Hillary Clinton spoke publicly for the first time since her practice of using a private email address as secretary of state was revealed, and said the sole reason for the decision was "convenience."
The press conference came after nearly two weeks of silence from Clinton following the initial report that she exclusively used a personal email address during her time as secretary of state. It was later revealed she set up a private email server to house emails for both herself and her top aides.
Clinton said she made a mistake when she "opted for convenience." She said she chose not to use a government email address because she did not want to carry multiple devices.
"I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two," Clinton said. "Looking back, it would have been better if I’d simply used a second email account and carried a second phone."
It was pointed out following the 15-minute press conference that Clinton recently said she uses both an iPhone and a BlackBerry.
Clinton also said "the server would remain private" and rejected the proposal of an independent review of her server and anything beyond the emails already handed over to the State Department.
Clinton said, "the server contains personal communications from my husband and me" and that it was initially set up for the office of former President Clinton.
These comments contradict a statement made by Bill Clinton’s spokesman on Tuesday that he does not use email.
Clinton added that she did not email any classified material using her private email address. She also denied reports that the former U.S. ambassador to Kenya Scott Gration was forced to resign because he set up his own private email account.
Clinton’s actions were in violation of State Department rules. Security experts have said that Clinton’s private server was created to maximize privacy, not security, and that it was far more vulnerable to an attack than government servers were.
Clinton released 55,000 pages of emails from her personal account to the State Department, though emails that were deemed "personal" by Clinton’s advisers were not turned over.
Included in the "personal" emails removed from the disclosure, according to Clinton, were emails regarding the planning of her daughter Chelsea’s wedding, family vacations, and her "yoga routines."
She also denied that any pertinent messages could have been deleted from the server before the emails were reviewed.
Clinton had been mum on the issue aside from a late-night tweet last week saying she asked the State Department to release her emails to the public. The State Department is reviewing the documents for public release.
Much of the press has not had a chance to question Clinton as her brief media availability came at the United Nations, a venue that is relatively inaccessible to the press, especially on such short notice.
The press conference was announced hours after the credentialing time period for the UN women’s event had closed, though efforts were made by the UN’s small press credentialing office to handle late requests.
Reporters stood in line for hours to obtain media accreditation from the UN, and many feared they would not finish the process in time for the press conference, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Washington Post described the UN as a "rare and inaccessible" venue for Clinton’s press conference. Mark Knoller of CBS News wrote that Clinton was "making it as difficult as possible" for reporters to ask her about the email scandal.