Hillary Clinton Says She Followed the Rules in Her Use of Private Emails

Former Secretary of State says looking back she probably should have used two separate email accounts.
17:09 | 03/10/15

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Transcript for Hillary Clinton Says She Followed the Rules in Her Use of Private Emails
Looking back. It would have been batter but I simply used a second email account. And carried a second phone but at the time this didn't seem like an issue. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton saying she probably should have used a separate State Department email. Instead of using her personal account. When I'm Dan where in New York Hillary Clinton's defense for using her personal email. Convenience. I want to bring an ABC's political analyst Matthew Dowd from Austin, Texas along with Yahoo!'s senior political reporter John Ward was in Washington DC. Method or start with you that the one and only reason that we got for this was convenience. Is it just that simple. I wished I think she wishes it was that simple and anything in the course of this she answered the questions some questions. But she didn't put this to rest and actually I think she's through the course of this created more questions I think the heat on this is only get a rise. In the as this goes forward and gets a lot more questions this idea that she deleted all her personal emails already she was there arbiter of what was turned over. I think this only begins the process of what this means and it's really a huge test for her because in politics. You know though mother it so money is mother's milk trust is the blood and if you start losing the trust of voters you have a huge problem. A it would then you bring up point there the fan that some of the questions were asked not necessarily answer John what was the big takeaways in the big highlights from this very usual news conference that she held. At the United Nations as it after she was appearing. Well I mean it. This really boil down to a trust me. Press conference she said that. Half for email personal and after she left the State Department she sent via other half that she deemed to be work related to the State Department. The other half she. Implied were deleted it's not entirely clear from what she said that whether those are still on the server that she. Operated and owned apparently at at her house in New York. But that's sort of the central question some of those. Basically that question about the server was asks. You know will you turn over the server to an independent. Arbiter to look at that to look at whether table whether were able to recover some of those emails. And you know some people might say well. As Hillary herself said. We don't need to see her emails about her younger retain and wedding planning the problem is she unilaterally made the decision to decide which of those emails. None of that bucket in which did not. That's why becomes a trust me I know better than. Basically the rules even though the law did not say she had to comply with you know. Having a work related email the rules did say that she should. And she was kind of parson on the issue of whether she had. Abided by the law about the timing of that and John you bring up a point the math there wanted to ask you about about the the the privacy of this of this particular private server. That Hillary Clinton had employed it had and used during the time she was serving as secretary of state. Saying fact that there were exchanges between her. And the former president and fact that those exchanges would remain private and that the server itself would remain private does it raise are than a political red flag. Well I think the whole thinking raises the political red flag. And it's especially problematic for Hillary Clinton in the course of this I know other people pointed fingers at other folks involved in politics that there are some this going on. For its a particular problem for Hillary Clinton because if she's gonna run for president. The biggest thing she's gonna face the question from voters as. Are we going backward to the days. Of the ninety's when Wheatley didn't feel off didn't smell always write that there was always questions about what we're being told or what the truth is an all of that. And that's the biggest problem she's dealing with. And to me what it feels like in this and I hate that is to be your foot in about this but it feels like instead of a bridge to the -- first century. It felt like she's constructing a bunker to the twentieth century which is right back to where we were in the ninety's and that is her biggest vulnerability. Is is this going to be a re piece of some of the problems that we face in the ninety's as you listen to that press conference today. You felt like you were in throwback Tuesday he felt like you were thrown white backe where you worked when he years ago. John did you get the same kind of sentiment as well you know a lot of people have been talking about the spirit and letter of the law being followed. When this second then secretary of state Clinton was using this private email account. And in fact the timeline in which she was asked by the State Department to turn over those exchanges and when she actually did turn over those exchange. Yeah and there were two or three separate you know clarifications of what the rule was. Around the time she was secretary of state. So it does get to that issue of what alassane. And I think the larger issue here is one of trust and I think already. Your scene you you know two minutes after the press conference ended. And opposition research group. Called America rising which is a Republican group. Put on Twitter a video. Clip from about two weeks ago when Hillary said that she actually. Is appears to it being now. Using a Blackberry and and I found. Kara swisher from re code asked her if she was an iPhone or Blackberry user and she said she had both which really. Undercuts her prime rationale. For why she did this in the first place she said