UNITED NATIONS — Breaking her silence, Hillary Rodham Clinton conceded Tuesday that she should have used a government email to conduct business as secretary of state, saying her decision was simply a matter of “convenience.”
“At the time, this didn’t seem like an issue,” Clinton said in her first public comments since it was disclosed last week that she exclusively used her private email for government business and housed her communications on a personal server.
Clinton said the server would remain private. She also said she had discarded thousands of personal emails, such as communications related to her daughter’s wedding or her mother’s funeral, but she insisted she had given the State Department all relevant emails.
“Everything that would be in any way connected to work is now in possession in the State Department,” Clinton said.
The controversy has upended Clinton’s careful blueprint for the rollout of her 2016 presidential campaign. The clear front-runner for the Democratic nomination, Clinton had planned to spend March touting her work on women’s issues and giving a handful of paid speeches before announcing her candidacy in early April.
Clinton tried to stick to that plan in the days following revelations that she relied on her private email for government business and controlled her communications on her own server. But as criticism from Republicans mounted and Democratic allies started publicly pushing Clinton to address the matter, her team hastily arranged Tuesday’s brief news conference.
Clinton spoke shortly after delivering remarks at a women’s empowerment event at the United Nations. She then made her way to a nearby hallway where dozens of reporters and photographers were awaiting her first formal news conference since leaving the State Department in early 2013.