Hillary Clinton Tuesday defended her use of a personal email server and domain as secretary of state, trying to limit the damage caused by the first true crisis of her soon-to-be announced presidential campaign.
In a hastily arranged press conference with reporters at the United Nations in New York, the likely 2016 Democratic presidential frontrunner dismissed criticisms that she had skirted transparency laws as the nation's top diplomat and put sensitive information at risk.
"I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and personal emails instead of two," she said. "Looking back, it would have been better if I used a second e-mail ... At the time, this didn't seem like an issue."
The brief remarks to reporters Tuesday marked the first time Clinton publicly addressed a scandal that has left Democrats on edge and sullied the expected rollout of her presidential bid.
As secretary of state, Clinton relied exclusively on a personal email address, "firstname.lastname@example.org," rather than an official government account. She also hosted her mail on a private server registered to an "Eric Hoteham," which was based out of her New York home.
Clinton first attempted to address the controversy by tweeting that she wanted the State Department to make public the tens of thousands of pages of emails she eventually turned over to the agency.
However, that cleanup effort only heightened calls — even from some Democrats — for Clinton to explain why she solely used private email and didn't disclose such messages to record keepers, as required by law.
Questions remain about the emails Clinton chose not to turn over to State Department officials.
"I saw it as a matter of convenience," Clinton explained. "It was allowed."
Ahead of Clinton's remarks, the State Department announced it would make the former secretary's work emails public after the completion of an internal review.
However, the secretary of state said she would keep the email server private, not heeding calls to turn it over to a third-party investigator.
“The server contains personal communications from my husband and me,” she said. “The server will remain private.”
Clinton told reporters that she never sent classified information on her personal email account and insisted, “There were no security issues.”
And Clinton acknowledged that she did not turn over roughly 30,000 emails to State Department officials, labeling such correspondence as personal.
The episode has also exposed tensions between the Clinton and Obama camps, with White House officials forced in recent days to answer a myriad of questions on the secretary of state's behalf.
The White House acknowledged Monday that President Obama had exchanged emails with Clinton but said the president was unaware of how his former Cabinet member set up the account or planned to make the digital records available for archiving purposes.
The controversy, which came to light during a Republican investigation of the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi terrorist attack, has alarmed Democrats who say Clinton failed to address the incident with the nimbleness required of a major presidential candidate.
Though no serious Democratic alternative to Clinton has yet emerged, the controversy might embolden a challenger who could run to the left of the former first lady and highlight long-simmering doubts about her commitment to transparency.