Hillary Clinton to Address Email Controversy

Former Secretary of State speaks on Women's Empowerment at the United Nations.
31:10 | 03/10/15

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Transcript for Hillary Clinton to Address Email Controversy
The email controversy dogging Hillary Clinton it seems everyone has weighed in on it. Except for Hillary Clinton herself. But that is about to change the former secretary of state expected to discuss for the first time her use of personal email account. To handle government business during her time at the State Department. She is now speaking at the United Nations she's expected to speak at the United Nations. High and Caroline Costello in New York the former secretary of state was supposed to send emails through an official State Department email address. But instead it she had her own email with a private server in her home. Clinton aides say Clinton did nothing illegal and this. Now let's bring in I ABC news political director whit Klein joining us from our Washington bureau Rick thanks for being with us. This press conference was inevitable right at me she had to answer to her critics at some point. Yes but it's an extraordinary event a couple levels first of all to your point about inevitability. The alert people in high levels of her cabinet or kitchen cabinet. Who were saying as recently as Monday this didn't have to happen that she could ride this out. But increasingly it became clear today Hillary Clinton herself evidently that there was no way to let this just go one unsaid and she needed to respond to being forceful way because everyone else was talking about it. There was a thinking she could let this go on as long as. Issues and not candidate is no reason to answer to charges and accusations like this until April or or later than that when she announced her candidacy that became untenable. I think it was the scattered in hap hazard nature of the response. On the Clinton team that made that evident and and the ferocity of the responsible her critics even some Democrats seem keen to come forward so the record straight. Now and alive he would just wanting an explanation. Seems that Clinton's aides haven't had a good explanation on why Hillary did this why she needed this private loan now account. Is the central question is he most basic when you can imagine this State Department does email all the time. Someone comes in as the new employee to government whether it's a cabinet secretary or a paralegal or an assistant. They get an email address why didn't she want one wife what kind of steps that she'd feel like we're necessary at the fun and kind of legal approval that she yet why didn't. Didn't she comply with the record keeping requirements under State Department policy. Until after she left for the entire thirty upper time. In office there was no State Department record of all of hurry in else and even now to this today although she's turned over some 55000 emails of the State Department. There's another 5000 plus. That she is not turned over because she and her team asking them to be. Private in nature while that's her word against anyone else's until. Or less all of them are in the custody of a central central property at the federal government level there's a way to fact check that. Right and. I mean is this could this be in some ways a good thing for the Hillary campaign ending free press coverage before she is even really. Officially announced her run for two NE sixteen. There's a school of thought and I think it's a significant one who says. Treaties and wake up call to the Clinton world that this was going to happen at some point if it wasn't emails it would have been some other controversy the clintons and know plenty of them. And they needed to shake the dust off that you think. On you know kind of re grinding wheels and action to show. To the public that they're ready for prime time this past week they'll has not done that at all so whether she'd start to change that story line with today's press conference will be a challenge. This so is exposed some serious flaws in the Clinton organization. It was eight A halting. At times aggressive and at times totally silent response among the small team but he is poor on her personal payroll by the way because she doesn't have a campaign and that there was a huge network of former Clinton and police are would be Clinton Campaign staffers some of them took it upon themselves offer their advice publicly. And all of a sudden they're out there writing op Eds and appearing on cable talking about what she should or shouldn't do some of them friendly than others but because it was so scattered it was a hard thing for the Clinton camp that to have any firm control. Route and one problem one other problem that we've seen. A from Hillary Clinton is that she has had trouble with these types of press conferences in the past her Whitewater press conference in 1994 comes to mind. I think that's exactly right and look she is she's been out of practice for a long time. That press conference is infamous in part because of the pink dress that she wore but it also because of the the rambling along answers that she gave him. The fact that it lasted as long as it did without any addict Witten and final responses. I don't think that we're talking about anything along the same light as the hour plus that was given over Whitewater that day. But I do think that the stakes are are just as high right now she needs to change this around she needs to stop. Putting and he puts up some of these stories arrest around what her motives or maybe there is an innocuous explanation for why she had her own private email why it wasn't cashed her rip there was no record of at the State Department. Which is offered again. Right and I mean what does she need to say to convince the American public that this controversy. Not really a controversy not really big deal at all. Big