Clinton also used the press conference as an opportunity to shed light on women's rights and the situation in Iran

By Michele Corriston
Updated March 10, 2015 03:45 PM
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Credit: Mike Segar/Reuters/Landov

Hillary Clinton has responded to critics accusing her of not being transparent in using a private email system, saying it was simply easier to rely on one phone.

“When I got to work as secretary of state, I opted for convenience to use my personal email account, which was allowed,” Clinton, 67, said during a televised news conference Tuesday. “I thought it would be easier to carry just one device … looking back, it would have been better if I simply used one [email account].”

The politician addressed the controversy after giving a speech on women’s empowerment at the United Nations. Clinton came under fire earlier this month when the public learned she had used a private email address and “home-brew network” during her time in President Barack Obama‘s cabinet from 2009-13.

That’s a problem for journalists requesting records through the Freedom of Information Act and Benghazi investigators who have subpoenaed Clinton.

But Clinton insisted it is “undisputed” that the State Department okayed her email arrangement. Furthermore, she said most of her messages were sent to federal government employees to be “captured and preserved immediately,” and that she already supplied officials with nearly 55,000 pages of work-related emails – and went a step further by urging the department to publicly release them.

“We went through a thorough process,” she said. “At the end, I chose not to keep my private, personal emails, about planning [my daughter] Chelsea‘s wedding or my mother’s funeral arrangements.”

In the end, the likely 2016 presidential candidate said even though she didn’t break any rules and never sent classified information over her private email, hindsight is 20/20.

“Looking back, it would have been better … to use two separate phones,” she said. “I thought one device would be simpler, and obviously, it hasn’t worked out that way.”

Until Tuesday, Clinton had only addressed the controversy with a brief Tweet.

When she took the podium Tuesday, Clinton first spoke about her passion for gender equality (“There has never been a better time in history to be female”) and blasted a group of Republicans for writing an open letter to Iran about nuclear negotiations.

“The recent letter from Republican senators was out of step with the best traditions of American leadership, and one has to ask what the purpose of this letter was,” she said. “Either these senators were trying to be helpful to Iranians, or harmful to the commander in chief.”