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Hogan calls reporting of administration using disappearing messaging app ‘misleading’

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said on Sunday that reporting from The Washington Post that found he and his administration use a disappearing messaging app to communicate with each other was “misleading.”

“So, look, we take transparency very, very seriously. It’s something we focused on for the entire seven years that I have been governor,” Hogan told “State of the Union” co-anchor Dana Bash on CNN. 

“It was a pretty misleading piece done by this reporter in The Washington Post. Look, do we ever have communications, casual conversations or chats with people inside and outside the government about things that are happening in the paper? Yes,” he continued.

Hogan said that his administration do preserve official government documents.

“We preserve them all the time. We respond to literally hundreds and hundreds of requests for freedom of information, put out probably nearly a million pages of documents,” Hogan claimed. “We’re going to continue to be as transparent as we possibly can. But, yeah, there’s no — this doesn’t not impact us at all whatsoever in having personal conversations and chats about things that are happening.”

Asked by Bash if he could guarantee that nothing official should have been archived in messages using the end-to-end encryption app Wickr, which deletes messages after a period of time, he affirmed “yes.”

The Post reported on Thursday that Wickr messages the newspaper obtained indicated that Hogan and his administration had been communicating about a variety of subjects. Maryland law requires the state government retain communications and records. 

According to the newspaper, the messages – set on a timer that deletes messages after 24 hours – showed communications over subjects such as Maryland’s COVID-19 response and included messages from Hogan’s communications director and chief of staff.

Mike Ricci, a spokesperson for Hogan, told the Post, that Hogan used Wicker to “have political and communications conversations with advisers, many of whom do not work for the state.” 

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