test for her and maybe the first big moment in her for a sixteen campaign because of that. And the told that she has the set I think he's is one of com first of all say this is not as big a deal as has been made me out to be. But then I think of action and saying look these are the steps that I'm taking your. This is exactly what I did this is why I did it this is the legal rationale for it this is what the steps that tuck and here's the answer here's what's happening now. She is said she wants the State Department to review those emails that you go a step further and say they shall have our own independent. And review of all of the emails that she urgent to have a faster timeline goes through these emails fast in the months that a typical. Public records request would take. Does she have some kind of another answer for all of this that's beyond what we've seen on the anonymously sourced reporting in his or the outsider insiders who. Say that they speak for Hillary Clinton but don't necessarily do so does she have some kind of other answer out there and as you begin to offer today. Don't let it help her cause if she were to turn over. All the emails even the personal ones and just say here have that it. You know there's there's some concern that her staff is sort of hand picking the emails that they're going to turn over and I I imagine everyone is. Pretty much taking issue with that. It depends it was I really if investor and Allah in their scent that was right in here is the one for she says he's grown up in Gaza in which you probably doesn't want an out there. But if they are innocuous if they're about her correspondent with healthier outlook cauliflower civic at the wedding. If they're just kind of little little troop movements and and little tidbits here and there sure why not. I don't think the public's ever see Oliver emails and I do think she has a reasonable right to privacy around the truly private emails but the idea of some kind of an independent arbiter of who's not. On the payroll of the Clinton Campaign or the Clinton camp. Having a look at these does not seem extraordinary for Republican members of congress talk about that that this is a way to rectify the fact that there is no State Department record. Of all the emails we've heard the congressman in charge of the big godsey. He committee stated he he's worried about gaps of months that happening here that it seems like she did an email at all for long periods of time. The only way to put that arrest as the sake here's everything. Let's let someone look at it and then comply with any judicial orders as well as political orders surrounding the release. Correction we expected some sort of an apology from Clinton at this point. That would not being keeping with the tone that's been set by her campaign or the campaign waiting I should say. Important keep that distinction might but no she is she is not in any way back down through the people that she's not speaking for him. Today in terms of her acting within her writes that within the law within the policy. She may be technically correct but I think the spirit of the law the spirit of the policies are quite a bit different 11 for instance he talks a lot about how previous secretaries of state also use private emails and that's true. But no none of them that we know of in the email Ainge use it exclusively for all transactions public and private. And unlike. That the records that she capped savor her predecessor under the Bush Administration Condoleezza Rice. There is a public record of those those exists on State Department servers they exist. In case there's a legal challengers on need to review the by congressional committee or for future historians. That did not happen with the case of Hillary Clinton until a good almost two years after she left office so she's gotta have an explanation for that as well. Now and Rick could Hillary be in trouble when schools here actually it looks like she's stepping up to the podium. Right now will quickening could she be in legal trouble here. Unlikely I think the question there will be whether she dealt with sensitive classified information certainly without adequate guards packed with an intuit and right now speaking at a women's empowerment to the principles that the United Nations he said he would rendered unity on email controversy. After this year's his tenure we great. I appreciate it. Everyone at the United Nations the commission on the status of women's and you and women UN global compact. For holding this gathering which comes at such a pivotal moment in the cause of gender quality. I think it's fair to say we are here to build on the progress of the past and seize the promise of the future. And it is an honor as I look across this hall deceased so many. Leaders from business diplomacy. Government civil society. Any real gathering of those who share this commitment. I want to thank you all each and every one of you. Because and and men who understand that gender equality is not just morally right. But is the Smart. Thing to do are growing in number. We may. Be approaching in some areas critical maps. We have to keep making the same case over and over again what we are doing here today is Smart fork company eats. And Smart for countries. Is the wisdom behind. The women's empowerment principals. So thank you thank you all all for your leadership. Now some view as I gaze out. We're Whitney in Beijing back in 1995. At the Fourth World Conference on Women. Where remarkably representatives from 189. Nations. Pledged to work. For an ambitious goal. The full participation. Up women and girls in every aspect of society. To gather at the Secretary General sad week. Called out with one voice human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights once and for all. And the world. Began to listen. Beijing. Came the platform for action. And many parts of the world it was an organizing. Document. Women