Clinton team steps up defense in email controversy

Hillary Clinton's campaign is feeling the pressure.

Facing persistent -- and growing -- criticism of her use of a private email server when she was secretary of state, Clinton's team shifted gears on Wednesday to mount a more muscular defense of the Democratic presidential front-runner.

The Clinton camp dispatched a host of top aides and surrogates -- even pulling some from vacation -- to try to dismiss the drama as the product of a hyper-partisan political environment and an overwrought media. And it took the unusual step of convening a conference call with reporters so aides could try to gain more control over the story.

\"We do think people have concerns and questions,\" Clinton communications director director Jen Palmieri told reporters. \"We think it's really confusing, and want to try to answer them.\"

That's a vastly different approach to the one Clinton took on the campaign trail over the past week. She tried joking about it, downplaying it and chalking it up to \"partisanization.\" But nothing quelled the controversy and, in some cases, Clinton's comments only intensified the criticism.

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