Hillary Clinton acknowledged Tuesday that it "would have been better" to use a government email address along with the personal one she used while secretary of state at her first press conference since the controversy erupted earlier this month.
But the likely 2016 presidential frontrunner insisted she did not violate any federal regulation and never risked exposing sensitive information by using her personal email server.
Clinton said she used a private account so that she could carry just one device rather than both a personal and government-issued phone. She said her email use fully complied with State Department regulations and she has since taken “unprecedented” steps to turn over her work emails to the State Department for review.
She also said she never emailed classified material.
“I trust the American people to make their decisions about political and public matters and I feel that I’ve taken unprecedented steps to provide these work-related emails,” Clinton said.
Moments before Clinton addressed the media, a spokesperson for the State Department said the 55,000 pages of emails in question will be released publicly on a website after a government review. The process will take months and some information will be redacted.
The former first lady, however, said about half of the 60,000 emails she and her teamed reviewed were personal and were not submitted to the State Department.
"No one wants their personal emails made public, and I think most people understand that and respect that privacy," Clinton said.
Following Clinton's appearance, her office sent out more details on the process her team went through in gathering her electronic correspondence. They said the public should expect to find "everything from the work of government, to emails with State and other Administration colleagues, to LinkedIn invites, to talk about the weather."
Her office also said the server is at her home, which is protected by the Secret Service, and was set up by former President Bill Clinton's team. There has never been any evidence of a security breach, her office said.
Before Tuesday, Clinton’s only public statement about the controversy was a tweet last week: “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.”
Her use of a private email address and server has led some, including several high-profile Democrats, to call on the likely Democratic presidential nominee to address the issue head on.
“From this point on, the silence is going to hurt her,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Clinton held the press conference at the United Nations after addressing a conference on women. Republicans said the venue, which normally requires 24 hours to grant press credentials, was an attempt by Clinton’s team to limit media access after announcing the press conference just hours earlier.
“Hillary Clinton’s response to her email scandal is already turning into another exercise in limiting transparency,” Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Short said in a statement. “She and her team had perhaps hundreds — if not thousands — of options for a venue for today’s press conference on her secret email scandal, but Clinton instead chose one of the most difficult places for reporters to get access to: the UN.”