and man could see. What needed to be done. And where date could help to make change happen. In the years that followed. We not only saw a change across the world we saw the creation. Of UN women. And the passage of Security Council racked. Resolutions recognizing. The crucial role of women in peacemaking and security. We saw institutions. Like the world bank and the International Monetary Fund. Focus on the untapped. Potential of women. To drive economic growth and social progress. We passed laws prohibiting violence against women electing women. At all levels of government working together to make significant strides in closing gaps in health and education. Now to eight years later it is not only time to take stock but it is our job. Two T the ambition of Beijing alive to keep marching forward. Yesterday the Clinton foundation and the gates foundation announced a sweeping new report. That marshall's twenty years of data from around the world to document how far we've come aunt how far we still have to go. All evidence tells us that. Despite the obstacles that remain there's never ban. Any better time in history. To be born female. A girl who aren't in Lesotho now. Twenty years ago. Could not hope to one day own property. Or sign a contract. Today she can again. If she were blue are in Nepal or Afghanistan and there was a tragically high chance that her mother would die in childbirth. Today. That is far less likely. A girl born twenty years ago Howell in Wanda. Grew up beneath shadow it genocide and rape. Today she can be proud that women have led the way out of that dark time. And now there are more women serving in her country's parliament. Than anywhere else in the world. Today thanks to the efforts of so Melanie. Women and girls have a much greater chance to live healthy and secure lives. But and you knew there'd via blocked. But the data also leads to a second inclination despite all all this progress. We are still not there yet. We are not there yet when we've nearly closed the global gender gap in primaries all but more than eight million girl's. Never go on to secondary school. We are not buried yet when every year more than one million girls. Are never born because of gender biased sex selection. Mainly in China and India. We're not Harry yeah and despite having increased the number of countries prohibiting. Domestic violence from just. Thirteen. In 1995. Up to 76 today. More than half the nations in the world still have no law is on the blocks. An estimated one in three women is still subjected to violence. All the sweet past don't count for much if they're not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice. Not just on paper. And laws have to be backed up with re sources and political will. With prosecutors. And police officers and judge it as trained and committed to enforcement. They have to be made real in people's lives. As art report documents. Deep seated cultural codes and structural diocese. Continue to hold back. The full participation. Of women and girls. And expose them. To discrimination. And abuse. I hope you'll explore the data yourself that no ceilings dot org. It's designed for casual visitors to gain insights quickly your fork committed activists and researchers to dive deep. We want these statistics and the stories they represent. To open eyes stir debate. And spur action. So please visit Lar or share tweet organize mobilize. Join us. In making absolutely clear that the full participation of women and girls is the great unfinished business of the 21 century. And not just for women. For every one. We now. That the only way to achieve broad based growth and prosperity in a competitive. And interdependent world is to build. Economies and societies that work for every one. And include everyone. We can't afford to leave any talent on the sidelines. Take the United States. If we closed. The gap in workforce participation between men and women. Our economy. Would grow by nearly 10%. And the numbers aren't significant. For other economies as well. That's the power of full participation particularly. In the business sector. And particularly in the formal business sector whereas the Secretary General pointed out. It can be measured. It can go into the gross domestic product not just change lives and families but left up societies. And propel economies. We've proven that progress is possible. But we can't preached just to ourselves we do after reach out to an end to religious communities. And as we're doing here too businesses. To every partner we can fine and present that evidence. We need a strong goal. And gender equality and we need to integrate gender equality throughout all of the goals. Upbeat global sustainable. Development goals. It's important to do that because if it's not fair if it's not measured. There will be. Less of a force. Behind change. So let us make sure that in many global sustainable development the halls we zero in. On the continuing gaps. Affecting gender. So from our perspective. Now that we look back to when he years. I think we can be. Gratified. That we have stuck together. As a world. That we have continued to make the case and found new ways of making it you know I have to say when. I was secretary of state and I. Speak with my colleagues across the world. About these issues. There was a moment. When I often saw their eyes glaze over. And I could read their minds. Yes I know she's gonna talk to me about women. And I just have to put a smile on my face and will get through this and go on to the important. Issues. That began to change. As we saw more evidence particularly bad economic growth and the role the private sector can play. Including more women and unleashing their talents and ambitions. From satellite television and two Tumblr technology is also helping to bring. This to the attention of everyone. The momentum for change. Is here. But now we have to decide how we are going