At least six Trump advisers used private e-mail for government business: Report

Jared Kushner used a private e-mail account alongside his official White House account to exchange messages with other administration officials.
Jared Kushner used a private e-mail account alongside his official White House account to exchange messages with other administration officials. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON  (NYTIMES) - At least six of President Donald Trump’s closest advisers occasionally used private e-mail addresses to discuss White House matters, current and former officials said on Monday (Sept 25).

The disclosures came a day after news surfaced that Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and adviser, used a private e-mail account to send or receive about 100 work-related e-mails during the administration’s first seven months. But Kushner was not alone.

Stephen K. Bannon, the former chief White House strategist, and Reince Priebus, the former chief of staff, also occasionally used private e-mail addresses. Other advisers, including Gary Cohn and Stephen Miller, sent or received at least a few e-mails on personal accounts, officials said.

Ivanka Trump, the president’s elder daughter, who is married to Kushner, used a private account when she acted as an unpaid adviser in the first months of the administration, Newsweek reported on Monday.

Officials are supposed to use government e-mails for their official duties so their conversations are available to the public and those conducting oversight. But it is not illegal for White House officials to use private e-mail accounts as long as they forward work-related messages to their work accounts.

During the 2016 presidential race, Trump repeatedly harped on Hillary Clinton’s use of a private account as secretary of state, making it a centerpiece of his campaign.

While the private e-mail accounts spurred accusations of hypocrisy from Democrats, there are differences. Clinton stored classified information on a private server, and she exclusively used a private account for her government work.

The content and frequency of the Trump advisers’ e-mails remain unknown, but Trump administration officials described the use of personal accounts as sporadic. The e-mails have not been made public.

“All White House personnel have been instructed to use official e-mail to conduct all government related work,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said on Monday in response to questions about the emails.

The acknowledgment of private e-mail use came as the White House is responding to a wide-ranging Justice Department request for documents and emails as part of the special counsel investigation into Russian election meddling.