her daughter’s wedding.
Clinton said that her emails sent to government addresses had been automatically preserved.
Clinton tried to head off criticism last week by urging the State Department to quickly review and release her emails.
That was not enough to placate Republicans, who have questioned her transparency and ethics, and some Democrats, who are wary that the party’s front-runner for the 2016 White House race could be tarnished.
Clinton’s decision to address reporters reflects a calculation among her advisers that the issue was ballooning into crisis-like proportions. The story has dominated cable news for days.
The issue has complicated what has been seen as a clear pathway for the Democratic nomination by the former U.S. senator and first lady, who lost the 2008 primary race to Barack Obama.
But the issue may not resonate with voters or with the donors who will be critical to funding her campaign.