Six Trump officials used personal email accounts for White House business: report
At least six members of President Trump’s White House have used private email addresses while conducting government business, The New York Times reported Monday evening.
Current and former officials say that former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, former chief strategist Stephen Bannon and current advisers Gary Cohn and Stephen Miller sent or received government-related emails on personal email accounts, in addition to two staffers who were previously reported.
The news follows reports that White House senior adviser and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has used a private email for White House business.
A watchdog group said Monday it obtained documents that also showed Ivanka Trump used a personal email account to communicate with a member of the Trump administration.
Federal employees are allowed to use a private email account as long as they forward government-related messages to their official work account in order to preserve the conversations so they can later be made available to the public or accessed by oversight groups.
Additionally, the government email accounts are meant to have stronger protections in place to prevent classified or sensitive government information from falling into the wrong hands.
Trump repeatedly ripped his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign for using a private internet server while she served as secretary of State, making it a key attack he used to paint her as a corrupt Beltway insider who operated outside the rules.
Although the FBI ultimately recommended not to charge Clinton and closed its investigation into her handling of classified information, Trump has called for the Justice Department to open another probe.
Administration officials told the newspaper that the use of the personal email accounts by the Trump staffers were sporadic.
Clinton used a server where she exclusively used a private email account to conduct official State Department business.
“All White House personnel have been instructed to use official email to conduct all government related work,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday during a press briefing after being asked about reports of the private account use.
“They are further instructed that if they receive work-related communication on personal accounts, they should be forwarded to official email accounts,” she said.
The emails used on such accounts have not been released.
Most of the aides used Gmail and other popular email services, the Times reported.
In December, Kushner created a family domain IJKFamily.com through GoDaddy to host his family’s personal email, the newspaper reported, pointing to records of the domain site.
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.