SPONSORED:

White House: 'Mistake' for Carter to use personal email for work

White House: 'Mistake' for Carter to use personal email for work
© Getty Images
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter made a “mistake” by using his personal email account for some official business, the White House said Thursday. 
 
But press secretary Josh Earnest indicated the administration would not take any actions to punish the Pentagon chief. 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
“He made a mistake. He owned up to that mistake. He acknowledged that it was his alone,” Earnest told reporters. 
 
Earnest’s comments echo Carter’s statement that he erred in using his personal email account for work during his first few months on the job. 
 
The revelation caused a headache for the White House, which has struggled for months to respond to a scandal over Hillary Clinton’s use of personal email to conduct government business as secretary of State. 
 
Earnest, who was peppered with multiple questions about Carter’s email use, said it does not appear the Defense chief compromised any classified material by using his personal account. 
 
He added that Carter has taken steps “to ensure that the information that was transmitted on his personal email has been properly archived on the government system.”
 
The spokesman struggled to explain Carter's actions. He relied in part on his personal email for work purposes for at least two months after it was revealed Clinton used her private email to conduct business, according to The New York Times.
 
Earnest said there is “no ambiguity” about government policies banning officials from using personal email for official government business. He said he was not aware of other administration officials who were doing so. 
 
“If there are, this surely is yet another reminder about — of why that would be a poor choice,” he said. 
 
But he said the administration would not seek to punish Carter, saying public embarrassment was an adequate consequence.