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Hillary Clinton on email controversy: “I saw it as a matter of convenience”

FILE - In this Jan. 21, 2015 file photo, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to a crowd in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Clinton, a likely U.S. presidential candidate, is urging the world to take action and address "the great unfinished business of the 21st century" _ the achievement of equality for women that 189 nations called for at a groundbreaking U.N. conference 20 years ago. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Liam Richards, File)

UNITED NATIONS (MEDIA GENERAL) – Hillary Rodham Clinton finally addressed questions about her email accounts as secretary of state after a speech at the U.N. women’s forum at the United Nations.

Clinton has ignored the email issue for eight days. She’s been pummeled with questions about why she used a private account to conduct business while secretary of state.

Clinton said she conducted business that way because “I saw it as a matter of convenience. It was allowed and others had done it,” Clinton said.

After leaving office at the State Department, Clinton said she gave the State Department 55,000 printed pages of emails from her private account. She said she did not give the State Department personal emails about things like planning her daughter’s wedding, her mother’s funeral or even yoga plans.

She said she made the decision and took the responsibility of choosing what emails not to deliver to the State Department. Clinton said the vast majority of her emails went to government employees at government email addresses and were saved from that end of the communication.

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

In responding to a reporter’s question, Clinton said she did not delete any work-related emails and that they are all in the hands of the State Department.

In terms of security, Clinton said the server was set up on property guarded by the Secret Service. It was never breached and she said it was set up in the same way President Bill Clinton’s computer was set up. She also said she never emailed classified material.

The White House has said that President Barack Obama learned only recently that Clinton was using a privately run server for emailing during her tenure and that she was using private email for all official business.

Clinton is under scrutiny over whether she fully complied with federal laws requiring government officials to preserve written communications involving official business. By using her own email server, traced to an Internet connection registered to her hometown in Chappaqua, New York, she gained more control over her email than she would have had using a government server.

Clinton is approaching a public decision on a 2016 presidential campaign and remains the leading prospect for the Democratic nomination if she seeks the White House again. Despite being asked twice by reporters, Clinton never addressed if this controversy will impact her decision to run for president.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)