Presidential

Holes emerge in Clinton email claims

Former secretary of state addresses email controversy, admits it 'would have been better' to have used two devices

 

Holes and potential contradictions were emerging Wednesday in Hillary Clinton's public claims about her personal email and server use -- including over her motivations for using the "clintonemail.com" account in the first place, and for refusing to allow access to her server now. 

A key question is why she declared Tuesday that "the server will remain private." 

In her press conference in New York, the former secretary of state said the server "contains personal communications from my husband and me." 

But a Wall Street Journal report, quoting former President Bill Clinton's office, said the former president doesn't use email himself -- other than having sent a total of two emails during his time in the White House. 

Neither of those emails was to his wife. 

Further, Hillary Clinton repeatedly said she chose to use her personal email account and carry just one device for "convenience" -- so she wouldn't have to use two devices, one for work and one for personal business. 

Yet Clinton said at a Silicon Valley event last month that, today, she uses an iPhone, a BlackBerry, an iPad, and an iPad mini -- she called herself "two steps short of a hoarder." 

Rep Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., who heads the House committee probing the Benghazi attacks, also pointed out it wouldn't have been hard to get two emails on one device if she really wanted. 

"If she wants somebody to show her how to put two email accounts on one phone, I am happy to do it because even I managed to figure out how to do that and I have two calendars on one phone so that's not tough," he told Fox News. 

At the press conference in New York, Clinton also stressed that she broke no laws and said the department allowed her to use her personal email.

A statement put out by her office says the National Archives and Records Administration in 2009 "issued guidance reaffirming" a prior regulation requiring officials to "preserve work emails." Clinton says she has done this. 

Yet White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said last week that "very specific guidance has been given to agencies all across the government, which is specifically that employees of the Obama administration should use their official email accounts when they're conducting official government business." (He added that when personal email is used, records should still be preserved.) 

Earnest said President Obama signed a bill at the end of 2014 clarifying the guidelines, which contributed to the State Department seeking emails from past secretaries including Clinton. 

But even before that, the State Department policy called for officials to use government email for government business. 

A 2011 department cable obtained by Fox News shows that Clinton's office told employees to "avoid conducting official Department business from your personal email accounts." 

Clinton did not address this guidance at Tuesday's press conference.