Watchdog: Ivanka Trump used personal email account for government business

Ivanka Trump used a personal email account to communicate with a member of President Trump’s administration, a watchdog group said Monday.

American Oversight obtained documents through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that show Ivanka Trump, a senior White House adviser to her father, used a personal email account to contact Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Linda McMahon in February.

{mosads} Ivanka Trump wrote that she wanted to “explore opportunities to collaborate” with McMahon’s department on “women’s entrepreneurship,” according to the emails released under FOIA.

“Dina [Powell, the White House deputy national security director] and I are very excited about your focus on women’s entrepreneurship and would love to assist you in any way we can,” Ivanka Trump wrote. 

The documents show Ivanka Trump exchanged the emails with McMahon about a month before she became an official government employee, though she had been involved with high-level meetings within the administration. However, Ivanka Trump copied her chief of staff, Julie Radford, on the emails. In them, Radford has a White House email account.

“Ivanka Trump was not a federal employee in February. She elected to become a federal employee in March. At the time she did so, she made clear that one of her reasons for doing so was to ensure that she would have access to government-issued communications devices and receive an official email account to protect government records,” said a White House spokesman. “Prior to obtaining an official account, Ivanka’s communication to Administrator McMahon’s official account ensured the records were preserved and available under the Federal Records Act.”

The release follows news that her husband, Jared Kushner used a private email account to communicate with other administration officials about White House business.

Politico reported Sunday that the White House senior adviser used the email to discuss media planning and event coverage with White House officials such as former chief of staff Reince Priebus and former chief strategist Stephen Bannon.

McMahon also appears to have a personal address, according to the redacted documents, but she always copied her official SBA account so that the emails could be captured by federal recordkeeping systems.

— This post was updated at 4:16 p.m.

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