it was a matter of convenience should only have one device. Already that story is falling apart. I wanna go to our ABC's this is senior Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl who was at the UN mayor of whom was interviewing and news providing questions there John. Give me your response there from because of your line of questioning right there seem to have caught the a former secretary of state someone off guard. Yet army I asked about the rules because the State Department regulations were very clear when she was secretary that yes. An employee of the State Department was allowed to use personal email they were encouraged to use government email but they were allowed to use personal email if they turn that email over to double official business. To be entered into government computer systems and I asked her why did she violate that rule. Not coming into compliance until nearly two years after she left office what she finally did turn over those emails. And she fell back and said that she was fully in compliance fully in compliance but you know it's quite clear they'd. State Department employees have to turn over their emails and she did not do that for almost two years because where I was interesting to watch this whole. Yes by Merrill will continue on John please. I'd say it it's extraordinary to to cedar. Out here you know we haven't always seen her. Take questions from reporters. Us and she was secretary of state so we've. It's been a long time since since she is seen anything like this other than you know one on one interviews. So it was it receives here come out there her whole demeanor. Her whole persona on this. Was basically to say look I really I didn't do anything wrong he asked. If I had it to do over again I would have had two devices that would have had a a government email account. But it really wasn't a big deal the only reason she said that she did this. Is because she wanted to happen all over email on one device and not have a duck a personal device and a government device rather simple explanation. But I measure won't please many neighborhoods and now is John Ward register reporting that in fact that it could be the case then that this former secretary of state may have actually carry two devices. As she had said. Just a couple weeks prior John you would also asked about when and if in fact the White House was aware that she was using this kind of private and now. Yeah X the president said very clearly when he was asked by CBS when he first floor and it. Mrs. Clinton had this unusual email arrangement using only personal email for all or official war. And the president said he didn't learn about and tell the story broke last week. The White House is also told us that the White House Counsel's Office that's the president's in house lawyer legal team if they didn't know about this arrangement. So why Astor very directly why didn't she tell the president why didn't you tell the White House. Why didn't she asked the White House legal counsel to sign off on this unusual arrangement and that is one question that she did not answer. Time acute and end this the news covers obviously continuing to focus on this despite the fact that when this first began. Hillary Clinton actually opened up discussing that letter that was sent over by those 47 senators Republican senators over to Iran. Yet she opened up talking about that and also about off her work on the issue of women's rights around the world. She made it very clear that she was first gonna talk about issues that she visited all of substance an aura of substance. And game because everybody's asking about this email thing she would address that but her entire demeanor was that this is basically a non story. She doesn't understand the fuss about it but she's willing to answer these questions there was also mean very significant that she said. She you know she said that she went through in sorted her emails and turned over the ones that she says were official business. Government business and turn those over to State Department. As for the others the personal emails. She suggested in that press conference that she deleted them that she's that she no longer has them. So that's I'm sure going to be a question of inquiry a lot of people even some of her allies have suggested it would be a good idea for her to turn over that special personal private email server that she has in her home. To an independent arbiter to take an independent look at it did to determine which of those emails are purely personal. And not to be turned over and which ones are to be turned over to government because their official work. She said she would not turn that server over that's not something she plans to do because she says that in her view she is now fully in compliance with the wall. And with the rules of the State Department. Matt I want to ask you about this. Because he has in fact that this does not seem to be an issue that is going to be going away anytime soon does yeah despite the fact is John had just said right there. The way and perhaps the tone in which the former secretary of state had address those initial questions. But it John John Ward rather when I ask you about this and what does Hillary Clinton and have to do than to put any kind of questions at rest. About this. Yeah I don't think this goes away into ill and in less she. Let somebody look at the server. I just I just think that that's the only way that. Anybody will be satisfied. And even if that happens. It's possible that somebody who goes in there. And because and Aaron and discovers that there are thousands of emails that are here retrievable. And so I think at the end of the day if that's the case if that's what happens. This will be a case where if Hillary has really damaged herself and created a problem for herself that's going to be hard to dislodge from sort of the political. Narrative about her because if there's emails that are never recoverable. Then. We will never know what was in those emails and even if they were