A White House official who spoke with ABC News did not dispute a report Monday evening in the New York Times that at least six administration officials occasionally used private email to communicate about official business since President Trump took office.
The Times’ report names the following current and former officials as those who communicated at times with a personal account: White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner, former chief strategist Stephen Bannon, Chief Economic Advisor Gary Cohn, Advisor Ivanka Trump, former chief of staff Reince Priebus and Senior Advisor for Policy Stephen Miller.
While it is not illegal for White House staffers to use their personal email accounts, they must forward all work-related communications to their official White House email accounts.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed this to ABC News today.
“All White House personnel have been instructed to use official email to conduct all government related work,” she said. “They are further instructed that if they receive work-related communication on personal accounts, they should be forwarded to official email accounts.”
On Sunday it was confirmed by Kushner’s attorney that he used a private email account to communicate with White House staffers.
“Mr. Kushner uses his White House email address to conduct White House business. Fewer than a hundred emails from January through August were either sent to or returned by Mr. Kushner to colleagues in the White House from his personal email account,” attorney Abbe Lowell said in a statement.
Lowell said the emails were “usually forwarded news articles or political commentary” and “most often occurred” when someone “initiated the exchange by sending an email to his personal” account.
The news of Kushner’s personal email use was first reported by Politico.
The statement makes no mention of classified information but says that copies of the emails were sent to his official account for recording.
“All non-personal emails were forwarded to his official address, and all have been preserved in any event,” Lowell said.
A White House official conducting business on a personal email account is not unprecedented. Before and even after the presidential election, Trump criticized his opponent Hillary Clinton for handling classified information on a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. Clinton’s use of that server became a major talking point throughout her presidential…