Hillary Clinton broke her silence Tuesday on the scandal surrounding her use of a private, nongovernmental email address while she served as secretary of state, saying that it was "a matter of convenience," that she "thought it would be easier to carry just one device" and that it was allowed under the rules of the State Department.
"Looking back, it would have been better if I had simply used a second email account and carried a second phone," Clinton said in a brief press conference at the United Nations after delivering a speech on women’s rights. "I thought using one device would be simpler, and obviously it hasn't worked out that way."
The "vast majority" of her emails, Clinton said, were work-related, sent to "government employees at their government addresses, which meant they were captured and preserved immediately on the system at the State Department."
Officials there said that Clinton provided some 55,000 pages of documents — a fraction of what exists and a statistic that reveals little about what she shared, what she withheld and why.
Clinton said she withheld personal emails that she later deleted.
"I chose not to keep my private, personal emails — emails about things like planning Chelsea's wedding, my mother's funeral arrangements, condolence notes to friends as well as yoga routines, family vacations," Clinton said. "No one wants their personal emails made public, and I think most people understand that."
"I took the unprecedented step of asking that the State Department make all of my work-related emails public," she said.
But the potential Democratic presidential front-runner said she has no plans to turn over her personal email server, despite calls from Republicans and some Democrats to do so.
"The server contains personal communications from my husband and me," Clinton said. "The server will remain private."
The State Department has said that Clinton was within the boundaries of the law as long as she maintained records of her emails.
Clinton said she is confident that "there were no security breaches" and that she did not send classified material from her personal email account.
On Monday, the White House revealed that President Barack Obama had corresponded with Clinton on her private system, but it said he did not know the details of how she set it up or how she used it.
Tuesday’s question-and-answer session was Clinton’s first since the New York Times broke the story of her use of private email more than a week ago.
Days after the report, she tweeted a statement saying that she had asked the State Department to review the documents she had already turned over, with an eye toward releasing them “as soon as possible.”
I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 5, 2015
Earlier Tuesday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters that the public release of Clinton's emails from her tenure as secretary is expected to take months and that they would be released "in one batch" at the end of the State Department's review. The release will include 300 emails that were already sent to the House select committee investigating the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya.
Certain information will be redacted, Psaki said, but the files will be made available to the public via a dedicated website.