How Many Trump Advisers Have Private Email Servers? Jared Kushner Isn't The Only One
On Monday, news broke that Jared Kusher, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor, had used a private email account to send dozens of work-related emails. Now, it has emerged that Kushner is not the only Trump administration advisor to use a private email address for work communication. Indeed, the New York Times reported on Monday that at least six Trump administration advisors have used private email accounts during their tenure at the White House.
As the Times reported, both former and current Trump administration advisors have used private email addresses to engage in work-related communication. In addition to Kusher, former chief White House strategist Stephen Bannon, former chief of staff Reince Priebus, chief economic advisor Gary Cohn, senior policy advisor Stephen Miller, and Ivanka Trump all engaged in work-related exchanges via a private email address. Though some did so to a lesser degree than others.
The Times also pointed out that using private email addresses for work-related communication as a White House advisor is not illegal as long as the communication is forwarded from one's private email address to their government email address, so it can be a part of the public record.
The Times further reported that the email use by the above-described White House aides was confirmed to the paper by both current and former White House officials. Moreover, Kushner's personal email account use was confirmed by his lawyer, Abbe Lowell, on Sunday.
During a press conference on Monday, when asked about Kushner's use of a private serve for work communications as well as White House private email use more broadly, Trump's press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, noted that she believed that this was not a widespread practice, saying "To my knowledge, [using personal emails] is very limited."
Moreover, Sanders also noted that the White House counsel has provided staffers with specific instructions regarding if and how they can use private email servers.
All White House personnel have been instructed to use official email to conduct all government related work ... They are further instructed that if they receive work-related communication on personal accounts, they should be forwarded to official email accounts.
The revelation that Trump advisors used personal email accounts to engage in official government communication is likely quite surprising for many, considering Trump's ceaseless critique of Hillary Clinton during (and after) the 2016 presidential campaign for her use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State under the Obama administration. Indeed, Clinton herself is outraged by the news, saying to Zerlina Maxwell during an interview on SiriusXM following the revelation of Kusher's private email use that, "It just goes to the rank hypocrisy that this Trump campaign and now this Trump White House is engaged in."
However, the Times did point out that while both Clinton and Trump's aides have used private email accounts for official government communications, their usage may be different. The outlet noted that Clinton used a private server to store classified information and used her private email address almost exclusively during her tenure, sending thousands of emails. The subject matter and frequency of Trump administration aide emails are not yet known, however, officials in the administration did suggest to the Times that personal email use was sporadic and not a regular occurrence.
The news of senior White House staff usage of personal email (beyond Kushner's) broke a day after Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Committee's ranking Democrat, requested disclosure of the names of all top Trump administration officials who have used a private email address for work communications. The committee members also demanded identification of accounts and phone numbers that were used to send encrypted messages, something which, according to Politico, violates the Presidential Records Act. The Committee had given the administration until Oct. 9 to disclose this information.
Thus, many will likely be closely watching to what, if any, additional information emerges in regards to White House staffers' use of private email — and whether or not the contents of these emails will eventually be made public.