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Hillary Clinton defends using personal email account

Updated: 2015-03-11 09:23

Hillary Clinton defends using personal email account

Former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a news conference at the United Nations headquarters in New York March 10, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

After leaving her post at the end of US President Barack Obama's first four-year term, Clinton said the State Department asked all former secretaries of state to provide copies of "work- related emails from our personal accounts."

She said she "responded right away and provided all my emails that could possibly be work-related which total approximately 55, 000 printed pages, even though I knew that the State Department already had the vast majority of them."

"No one wants their personal emails made public and I think most people understand that and respect that privacy," Clinton said, explaining many were about arrangements for her daughter Chelsea's wedding plan and her mother's funeral and even yoga routines.

"I took the unprecedented step to make all my work-related emails public for everyone to see," she said. "I am very proud of the work that I and my colleagues and our public servants did during my four years as secretary of state and I look forward to people being able to see that for themselves."

A furor erupted over her emails when it was learned they were kept on her private server in her home in Chappaqua, about 50 kilometers north of New York City in New York State, instead of on a secure, government server.

"I thought as a matter of convenience, and it was allowed, others had done it," Clinton said. "It was allowed .. was for convenience" and since she sent emails "to State Department and other government officials on their dot-gov accounts, those emails would be automatically saved in the state department system to meet record-keeping requirements and that indeed is what happened. "

She explained that, "The system we used was set up for President (Bill) Clinton's office and it had numerous safeguards. It was on property guarded by the Secret Service and there were no security breaches. So I think the use of that server which started with my husband, certainly proved to be effective and secure."

As for what's in the emails now in possession of the State Department, Clinton said, "I trust the American people to make their decisions about political and public matters and I feel that I have taken unprecedented steps to provide these work-related emails, they are going to be in the public domain and I think that Americans will find that interesting and I look forward to having a discussion about that."

There was certainty there would be discussion about her emails should she decide to seek the next presidential nomination of the Democratic Party.

"I think that we have more than met the requests from the State Department," she said. "The server contains personal communications from my husband and me and I believe I have met all of my responsibilities and the server will remain private and I think that the State Department will be able, over time, to release all the records that were provided."

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