Wednesday 13 November 2019

Clinton admits mistake as she breaks silence in email furore

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a news conference at the United Nations in New York (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a news conference at the United Nations in New York (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)
Hillary Clinton has defended her controversial use of a private email account on a personal internet server for all communications as secretary of state as a “matter of convenience” (REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Peter Foster Washington

Hillary Clinton has defended her controversial use of a private email account on a personal internet server for all communications as secretary of state as a "matter of convenience".

The frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination denied any wrongdoing in her highly unusual email practices in her first public comments about an uproar that has overshadowed the expected roll-out of her 2016 campaign.

In comments at the United Nations in New York after a keynote speech on women's rights, the former first lady said that she regretted not separating her official and private emails, but defended the reasoning.

"As secretary of state, I opted for convenience to use my personal account as I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for work and personal reasons," she said.

"Looking back, it would have been better if I used a separate account and second device."

She said that she had turned over all emails that "could possibly be work related" to the State Department and supported their publication. She said she kept back private messages about her daughter Chelsea's wedding, her mother's death and matters such as her yoga routines.

The former First Lady has been under mounting pressure to explain why she remained off the government internet grid and never used an official email address during her four years as America's top diplomat.

Mrs Clinton insisted there had been no security breaches of her personal email server and said that she never sent classified information by email. "I was very well aware of the classification requirements," she said. She repeatedly insisted that she had followed all federal rules for email use that were in place while she was in office. "I went above and beyond what I was obliged to do," she said.

But she acknowledged it would have been "smarter" if she had used personal and private email systems via separate smart-phone devices.

Mrs Clinton had just given a speech that was intended to burnish her standing ahead of her expected presidential campaign as an advocate for the rights of women and girls globally. Instead, the day became all about damage control.

She made her comments to a crammed press area where UN diplomats normally address small knots of journalists.

The Clinton camp's choice of location prompted a fresh barrage of criticism about her attempts to control coverage as only journalists with UN media credentials are allowed into the world body's New York headquarters.

With just a few hours notice provided by her aides, long lines of disgruntled reporters earlier filled the overwhelmed UN accreditation unit.

Mrs Clinton was speaking eight days after it was first reported that she had declined to use an official email account during her four years as secretary of state, raising questions about whether she broke Federal guidelines on record-keeping.

The revelation has cast a cloud over the long-awaited presidential campaign which Mrs Clinton is expected to formally announce as early as next month. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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