Trump's White House is filled with people using personal emails for work

Even Republicans in charge of oversight are starting to care about email habits in the Oval Office

By Matthew Rozsa
September 26, 2017 1:21PM (UTC)
main article image
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Donald Trump — who encouraged crowds to chant "Lock her up!" about Hillary Clinton's email scandal back when she was his opponent during the 2016 presidential election — basically forgot about all email protocols now that he's in the White House.

Former Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon, former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Chief Economic adviser Gary Cohn, Senior Policy Adviser Stephen Miller and daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump all used private email at least occasionally to conduct or discuss government business, according to The New York Times. Earlier this week, it was also revealed that Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner had used a private email account at least occasionally when doing his job.


The controversy over the Trump email scandal has aroused concern with at least one powerful Republican. Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, who chairs the House Oversight Committee, sent letters to White House Counsel Don McGahn and leaders of two dozen federal departments and agencies regarding the private email accounts, according to The Washington Post. In addition to requesting more information about the accounts, the Gowdy letter — which was co-signed by the committee's ranking Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland — asked for the names of any officials who used "text messages, phone-based message applications, or encryption software" while conducting government business.

To be fair, Hillary Clinton's email scandal was more serious than the one now facing these members of the Trump administration in several ways. Clinton set up a private email server which she used to send tens of thousands of emails, whereas the Trump staffers only used private email accounts and claim to have done so sporadically. It is also not illegal to use private email accounts for government work, so long as they are forwarded to government accounts so they can be preserved.

Not surprisingly, Clinton has not been silent about the latest scandal.


"It’s just the height of hypocrisy," Clinton told SiriusXM’s Zerlina Maxwell on Monday, citing the Trump email scandal as proof that their professed outrage over her email scandal was never genuine.

"They didn’t mean any of it. If they were sincere about it, I think you’d have Republican members of Congress calling for an investigation. I haven’t heard that yet," Clinton claimed.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

MORE FROM Matthew Rozsa