to respond. So I applaud all of you who have not just passed law that changed my alliance. Not just mobilize data to make a case by resource estimate a difference. Who have reached. Throughout your societies and throughout international organizations to ensure that. The lives and stories of women are never lost. Bring women and girls off the margins and into the main stream of every profession. As well as every community and every country. Has to be our mission now. The progress of the past twenty years was not an accident. It tipped commitment it took accountability act that unity it took a lot of hard work. And the United States has the responsibility and continues to lead on these issues. And to make our own country. He real beacon for what is possible. That's equal pay for equal work or encouraging more and to pursue careers in science technology engineering or mathematics lark. Defending a woman's right to meet her own reproductive health decisions. We have to be on the front lines with all of you. These issues remain deeply personal for me. My late mother was born before women in the United States could vote. She came of age at a time when they were very few avenues four. Education or employment for women. But she. Had real grit and grace. And she gave me. The conviction that no matter what the challenges the world throws that you you've had to work hard have integrity. Provides service to others create a life that you would be proud. And now there are so many women whose names will never be in the headlines like my mother. And we can all stop Furman in and just think about the women who we have known the teachers. The parents. The mentors who have made a difference for us. Now it is our turn to do that for the next generation. Some of you where they are in Beijing will remember. Driving out to join the thousands of activists who ban. Sent to a separate site about an hour outside of the city. Women were her. Standing for hours in me torrential rains. Mud up to their knees. Waiting to get into an all theater. They lower. Of course a little. Frustrated. But Hayward determined. And once they got inside they sandy clap they cheered. Demanding equal rights and equal opportunity. That's that we have to keep in mind. All all of those women and men who were on the frontlines. Are doing now. Sometimes dangerous. Work. Actually living. A quality. Of holding up the possibility of freedom. I'm excited by where we aren't particularly that we have brought in so little. Many businesses who understand the role that they can play. An out horse that I am a grandmother. I want to make sure that all children have those same opportunities to live up to their around god given potential. And that's up to us to make sure there were all day inherit. Is worthy of them. So thank you for keeping up the mission. Thank you for having the purpose that brings you here to decade. And let's keep working until we can finally say the unfinished business of the 21 century. Is done thank you all. We have been listening to former secretary of state Hillary Clinton speak I think he went on remains in power remains. Let's bring Rick Klein back into this conversation now Rick no mention of the emails there from Hillary Clinton but we weren't expecting any during this speech but a press conference all the email controversy is expected to start at any moment. Rick. I'm usual place for Hillary Clinton to host a press conference in the halls of the UN. It is an unusual venue but I think it's eight guests election. By her team for a couple of reasons Caroline one is. She can use the sort of the grand jury the United Nations downplayed the imported the stories she's giving an important speech here to United Nations. About women's empowerment needs to make some it's an additional legislative moves and political moves to empower women around the world at a press is getting our astronaut emails. And so that's a good way to kind of rise above the Frey the other thing that bit this venue provides for her frankly is security. And security of access among reporters we've seen some famous examples particularly new York city of recent years of comedians and others crashing press conferences that are open. In this case United Nations handles the credentialing. The Clinton camp was involved in this from the start they know the reporters in the room and they know they are gonna do anything that would make this in some wore a farce. And asked me. Now I what does Hillary need to say today what do you think she will say. To get through to everyone get through the media get through the her critics. She has the start of the facts you have to start by laying out why is that she set this up under whose authority she set up the email what affirmative steps she's gonna take from here on out to make sure the emails get out I just that she was speaking the State Department announced that after its review is complete. Of her emails that there is set up a web site. For allow that to be publicly access so that it would appear to be the venue for it what issue do about the additional emails we'll kind of cooperation will will will she provide. And what does this say I think more broadly that the message yes that's and has what it says more broadly about her potential candidacy for likely candidacy at this stage as she sees them. Her role in this that she chastised the press are paying attention to it. That she acknowledged that this wasn't handled well is there any contrition on her part certainly her aides haven't signaled anything like that. But is there at home around Hillary Clinton that she understands that this is a serious situation that something that as required ultimately her response. Patrick we touched on this a little bit earlier whether or not Hillary could be in legal trouble because of all of this. Is there enough leeway here on how the rules are written for her to avoid any legal ramifications. I