Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
A watchdog group said Monday that emails released to the organization show that President Donald Trump’s daughter and senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump used a personal email address to conduct White House business as recently as March, although a White House spokesperson said that the first daughter did not have a government email account when the correspondence was sent.
The discovery by watchdog group American Oversight came one day after Ivanka Trump’s husband, Jared Kushner, said through a statement by his attorney that he used a private email address to conduct government business.
The emails from Ivanka Trump to Linda McMahon, administrator of the United States Small Business Administration, were sent in February, according to copies of the correspondence released by American Oversight. At the time, Ivanka Trump was not a federal employee but was “operating inside the White House in a nonofficial capacity,” Newsweek reported.
In a statement obtained by Newsweek, a White House spokesperson said that Ivanka Trump became a federal employee in March.
“She made clear that one of her reasons for doing so was to ensure that she would have access to government-issued communications devices and receive an official email account to protect government records,” the spokesperson said, adding that at the time of the communications, Ivanka Trump did not have an official email account.
Ivanka Trump stands before President Donald Trump signs a memorandum to expand access to STEM, science technology engineering and math, education, in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight, however, said that the situation shows “yet again … that there’s one rule for the Trump family and another for everyone else.”
“It’s simply breathtaking that both Ivanka and Jared Kushner would conduct government (business) on a personal email account after running a campaign centered on that very issue,” Evers said. “The fact that they would brazenly ignore rules governing email use raises even more questions about their judgment and fitness to hold positions in the White House.”
The Hill reported that the emails from Ivanka Trump showed that she copied her chief of staff, Julie Radford, on the emails, and that Radford had a White House email address.
Donald Trump criticized former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sharply last year for her use of private email, leading supporters on chants of “Lock her up” and insisting that her actions were illegal as the two vied for a seat in the Oval Office. The FBI determined last year that Clinton did not break the law, although then-FBI Director James Comey said that she and her colleagues were "extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”