Hillary Clinton email row: Former US Secretary of State says using private account a 'matter of convenience'

Ms Clinton will take the 'unprecedented step' of publishing all her personal work emails

Hillary Clinton has broken her silence amid the uproar over her use of a private email for official correspondence during her tenure as US Secretary of State. “Looking back it would have been better for me to use two separate phones and two different accounts,” Ms Clinton told a news conference at the United Nations in New York. “I thought using a single device would be easier and obviously it hasn’t worked out that way.”

Ms Clinton faced reporters in a bid to quell the email controversy, which threatens to disrupt the launch of her expected presidential campaign. Republicans have demanded an investigation into her use of the clintonemail.com internet domain and a private email server installed at her home to conduct government business. Some Democrats have also called for more disclosure.

The former Secretary of State said that using the private account had been a “matter of convenience”, but that she would now take the “unprecedented step” of publishing all her personal work emails. Her private correspondence, including message about “yoga routines” and “family holidays” would not be released, she said, adding: “No one wants their personal emails made public, and I think most people understand that and respect their privacy.”

The White House said on Monday that President Barack Obama had exchanged emails with Ms Clinton using her personal address when she worked in his administration. Mr Obama’s spokesman Josh Earnest insisted, however, that the President had been unaware the Secretary of State was using a private email system unconnected to government servers.

After the New York Times first reported her use of the private account last week, Ms Clinton sought to head off the criticism by urging the State Department to quickly review and publish her emails. Her presidential campaign launch had been expected in the next few weeks, but State Department officials say it will take several months to review her email for release.

The Department has said Ms Clinton’s use of a private email account did not break protocol, provided records of her official communications were kept. Mrs Clinton, who stepped down as Secretary of State in 2013, provided copies of what her office said were all work-related emails from her tenure in a response to a request by the agency last year, some 55,000 pages in all.

The House Select Committee on Benghazi has subpoenaed Ms Clinton and the State Department for the remainder of her Libya-related emails, with the committee’s Republican chairman Trey Gowdy claiming there are “huge gaps” in the 300 pages it has already acquired. The committee is investigating the September 2012 attack on the US compound in Benghazi, in which the US Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, was killed.

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