think it's overwhelmingly likely that there's not going to be a legal case brought against her of any sort it would be really and usual. And less there was a major lapse of judgment in terms of communicating. On and on classified at channel something that's classified. I can't imagine someone who's been. Around for as long as Hillary Clinton and exposed sensitive information would have made frankly mistake like that but if that emerged I think that's the likelier scenario legal jeopardy. In terms of the law around using your own email most of that us policy in outlaw summit actually codify after she left office so. Based on our review in the folks we've talked to in the technical community and the legal community. Not much exposure on law although the policy the State Department policy. Of making sure that that that eight using. A public email address aid if it for public business and sack and be that you would make sure that there's an archive that both of those areas she appears to have fallen short and maybe in technical violation of policy. And it's not the White House didn't know. Hillary Clinton was doing this we heard the president say he learned about this just. As the news reports where a coming across the airwaves. But. How Obama administration explained it at all why the rules Warrick and forced year and how this sort of slipped through the cracks. This is such a fascinating dynamic and keep in mind history here. Obama and Clinton as you know were rivals long before they were allies of the Obama folks in the Clinton folks. Aren't necessarily the best of friends. And the White House has not watched Hillary Clinton's defense off. They have punted over to State Department say it's their policy is it as an agency but making clear what the administration policy is the other piece of this is what the president knew exactly. How he knew what was going on at what time. He in the White House is acknowledged that the president himself traded some emails with Hillary Clinton over the years and was aware of her private email. It is to be plausible that he wouldn't have been aware of the entirety of the arrangement. But you would think that someone of the White House would be in the loop on this Hillary Clinton presumably would have been emailing with other folks in the White House national security team. Other administration officials who would've known about this would have seen it. The White House Counsel's Office know about this that anyone review would at the White House before it was set up all of those are questions that are left for Hillary Clinton's answer because the White House hasn't gone. And Rick does this controversy reinforced the Clinton elitist image. I think that that the issue that it reinforces in my mind and talking to Democrats about it is the is this scandal era of the 1990s and native returned to those with some sort of battle days. And about a new controversy to this isn't. Old news this isn't about that passed the health care task force this isn't Whitewater this is in the Rose Law Firm. This is about how she conducted herself that secretary of state. During the Obama presidency. Up to about 22 and half years ago this is how she conducted at the Sheehan a separate set of rules general privates or why would you do that it's a lot Apple's last what you do that let's you have something to hide. And I'll tell you the folks who have been pleased to see this happen but the people that hope Elizabeth Warren jumped into the race because to them this underscores the need for Democrats have a choice. No suggestion that she's about to do it but those are the Democrats right now were saying told you so. And we know this all started because of dean saying Ghazi investigation. Closes Clinton be able to escape that interrogation in her presume twin sixteen front. No I would that the panel authorities said that they expect her testimony we know they've subpoenaed. All of these emails we know that they're concerned about missing emails they got he will still be around. Is there a documents and errors or some kind of communication she needs for a period that sheds additional light. We don't really know that. But Republicans that made clear and I think the committee is made clear as it goes through it in a pretty. A pretty formal way going through step by step on thing Ozzie there continue to question her leadership around this. And it is there's an irony there are some sort that this is the thing that opened the door this investigation that we knew would always sort of marker ten your secretary of state. Has been what pried open the doors are private emails and it's now created this the last week controversy surrounding. And you think this controversy this email controversy will actually sway voters are all people just look at this story as. Political football. Carol I'd be hard pressed to find a voter anywhere is going to be his or her mind up either in the primaries or the general election based on what kind of email she had. But I do think because it reinforces some negative story lines around her and as Democrats wringing their hands it has Republicans quite. Animated around the chance to take on Hillary Clinton they see here is a vulnerable candidate. I IC still not very volatile in the democratic primary but they see this the issues of secrecy issues of transparency. Issues of accountability. I issues of special rules special treatment all it is very good fodder for. Republicans have taken a general election campaign. Rick Klein in Washington thank you so much for your insight we appreciate it. Daimler ABC news for our. A when Hillary Clinton does address the email controversy ABC news chief anchor George Stephanopoulos will bring back to you right here streaming live on abcnews.com. I'm Caroline Costello in New York have good.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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