Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that while she took “unprecedented” steps to provide the State Department with emails related to her tenure as secretary of state, she did not save a trove of emails related to her personal life.
In a news conference following her speech to a women’s empowerment event at the United Nations headquarters in New York, Clinton explained that she chose to use her personal email account to conduct business as secretary of state out of convenience. That way, she said, she could use just one device for all of her communications.
The former secretary of state emphasized that she provided “all my emails that could possibly be work-related” to the State Department once she was asked for them. But she said that emails that were personal in nature were not handed over to the agency.
“I chose not to keep my private personal emails,” she said during the news conference. “Emails about planning Chelsea’s wedding or my mother’s funeral arrangements. Condolence notes to friends, as well as yoga routines, family vacations — the other things you typically find in inboxes.
“No one wants their personal emails made public and I think most people understand that and respect that privacy,” she added.
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell later asked Clinton how she decided which emails to keep and which to delete. Clinton estimated that out of about 60,000 emails that were sent and received at her account, half of them were personal emails unrelated to her work as secretary of state.
“I had no reason to save them, but that was my decision, because the federal guidelines are clear and the State Department request was clear,” she said. “For any government employee, it is that government employee’s responsibility to determine what’s personal and what’s work-related. I am very confident in the process that we conducted and the emails that were produced.”
Clinton said that she went beyond the State Department’s request in providing more than 30,000 work-related emails from her private server.
“I think that we have more than met the request 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. The server will remain private and I think that the State Department will be able over time to release all of the records that were provided.”
This post has been updated.