Santorum: ‘Big difference’ between Ivanka emails and what Clinton did with server

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R) on Tuesday said there is a "big difference" between White House adviser Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpTrump awards Yankees legend Mariano Rivera the Medal of Freedom The Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico 2020 is not a family affair, for a change MORE's reported misuse of her private email address and former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMissing piece to the Ukraine puzzle: State Department's overture to Rudy Giuliani On The Money: Trump downplays urgency of China trade talks | Chinese negotiators cut US trip short in new setback | Trump sanctions Iran's national bank | Survey finds Pennsylvania, Wisconsin lost the most factory jobs in past year Meghan McCain, Ana Navarro get heated over whistleblower debate MORE's use of a private email server. 

The Washington Post on Monday reported Trump used her private email address for government business, which immediately drew parallels to Clinton's use of a private email server when she worked as secretary of State.

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CNN's Chris Cuomo asked Santorum, a CNN political analyst, and former South Carolina state Rep. Bakari Sellers (D) if they believe the comparisons are fair.

"To ignore the obvious differences here is, I think, a little hypocritical," Santorum said. "Hillary Clinton went out and established her own server in full knowledge that what she was doing was wrong, number one."

Trump reportedly said that she did not know using a private email to correspond about business with government officials was a violation of federal records rules.

"Number two, she — this was a political person who had political aspirations, who was doing things in her own interest as a political figure, as opposed to Ivanka, who is not a political figure, who is the daughter of the president, yet she was not the secretary of State dealing with a variety of very sensitive and classified information," Santorum added.

Cuomo offered pushback on several of Santorum's claims, saying Trump is a White House official who was corresponding with government figures. He also noted that she has high-level security clearance.

Cuomo added that Clinton's email server was "set up by her husband" and her emails ultimately were not found to have contained classified information. 

"I didn’t say [Trump] was blameless here," Santorum said. "What she did was wrong, what she did was ... inexcusable ... But I don’t think it rises to the level of what happened with Hillary Clinton." 

He added that Trump's use of private email was "careless" and "not a good thing to do."

Sellers called GOP silence on Trump in light of the report "hypocritical."

"Republicans didn’t care about Hillary Clinton’s emails," Sellers said of the way that Republicans targeted Clinton during the 2016 presidential election. "All they wanted to do was prosecute her night in and night out, chanting 'lock her up.' Now, you have Ivanka doing the same thing and we’re going to hear complete silence." 

"If we’re going to have an FBI investigation for Hillary Clinton, we need to have an investigation for Ivanka Trump," Sellers said. 

Trump reportedly sent hundreds of emails about White House business and her official schedule to administration aides, Cabinet officials and her personal assistants, in violation of records rules.