completely. A harmless there's still that a cloud of some sort of Scott hover over which is not good for her political prospects. Who and I and actually that's sleaze hikes question I want to ask you about John because really they're almost two angles at two aspects of this in the fact that. It is not only explaining the actions that you took previously we were serving as secretary of state but now the potential for any for any higher office whether it be a presidential run. Or in the future of how something like this mean might impact any kind of and. It's yeah the message that this sends is that she's above. The rules I mean maybe not above the law in a legal sense in this. Situation but it definitely sends a rule sends a message that she felt like she didn't have to play by the rules and Sheen is above the rules that govern us ordinary people. Which is not going to be helpful for her. Especially I think there's been people that have said Hillary supporters most of them. That this won't matter to regular voters I don't think that most people in America have been paying attention to this closely certainly today and and attention so we'll we'll get more attention. From regular people but I think once you get into the fall of 2016 if she does become a candidate. This will be a heavily litigated issue by whoever the Republican candidate is and this will be a major problem for her no doubt about it. Did you see a potential problem and also with with try to gain any kind of alliance's support them from the White House as well. As there is still seems to be is some gray areas exactly. On what the White House might have known or not have known by this kind of use in other words. Does a 2016 ambition is to get hampered in any way by having you know that kind of uncertainty hanging there. I think I think as I said I think her. Her purse on the way issues perceived by a regular American folks. Is damaged by this now and will continue to be damaged by it as long as I'm resolve questions are out there I have talked to people just sort of friends who were not involved in politics who actually think reputed indicators of where a lot of people are. And they say you know well this is sort of the way it what we expect from politicians on both left and right. And you know there will be plant talk about Jeb Bush and his email that was public and you know that was not private but I think the fundamental issue again to come back to. Is that she made a unilateral decision to do all of her business and privately bill. She made a unilateral decision. To basically disregard the rules and I think that sends a pretty flippant message. About how she views her obligation to be transparent. And her obligation to be compliant. With her resources to the American taxpayer. Does that make it any more. I guess for label. To the it to an Everett air American who might as would be concerned about this issue at this point. To take on that kind of a stance of saying you know what in fact they did this out of convenience and looking back now maybe that wasn't the right decision to make maybe it would have been easier to actually use to devices. It is that an approach to kind of to kind of make that kind of relate ability connection. Maybe a little bit I mean I think there remain premiere watch for some but I think it will not watch for most and in fact as we aren't talked about. That assertion is falling under some second guessing now with. With the fact that she said a couple weeks she. Apparently has now to vices she also said during the press conference. That the independent server that was at her house was set up for her husband for reform president. Bill Clinton. And already before even walked in the studio there were people on Twitter pointing out that. Her husband former President Clinton has said that he does not email which so that's who discrepancies apparent discrepancies. In the course of the press conference. But does all of this opens the pus. Ability for any other democratic candidates and again this is not making a got a presumption but in fact. There is a lot of attention being considered out there that she in fact mapping the front runner for the Democratic Party. Partner doubt she is no doubt she's planning to run. I think today is the day that I think a lot of people are probably. Rethinking. The possibility that somebody else of significance whether it's Vice President Biden. Wars under Elizabeth Warren. Widow will think seriously about running this this is a serious problem for Hillary Clinton. And if it doesn't cause serious consideration reconsideration probably on the part of senator Warren. Then I would be surprised but. In just to kind of bring everyone up to date and accept what is happening right now than these emails that were related to the states a government business is working over the State Department the State Department at this point. Is reviewing them. And sat Hillary Clinton's request will be publishing them correct. Correct she said that should I believe. Forgive me if I'm wrong in the numbers here but I believe she said she had about 60000 emails she's had about half or related and half for not. She said that happen or work related deemed work related by her and her staff. We're turned over to state there going over them to talk to look at whether there is classified or sensitive information and she has asked State Department. To release those to other half she has implied or. Basically that she deleted those and so yes that half of those emails that she has deemed work related which again is the problem. Are or in process to be released. John Ward from Yahoo! John thank you so much we appreciate your time here inside and of course a Matthew Dowd. As well and our Jonathan Karl who was at the UN you give up in the store in real time NASA developed by downloading ABC news happened star in this story. For exclusive updates on ago. I'm down that's our New York.

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

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