Hillary Says She Didn't Save Personal Emails

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Mar 10, 2015 3:50 PM
Hillary Says She Didn't Save Personal Emails

The former Secretary of State addressed the media at the United Nations shortly after her speech to the multinational body about women’s issues. During the press conference, which was going to be about the controversy surrounding the use of her private email account while she was Secretary of State, Clinton said she used that address because it was more convenient.

"I opted for convenience to use personal email account, which was allowed, because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device, the former Secretary of State said. “Looking back, it would've been better if I had simply used a second email."

Hillary also said that the vast majority of her work emails went to government employees with government email addresses, which were immediately preserved by the State Department. She also mentioned how she turned over 55,000 printed pages of emails even though she knew State had the vast majority of them. The State Department has asked her and other former secretaries of state to provide copies of emails from their personal accounts. Hillary was stringent in her belief that she fully complied with the request. Of the emails that were personal, such as yoga routines and Chelsea’s wedding arrangements, she decided not to release, nor save, any of them, adding that they were private and no one wants the details of their private lives released to the public.

“No one wants their personal emails made public, and I think most people understand that,” she said.

Before closing her remarks to take questions, Clinton took pride in her four-year tenure as Secretary of State, and once again reiterated that she should have used two separate devices for her email correspondences. She thought one device would have been better, but she obviously miscalculated. It was a soft mea culpa moment.

Hillary was then bombarded with questions about the server, will this controversy effect her 2016 ambitions, the taking of monies from foreign governments at the Clinton Foundation, and whether she deleted government emails; all of which she really didn’t address in a manner that would put this issue to bed.

MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell asked how the former First Lady decided which to save or delete, Clinton said that in going through those emails, she instructed her counsel to turn over anything that might be construed as work related, she told members of the press that over 60,000 emails were sent or received -- half were work-related, half were not -- so she did not feel a need to save them:

I had no reason to save them, but that was my decision, because the federal guidelines are clear and the State Department request was clear…For any government employee, it is that government employee's responsibility to determine what's personal and what's work-related. I am very confident in the process that we conducted and the emails that were produced."

Regarding foreign contributions, Clinton said she as proud of the work the Foundation has done, and anyone who knows the Clinton Foundation knows what we do and what we stand for.

When asked if she deleted government emails, and will there be an examination of the email server that was used; Hillary shook her head. Clinton also rejected the notion that she emailed classified information through that account:

I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material. I'm certainly well aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.

As for questions about the use and security of the server, Clinton said that it contained personal correspondences between herself and the former president. It will remain private. She also said it had numerous safeguards; it was guarded by the Secret Service, and had no security breaches.

She didn’t really answer any question relating to her 2016 ambitions.

Throughout the conference, Clinton was adamant that she did exactly what she should’ve done in handing over all work-related emails, more than meeting the request from the State Department. She said how she directed her counsel to conduct a thorough review of the personal emails, even those that might be considered government work.

I trust the American people to make their decisions about political and public matters and I feel like I've taken unprecedented steps for these emails to be in the public domain…I went above and beyond what I was requested to do."

Again, as for the personal and private matters that weren’t released, Clinton reiterated that they had nothing to do with work, so she didn’t keep them.

Clinton bolted from the podium when she was asked about Scott Gration, the former Ambassador to Kenya, who resigned in 2012 after numerous issues arose, including the use of a private email system, which was highlighted in an Inspector General report that some at the IG's office have called the worst review of an ambassador's performance in several years.

Clinton took some time touting the advances women, noting it’s never been a better time to be born female in today’s world. But also mentioned that more needs to be done. She also took a swipe at Senate Republicans over their letter to Iran, which she said, “was out of step with the best traditions of American leadership.”

Clinton added that there are two logical explanations for the letter. It’s was either to help the Iranians or undercut the Commander-in-Chief; “either answer does a discredit to the letters’ signatories.”

The letter stated that the next president could revoke any deal done with Obama.

Yet, concerning the “convenience” aspect of using only one email account, the former First Lady seemingly admitted at the Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women that she already uses two phones. Moreover, how can there be private correspondences between herself and former President Clinton on the server when the former doesn’t even use email?

UPDATE: Full video of the presser is here: