Hillary Clinton defends e-mail handling | Arkansas Blog

Hillary Clinton defends e-mail handling



Hillary Clinton defended her handling of email as secretary of state, while conceding it might have been better to have one device for personal communication and another for official communication.

She said she'd used a single device, from her personal account, out of convenience. She said the vast majority of work emails went to government employees at government addresses, which meant they were captured and preserved immediately. After she left office, she said former secretaries of state had been ask to provide work-related emails. "I responded right away and provided all that were possiblly work related." She said of the 55,000 pages of emails, the State Department already had the "vast majority" of them. She said she kept purely personal emails private and she said any official was in their rights to do so. She said communications with her husband, about her daughter's wedding and about her mother's funeral were among the subjects. She said she'd taken an "unprecedented" step of directing that all work email be made public "for everyone to see." She said this would provide unprecedented insight into a high government official's communications.

She was pressed repeatedly about why she should be trusted on what she deemed personal. She said that was a question that should be asked of every public official who gets to make the same judgment. "I went above and beyond," she said.

She said of about 60,000 emails, about half were work related and half personal. She deleted some purely personal email, she said. (This will be the Rose Mary Woods tape erasure for the Benghazi nuts.)

In retrospect, she said, it would have been "smarter" to use separate devices for work and personal communication.

She said she had broken no rules — contrary to suggestions in many quarters — and she had disclosed no classified material.

She also was questioned about contributions to the Clinton Foundation, which has received money from Arab natoins with poor records on women's rights. She said there was no doubt where she stood on women's issues and contributors knew that. She said she was proud of the Foundation, appreciated its supporters and was proud of its work results.

She used the news conference to criticize senators, including U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, the ringleader and Sen. John Boozman, for a letter sending a message to Iran about ongoing arms discussions with President Obama. the letter was "out of step with the best tradition of American leadership," she said. "One has to ask, what was the purpose of the letter?" There are two answers she said: "Either these senators are trying to be helpful to Iran or harmful to the commander in chief. Either answer does discredit to the signatories."

The news conference won't put the story to rest and it won't silence critics. I'll leave the close analysis to those following the story more closely. But I think she offered a response that many will find plausible, certainly on the tribal lines that seem to form on every single conceivable issue these days.

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